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From The Archives: October 1961

October 10, 2016

From the October 1, 1961 issue of The First Aider:


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.


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.