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Warm Up, Cool Down | Hot & Cold Therapy Before & After Exercise

March 15, 2015


Hot and cold therapy can be beneficial before and after you exercise. The treatment plan will differ depending on whether you have an acute or chronic injury. An acute injury is a result of a physical impact or accident, such as a fall, rotating action, or direct strike. Acute injuries cause instantaneous pain. Conversely, the symptoms of a chronic injury develop over days, weeks, or longer. The overuse of muscles is frequently the cause of chronic injuries.

When an acute (traumatic) injury first takes place, bleeding, redness, swelling, and discomfort need to be managed. You should use an ice pack as early as possible in order to chill your tissues and narrow your blood vessels. You should leave a comforting cold pack on the injured area for 20 minutes at a time and apply it again every 2-3 hours. When signs of swelling and bleeding have disappeared, you may find it comforting to switch between cold packs and hot packs. When alternating between hot and cold therapy, you should apply an ice pack for 10 minutes, and then apply a hot pack for the same amount of time. A major increase in blood flow takes place to the affected area when you alternate between hot and cold packs.

Chronic (overuse) injuries should be treated with a hot pack for 20 minutes at a time. Hot packs help soften tight, tender areas and increase flexibility and blood flow, making them perfect to use before exercising. You should only use cold packs on overuse injuries after you exercise to decrease any leftover swelling.

THERA°PEARL has several reusable hot and cold packs that are perfect to use before and after you work out. The THERA°PEARL Sports Pack can be heated before working out to increase elasticity and chilled after working out to reduce any swelling you have. Read More


March 7, 2015

Sue Falsone’s journey as an athletic trainer has taken her on a path she couldn’t have anticipated. Sue grew up in Buffalo, N.Y. After high school, she earned a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from Daemen College in Amhurst, N.Y., and became a Licensed Physical Therapist in 1996. She then took a position in North Carolina, became intrigued by the profession of athletic training, and applied to the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. In August 2000, she completed a master’s degree in human movement, with a concentration in sports medicine.

Soon after finishing at UNC, Sue and a friend decided, on a whim, to move across the country to Phoenix. “Neither of us had jobs,” Sue says, “and we just picked up and moved.” She easily found part-time work, and then happened to read an article about a baseball player who trained at Athletes Performance (AP) in Phoenix. “It sounded like a place I’d like to work,” Sue says. “I met the owner, and volunteered there most of the summer of 2001. By that fall he had hired me to work full time.”

While Sue was an AP employee, the Dodgers approached the company about helping the team with various aspects of their sports medicine program, and Sue was assigned to the project. “I became more involved with the Dodgers, and eventually was asked to serve as a consultant for the team. That role continued to grow, and in October 2011 I was offered the position of head athletic trainer. I was a vice president at Athletes Performance at the time, and was able to keep that position and take the job with the Dodgers as well.”

When she said “yes” to the Dodgers, Sue became the first female head athletic trainer in any of the four major sports in the United States. She received many heartfelt letters—both electronically and hand-written—from many parents and young girls, helping her realize the magnitude of that distinction. “Some parents wrote letters saying that now they knew their daughters could achieve their dreams. Breaking that glass ceiling was very special.”

At the end of the 2013 season, Sue decided to step away from her positions with both the Dodgers and AP. “The move to Phoenix was supposed to be short-term, but I stayed there 13 years and it ended up being life-changing,” she says. “But I felt it was time for a bit of a sabbatical.”

In 2014, Sue started working independently as a sports medicine consultant and teacher. She is certified in Systemic Dry Needling and regularly provides training in this healing modality to athletic trainers, physical therapists, and other medical professionals. Sue explains, “Systemic dry needling, created by Dr. Yun-tao Ma, is an approach rooted in Western medicine that uses a fine filament needle to increase the body’s own healing potential, especially with neuromuscular skeletal injuries. Dry needling facilitates what the body needs, and is effective with chronic tendonopathy, muscle sprains, and treating a lack of joint range of motion. Dry needling can relax muscles, stimulate muscles, and regulate the system. It is an amazing tool to use with athletes, and I enjoy teaching other clinicians to use it in their practices.”

This past October, Sue accepted a position as head of athletic training and sports performance for the Men’s U.S. Soccer Team. “I’m still getting to know the job,” she says. “It’s much different working with a national team rather than a club team, and it has been a very exciting and fun couple of months. All the guys on the team play on a club team, and then the national team gets together at specific times. In less than six months, I’ve already traveled with the team to England, Ireland, and Chile, and within the United States to Boston, L.A., and Boca Raton. This summer the team will be together for six weeks during the Gold Cup.”

