Sports Medicine Research: In the Lab & In the Field (Sports Med Res)
Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Could Sport Activity Be a Factor in Disc Degeneration at a Young Age?

Association between adolescent sport activity and lumbar disc degeneration among young adults.

Takatalo J, Karppinen J, Nayha S, Taimela, Ninimaki J, Sequeiros RB, Tammelin T, Auvinen J, and Tervonen O. Mohtadi N, Barber R, Chan D, and Paolucci EO. Scan J Med Sci Sports. 2017. [Epub Ahead of Print].

Take Home Message: Survey participants who reported frequently running and swimming had greater signs of lumbar disc degeneration than those participants who were inactive in those sports.

Greater involvement in sports is a risk factor for long-term degeneration of lumbar intervertebral discs. Understanding the impact of sport involvement in lumbar disc degeneration will help clinicians develop strategies to mitigate the impact of sport on lumbar disc degeneration. Therefore, Takatalo and colleagues evaluated the association between sport involvement and lumbar disc degeneration in an exploratory study.
Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Electrical Stim Treatments Improve Patients with Low Back Pain

Efficacy of Selected Electrical Therapies on Chronic Low Back Pain: A Comparative Clinical Pilot Study

Rajfur J, Pasternok M, Rajfur K, Walewicz K, Fras B, Bolach B, Dymarek R, Rosinczuk J, Halski T, & Taradaj J. Med Sci Monit. 23: 85-100. doi: 10.12659/MSM.899461

Take Home Message: Various electrical stimulation treatments over the course of 3 weeks resulted in improved low back pain.  Interferential stimulation seemed to have the best outcomes in patients with low back disc degeneration. 

Low back pain can be very debilitating and cause significant pain.  Clinicians often use various transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) techniques to help manage chronic low back pain.  There is little research to support TENS use, therefore these authors compared the effects of various electrical stimulation treatments on pain, range of motion, and function among individuals with low back pain.
Monday, February 13, 2017

Blood Test Could Help Provide Information on Prolonged Concussion Recovery

Acute plasma tau relates to prolonged return to play after concussion

Gill J, Merchant-Borna K, Jeromin A, Livingston W, Bazarian J. Neurology. 2017; 88:1-8.

Take Home Message: Elevated plasma tau concentrations within 6 hours of sport-related concussion was associated with prolonged return to play.

Many clinical tools used to diagnose and return concussed athletes to play rely on patient-reported information. An objective predictor, such as a blood test for tau protein, would provide an unbiased tool to determine an athlete’s diagnosis, prognosis and readiness for return to play. Therefore, the authors evaluated NCAA Division I and III contact-sport athletes between 2009-2014 to determine changes in tau following concussion compared to preseason. The authors also compared tau changes after a sports-related concussion (43 athletes) to both an athletic control group (no concussion; 37 athletes) and a healthy, nonathletic, control group (21 participants).
Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Physical Activity Within 7 Days May Lead to Better Long-Term Outcomes After a Concussion

Association Between Early Participation in Physical Activity Following Acute Concussion and Persistent Postconcussive Symptoms in Children and Adolescents

Grool AM, Aglipay M, Momoli F, Meehan WP 3rd, Freedman SB, Yeates KO, Gravel J, Gagnon I6, Boutis K, Meeuwisse W, Barrowman N, Ledoux AA, Osmond MH, Zemek R; Pediatric Emergency Research Canada (PERC) Concussion Team. JAMA. 2016 Dec 20;316(23):2504-2514

Take Home Message: Among children and adolescents with acute concussion, participation in physical activity within 7 days of acute injury compared with no physical activity was associated with lower risk of persistent postconcussion symptoms at 28 days post injury.

Following a concussion, many medical professionals recommend cognitive and physical rest until sign and symptoms resolve. Additionally, they typically endorse a graduated return to play program if symptoms are not exacerbated. However, there is limited evidence that following these guidelines result in a positive effect on prognosis. Therefore, the authors of this multicenter cohort study (9 Canadian Pediatric Emergency Departments) examined the association between participation in physical activity within 7 days post injury and the occurrence of persistent postconcussion symptoms (PPCS; 3 new or worsening individual symptoms compared to preconcussion status) following concussions in children and adolescents (2413 participants; 5 to 18 years old) from August 2013 to June 2015.
Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Overtrained Athletes Have Abnormal Biochemical Response to Exercise

Changes in cytokines, leptin, and IGF-1 levels in overtrained athletes during a prolonged recovery phase: A case-control study

Joro R, Uusitalo A, DeRuisseau CK, & Stalay M. Journal of Sports Sciences. Published online 14 Dec 2016. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2016.1266379

Take Home Message: Overtrained athletes have abnormal inflammatory and anabolic responses to exercise, indicating that their body is not responding to exercise the way that it should.

Rest and recovery is an important aspect of training that can often be overlooked.  When athletes or clinicians do not allow for appropriate recovery, this can lead to overtraining syndrome.  Overtraining syndrome is associated with poor performance and lack of exercise tolerance.  While we know clinically what the symptoms of over training are (e.g., poor performance), it remains less clear what is occurring pathophysiologically.  Therefore, the authors of this prospective cohort study assessed biochemical measures of inflammation, energy metabolism, and growth factors between overtrained and control athletes, and how these athletes respond to exercise bouts.
Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Degenerative Changes in the Knee Joint Are Present in Elite American Football Players

Knee osteoarthritis is associated with previous meniscus and anterior cruciate ligament surgery among elite college American football athletes.

Smith MV, Nepple JJ, Wright RW, Matava MJ, and Brophy RH. Sports Health. 2016. [Epub Ahead of Print].
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27940573

Take Home Message: One in 4 American Football players at the NFL Combine with a history of knee surgery have knee osteoarthritis despite being only 20 to 26 years of age.

A football player is at high risk for a knee injury, which may have long-term implications (for example, osteoarthritis). Knee osteoarthritis is particularly concerning because it can be a chronic and disabling disorder. Unfortunately, we know very little about osteoarthritis among young elite American football players. Therefore, Smith and colleagues completed a retrospective cohort study to assess the relationship between previous knee injury, body mass index and player position on knee osteoarthritis.
Tuesday, January 24, 2017

National Athletic Trainers' Association Position Statement: Management of Acute Skin Trauma

National Athletic Trainers' Association Position Statement: Management of Acute Skin Trauma

Beam JW, Buckley B, Holcomb WR, Ciocca M. J Athl Train. 2016 Dec;51(12):1053-1070. doi: 10.4085/1062-6050-51.7.01. Epub 2017 Jan 16.

The National Athletic Trainers’ Association has released a position statement on the management of acute skin trauma. The statement provides 42 major recommendations covering cleansing, debridement, dressings, identification of infection and adverse reactions, follow-up, as well as supplies for athletic training facilities and kits. The statement is followed by a comprehensive background section.