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WORDS OF CAUTION
By J. L. Perkins, M.D.
Tournament Physician, National Junior College Basketball Tournament
A few words concerning the “needling” of joints and soft tissues with anesthetic agents.
The use of novacain, and its associated derivatives, have greatly enhanced the practices of medicine and dentistry, for with their introduction there was available a relatively safe drug which would offer a fine loss of normal pain sensation (anesthesia) for from 30-60 minutes, and thus enable a physician or dentist to pull teeth, to sew up lacerations, to reduce minor fractures or dislocations with relative comfort to the patient, and without the hazard of a general anesthetic, such as ether.
A natural follow-up question might then be: If this agent or drug has such a good usage with regard to loss of pain and safety, why not use it as a treatment in itself? That is easy to say, why not inject some of these solutions into a particularly painful area or even into a painful joint, and thus allow a boy to participate when he could not otherwise, due to the discomfort and pain. And therein lies the hidden danger, much like a submerged iceberg. The numbness so induced is rather complete, and a person attempting to function with the loss of pain, and also loss of normal sensation cannot tell when a muscle, ligament, bone or joint is being placed in an unnatural position or under unusual stretching or tearing. His ankle, if such be the injected joint, feels just fine, even though it may be totally deranged internally with regard to the tearing ligaments, etc.
On when the drug “wears off” does the athlete realize that there is something different about the way his ankle acts or feels, now. And “now” may be too late to preserve any normal function. Indeed perhaps some permanent, irreparable damage may have been done to this joint while it was “asleep,” thus crippling the boy for life.
Anyone who is willing to pay this price for victory has somehow lost the objective of sports and participation.
By Art Dickinson, Trainer
Iowa State Teachers College
Boys who eat excessive amounts of one kind of food, at the expense of another, seem to be subject to colds.
Cocoa and chocolate delay digestion.
Skim milk digests faster than whole milk.
Whole wheat toast, extra brown, digests rapidly.
Cold water regards digestion.
There is a great deal of emotional dyspepsia in our squads.
Insist on a good breakfast.
Don’t permit cold soft drinks or food until the athlete is completely cooled off.
TAKIN’ TIME OUT
By Jack Cramer, Editor
Don’t pass those chronic headaches off lightly saying that they will be better tomorrow. Insist that they go to the team physician. It is not our intention to make a federal case out of this condition, but deaths in football have been known to follow these simple, seemingly insignificant symptoms.
If you have any fat boys on your squad, expect to find galled skin between the legs in hot weather. To prevent this condition, we suggest you use Cramer’s Skin-Lube between the legs. After practice, dust Cramer’s Foot and Body Powder over the area.
If you are thinking of building a new training room, it is wise to have an outside entrance for stretcher and ambulance cases. If this isn’t practical, see that the doors are large enough to permit easy entrance and exit.
Lewis Grevelle, trainer at Andrews High School, Andrews, Texas, says, “Basketball shoes that are too short are a contributing cause of shin splint.”
Trainers shouldn’t get involved in local quarterback club discussion. It is up to the coach to handle the news on the player’s condition and prospects of the team.
Don’t be too anxious to accept new methods until you have learned the merits and disadvantages of the old ones.
The only time you or anyone else can decide definitely whether or not an injury is minor is after it has healed.
A suggestion to student trainers. Don’t have pets or favorites. Every star or scrub should rank equally in your training room unless the coach instructs you differently.
Attention, athletic trainers! Are you ready to Scrape, Tape and Move? No…it’s not the latest dance craze! It’s an integrated approach to restoring and maximizing the human movement system that you can learn in a one-day course. Find out more about this important new method of assessing and treating pain and injuries in our interview with Mike Voight, ATC, PT, one of the creators of Scrape, Tape and Move.
Soccer is an increasingly popular sport among youth in the United States, with over three million registered soccer players under age 19 playing in leagues every year. A new study conducted by the Center for Injury Research and Policy of the Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital found that with the increase in the number of players there has been a rise in the number and rate of injuries.
The study, published online last month in Pediatrics, found that from 1990 through 2014, the number of soccer-related injuries treated in hospital emergency departments in the U.S. each year increased by 78 percent, and the yearly rate of injuries increased by 111 percent among youth 7-17 years of age. By calculating the rate using participation data, researchers were able to show that the rising number of injuries comes not just from the increase in the number of young players participating in the sport, but also because players are now being treated more frequently for injuries.
"The sport of soccer has changed dramatically in the last 25 years," said Huiyun Xiang, MD, MPH, PhD, senior author and director of research core at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital. "We're seeing athletes play year-round now thanks to club, travel and rec leagues, and the intensity of play is higher than it ever has been. These factors combine to lead to more risk of injury."
The majority of the injuries were sprains or strains (35 percent), fractures (23 percent), or soft tissue injuries (22 percent). While concussions and other closed-head injuries (CHIs) only accounted for just over 7 percent of the injuries overall, the rate of concussions/CHIs increased 1,596 percent over the 25-year study period. Athletes with concussions/CHI were twice as likely to be admitted to the hospital as patients with other diagnoses.
"While we can't tell from our data why the rate of concussions among soccer players is increasing, it is important for athletes and families to be aware of this issue and what they can do to reduce the risks," said Tracy Mehan, MA, manager of translational research at the Center for Injury Research and Policy. "Young athletes take longer to recover from concussions than older athletes and they can put themselves at risk for second-impact syndrome and repeat concussions if they return to play too soon -- both of which can lead to serious, life-altering injuries."
The study also found that most of the injuries occurred when a player was struck by either another player or by the ball (39 percent), or when they fell (29 percent). Older children and adolescents ages 12-17 years accounted for the majority of the injuries (73 percent) and girls were more likely than boys to sustain a knee or an ankle injury.
Researchers recommend these steps to help keep young soccer athletes out on the field:
- Participate in a pre-season conditioning program that focuses on building core muscles, strengthening neck muscles, and working on hip and thigh strength.
- Warm up before play.
- Always wear the recommended protective gear (shin guards, mouth guards).
- Follow and enforce the rules. Many injuries occur during illegal play or when coaches or referees don't enforce the rules.
- Learn about concussions. Know the symptoms of concussions and how to spot them. Encourage players to report any hits to the head even if they happen in practice. Make sure to follow concussion management and return-to-play policies.
- Strictly enforce the U.S. Soccer Federation’s concussion-prevention guidelines regarding children heading the ball.
A Belgium study has found that supplementation of nitrates (found in spinach and other leafy greens), in conjunction with sprint interval training in low oxygen conditions, could enhance sport performance. Grab a salad and read about this research!