Sue recently took a position on the board of the National Council on Youth Sports Safety.

“I’m particularly excited about the council’s new initiative—Protecting Athletes and Sports Safety, or PASS. It’s a two-year initiative to transform the policies and procedures adopted by local communities in addressing sports-related concussions. It’s a great educational initiative with wonderful people and organizations involved, focusing on doing the right thing for young athletes.”

Sue also serves on the advisory board of KinetIQ Global, an initiative to bring high quality sports medicine to Southeast Asia. “We share Western sciences with people who otherwise wouldn’t have opportunities to get this education. Each advisor is paired with a “grasshopper” –-an up and coming student athletic trainer--to mentor. I’ve stayed in touch with my grasshopper from South Korea. It’s been a cool relationship that has grown over the last year, and it’s one of my favorite things I’ve done.”

The Korean Institute of Sports Science is another organization that benefits from Sue as a member of their advisory board. “I got involved with this when I spoke in Seoul last year,” she says. “They’re really looking to systematize their education and elevate the application of sports science in Korea. It’s a really fun group to work with.”

Sue is also an advisor for Performance Health, Katalyst Shoulder Training, Baseball New Zealand, and is just a few hours from completing a 200-hour yoga teaching certification. In addition to being a Certified Athletic Trainer and Licensed Physical Therapist, Sue is a Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Sports Physical Therapy; Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist for the Spine; and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.

“I am so blessed to have met all the people I’ve met, for the opportunities that have come my way, and for the people I work with now and have worked with in the past,” Sue says. “You’re only as good as the people around you, and the people around me have been amazing and have taught me so much.”

Sue is grateful for her journey thus far, but doesn’t focus on what’s next. “I enjoy what I’m doing now,” she says, “and I’m living in the present.”
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March 6, 2015

Like many runners, former BYU track star Katy Andrews Neves has had her share of injuries. But unlike most runners, one of those injuries has been witnessed by millions of people around the world.

In what is now one of the top sports bloopers of all time, Neves was caught on camera in 2012 crashing over the water barrier in a steeplechase race at BYU. She hit her head and got several other bruises, but was luckily spared any serious injuries.

As a graduate student, Neves started researching running injuries focusing on the Achilles tendon. It is estimated that 52 percent of distance runners injure their Achilles at some point.

Now a new study authored by Neves and three BYU exercise science professors reveals potentially positive news about the Achilles—that the tendon is capable of adapting to uphill and downhill running better than previously believed.

"Runners can know it is safe to transition to downhill running and include it in normal training and racing," said Neves, who was an All-Conference performer in both the 5000m and steeplechase at BYU. "Though there are greater forces placed on your body during downhill running, the benefits can outweigh the risks."

Researchers asked 20 female runners to run three different times on an instrumented treadmill in BYU's Human Performance Research Center Biomechanics Lab. Each runner had to be able to run a 5K (5000 meters) in under 24 minutes.

The women ran at three different grades (-6 percent, 0 percent, +6 percent) on three separate days, with at least 48 hours between each round. Knowing that the Achilles becomes more pliant and thinner from exercise, researchers used Doppler ultrasound imaging to examine the thickness and stretch on Achilles tendons before and after each trial. Ten high-speed cameras recorded the motion of the runners, collecting data from 16 reflective markers placed on the runners' lower extremities.

While the downhill running resulted in the largest peak force on the runners, Neves and fellow researchers Bill Myrer, Wayne Johnson, and Iain Hunter, were surprised to find no significant differences in Achilles tendon thickness changes between running grades. The finding means there is no increased risk for Achilles injury when running at different grades.

"Over time, runners adapt to the forces placed on their body, so even when the forces are higher (running downhill), if the adaptation process is gradual, the injury risk drops," Neves said. "Our bodies are amazing and are very good at adapting to the conditions we put them in."

That being said, authors warn that runners should transition slowly to downhill running in order to adapt to the greater forces.

"The main cause of any running injury is a sudden change in training," said Hunter, BYU professor of exercise science. "It seems obvious to gradually change your regimen, but it is a hard principle to follow and practice. Injuries from abrupt training changes just kind of show up one day."

The study, published recently in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, should have particular interest for marathon runners. The Boston, Chicago, New York City and Los Angeles marathons all include hill grades ranging up to 6 percent. Read More


March 5, 2015

The NATA has announced the introduction of the Supporting Athletes, Families and Educators to Protect the Lives of Athletic Youth (SAFE PLAY) Act.

