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The First Aider


February 29, 2016


From the January 1961 issue of The First Aider:


On Tuesday, November 1, 1960, we contacted 31 varsity trainers by phone. Our purpose was to obtain information regarding injuries and general team condition. A cross-section of a few comments were as follows—

“Dog tired.”


“The romance left when the bruises came.”

“A 3 hour practice today, and the boys couldn’t jump over a match.”

“The fun is gone.”

“What good is a long practice when the fire is out…and next week our arch rivals.”

“Every member of our squad has a charley horse between the eyes.”

“Our team spirit has evaporated.”

“We are exhausted mentally and physically.”

“Players become injured more easily and recover is slower—when they are tired.”

Editor’s note: 62% of the injuries mentioned by the trainers, were to the hands and wrists. 8% were to the teeth, jaw, face and back of neck. 5% to the knee, 17% to the lower legs, shins and feet and 5% to shoulders and hips. About 3 per cent could be listed under miscellaneous.


Sometimes a player, trainer or assistant coach is worth his weight in gold because of his courage and his ability to keep up team spirit.


It may interest you to know that, in Oklahoma, many of the schools are spraying the inside of their school busses with Sprahalant. The pure Menthol and Benzoin in Sprahalant are effective in relieving nasal congestion, due to the common cold, in the half-time room and the sleeping room. School officials thought, why wouldn’t it be just as effective in the school bus? It was!


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February 26, 2016

The caffeine in a morning cup of coffee could help improve athletic endurance, according to a new University of Georgia review study.

Authored by Simon Higgins, a third-year doctoral student in kinesiology in the College of Education, the study was published in last month's issue of the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism.

To research the issue, Higgins reviewed more than 600 scholarly articles and screened them for those that focused only on caffeinated-coffee conditions, measured the caffeine dose and measured an endurance performance. Of these, nine randomized control trials specifically used coffee to improve endurance.

"Previous research has focused on caffeine itself as an aid to improve endurance," Higgins said. "Coffee is a popular source of caffeine, so this paper looked at the research surrounding its ergogenic benefits."

Looking at the nine trials, Higgins found that between 3 and 7 milligrams per kilogram of body weight of caffeine from coffee increased endurance performance by an average of 24 percent. The amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee can vary from 75 mg to more than 150, depending on the variety and how it's roasted and brewed.

"This is helpful for athletes because coffee is a naturally occurring compound," Higgins said. "There's the potential that getting your caffeine by drinking coffee has similar endurance benefits as taking caffeine pills."

In the nine trials, participants either cycled or ran after drinking coffee. They then exercised vigorously and the results were measured. In a majority of cases, endurance was noticeably improved after the use of coffee.

When researching the effects of caffeine from coffee, Higgins found two important discoveries: that caffeine from coffee enhances physical performance, and that more research is needed on the use of caffeine from coffee versus pure caffeine use.

"While there is a lack of high-quality research on coffee as a source of caffeine, there is an abundance of research on pure caffeine," he said. "It's surprising how little we know about caffeine from coffee when its endurance effects could be just as beneficial as pure caffeine."

Higgins said that coffee shouldn't be dismissed as less beneficial for endurance. He found that coffee appears to be just as helpful as taking caffeine in the form of powder or tablets.

"There's a perception that coffee won't give you the same benefits as pure caffeine," he said. "New research could mean that athletes could have a cup of coffee versus taking a pill."

Higgins says that more research is needed before giving official recommendations to athletes, especially since the amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee can vary depending on how it's prepared.

"There is a caveat to athletes using coffee: Be careful because you don't know how much caffeine is in some coffee, especially when it's prepared by someone else," he said. "Athletes should run their caffeine use through their sports dietician as the NCAA lists it as a banned substance."

Co-authors of the paper are Richard D. Lewis, UGA Foundation Professor in Family and Consumer Sciences, and Chad R. Straight, previously a graduate student at the University of Georgia.

An abstract of the study, "The Effects of Pre-Exercise Caffeinated-Coffee Ingestion on Endurance Performance: An Evidence-Based Review," is available athttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26568580.

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February 25, 2016

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and five other professional organizations released a new team physician consensus statement last month that outlines best practices for injury and illness prevention for athletes of all levels. This statement is the newest paper in a series published since 2000 that addresses pertinent topics such as return-to-play decisions, concussion treatment, injury and illness prevention, sideline preparedness, psychological issues and other important topics.

The team physician consensus statements serve as a reliable resource for team physicians and other medical professionals treating athletes, and can provide peace of mind for coaches, athletes, parents of youth athletes and the general public.

The new consensus statement, “Selected Issues in Injury and Illness Prevention and the Team Physician,” updates a statement originally published in 2007. The new document provides recommendations regarding musculoskeletal injuries, head and neck injuries, heat illness, cardiovascular issues, equipment and injury reduction/modification and skin infections. Key recommendations in the paper include the importance of up-to-date treatment information for athletes, the role of sport-specific prevention programs and cautions regarding equipment safety.

“This paper offers guidelines for practice in the areas of injury and illness most commonly seen by team physicians,” said Stanley A. Herring, M.D., FACSM, chair of the project-based alliance and clinical professor in the Departments of Rehabilitation Medicine, Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, and Neurological Surgery at the University of Washington in Seattle. “It provides a roadmap of common issues facing medical professionals on the sidelines and in their offices.”

Collaborating with ACSM to produce the team physician consensus statements are the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine and American Osteopathic Academy of Sports Medicine.

“The combination of education, training and experience, together with the ongoing relationship with their team, allows the team physician to offer a unique level of medical care to athletes under their supervision,” said James R. Whitehead, executive vice president/CEO of the American College of Sports Medicine. “Experts from six sports medicine associations came together to produce these guidelines for team doctors, athletic trainers and other dedicated professionals to help athletes play safe and perform their best every day.” Read More

The team physician consensus statement is jointly published in the January 2016 issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise® and the January/February 2016 issue of Current Sports Medicine Reports. Click here to view or download a copy of the new Team Physician Consensus Statement.