More than 7 million high school students participate in athletics each year, and more than 30 million children participate in organized sports across the country. The families of these athletes have seen an increase in sports-related illnesses such as sudden cardiac arrest – the top cause of death among youth, concussions, and heat stroke. The SAFE PLAY Act seeks to address these concerns through best practices, support for schools and quality research.

Introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and in the U.S. House by Rep. Lois Capps (CA-24) and Rep. Bill Pascrell (NJ-09), SAFE PLAY also recommends a multidisciplinary approach to research and federal support to ensure student athletes’ safety in schools. NATA had an integral role in the introduction of this comprehensive legislation and worked with these congressional offices in the development of the bill.

This legislation specifically helps school districts develop and implement concussion safety and management teams and plans and encourages increased surveillance efforts for life-threatening cardiac conditions in children. The bill also directs the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to recommend guidelines for the development of emergency action plans; create and distribute information on health risks linked to excessive heat and humidity; and develop information and guidelines on energy drink consumption.

“The National Athletic Trainers’ Association is proud to have worked with Sen. Menendez, Rep. Capps and Rep. Pascrell in the introduction of the SAFE PLAY Act,” said NATA President Jim Thornton. “As the leading national organization representing athletic trainers and health professionals that are responsible for the prevention and treatment of injuries to athletes at all levels of sport and play, we applaud these members of Congress for their leadership on the introduction of this comprehensive legislation to protect youth athletes. We look forward to working with other members of Congress to build support for this important bill.”

“All of the elements are critical for the health and welfare of our student athletes including the vital role the athletic trainer and other members of a school or program’s sports medicine team have on the playing field,” adds Thornton. “Encourage your U.S. congressional representatives to support this legislation. Bring this to the attention of school administrators, parent advocates, coaches, health care professionals and others. What is more important than keeping our kids safe on the playing field so they can do what they do best and excel at their chosen sport or physical activity?”

To further the efforts in the area of youth sports safety, in 2013 NATA created a Safe Sport School Award to recognize schools with select sports safety protocols in place that ensure the health and welfare of their student athletes. To date, 332 schools have received this distinction. Read More


March 4, 2015


National Athletic Trainers Association annual meeting, Miami Beach, Florida, June 16-17-18, 1958 – Roney Plaza hotel.

Sam Lankford, University of Florida, assisted by Dave Wike, University of Miami, has planned an excellent program on training subjects, and has also allowed time for swimming, boating, fishing, etc. The children will enjoy it.

Many trainers are planning to attend with their families. Special off-season rates are available.



The pre-game meal for the University of Cincinnati basketball team as arranged by Joe Keefe, their trainer, is as follows:

Roast beef, 8 ounces (with natural juices)

Baked potato, medium size – 2 pats butter

Toast, 2 slices, jelly and tea

The beef must be juicy, not hard and dry. If dry, natural gravy is used over the beef.



According to statistics, a football player is 27 times safer on the football field than he is when driving a car.

The body can’t learn to develop “second wind” without daily having been forced to expend its “first wind.”

Praise should be mixed with criticism. A pat on the upper part of the back may be the answer.

When sitting on the bench, during the game, it might be wise to figure out how to improve the efficiency of your team instead of helping referee the game.

*** Read More


March 3, 2015

Cramer is pleased to introduce an addition to the Rapid Form Vacuum Immobilizer line—the Rapid Form Ankle. This splint immobilizes fractures and dislocations of the lower leg without circumferential pressure. A pump extracts air from the unit, forcing the interior beads to form a solid, rigid mass.

KC Hackman, ATC, head athletic trainer at Taylor University, has purchased the Rapid Form Ankle. He hasn’t had occasion to use it yet, but is glad to have it in his inventory of emergency supplies.

“When I heard that Cramer was coming out with this addition to their vacuum splint line, it was common sense to add it to our emergency bag that is on hand for every home game for every sport. We keep all our vacuum splints, including the Rapid Form Ankle, in that bag.”

KC says that every fall, he and his staff of three athletic trainers go through a refresher of their emergency procedures and supplies. “We get our vacuum splints out to make sure they work and review how to use them,” KC explains. “We simulate someone having injuries such as a broken arm and dislocated foot and practice the treatments. We also practice getting a wheelchair out, spine boarding, and calling for assistance. We haven’t had to use the Rapid Form Ankle splint yet, and hope we don’t ever have to. But in an actual injury situation, we’ll know just what to do because of this annual review and simulation process.”

The Rapid Form Ankle is made of 70 denier nylon with PVC coating, and the set includes a pump, straps, and carrying bag. It can be combined with Cramer’s other vacuum splints for the arm and leg.

For more information about the Rapid Form Ankle Vacuum Immobilizer, visit Cramer’s website.
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