Sports Medicine Research: In the Lab & In the Field (Sports Med Res)
Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Psychological Outcomes After a False Positive ECG

Psychological Impact of Electrocardiogram Screening in National Collegiate Athletic Association Athletes

Asif IM, Annett S, Ewing JA, Abdelfattah R, Sutphin B, Conely K, Rothmier J, Harmon KG, & Drezner JA. Br J Sport Med. 2017; Online Ahead of Print July 24, 2017.  DOI: 10.11336/bjsports-2017-097909

Take Home Message: Athletes who had false positive ECG results had similar anxiety than those who tested normally.  However, they were more concerned about sport disqualification, but felt that more athletes should be screened and felt safer participating.

Electrocardiograms (ECG) can find heart arrhythmias, which may make an athlete susceptible to sudden cardiac death – the leading cause of death among athletes.  However, current recommendations do not support mandatory screening with ECG for all athletes because a thorough medical history should help identify those at risk and the possible negative outcomes of ECG screening; such as, more false positives resulting in athletic disqualification, financial burdens, and emotional distress.  These authors studied the psychological outcomes associated with false-positive ECG screening among collegiate athletes.
Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Aftermarket Helmet Add-Ons Are Not Adding Up

The Ability of an Aftermarket Helmet Add-On Device to Reduce Impact-Force Accelerations During Drop Tests

Breedlove K, Breedlove E, Nauman E, Bowman T, Lininger MR. J Athl Train. 2017; ahead of print

Take Home Message: A soft cap for helmets failed to alter impact severity during a NOCSAE based drop-test battery.

Repeated head impacts are a public health concern due to the potential long-term consequences. Researchers are trying to develop new technologies to lessen these problems by reducing head-impact magnitude. For example, a soft cap that is worn over top of the helmet has been suggested to reduce head-impact magnitude; however, the degree to which the soft cap reduces head impact severity has not been measured. Therefore, the authors sought to evaluate the effectiveness of a soft cap based on standards from the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE), which involved measuring the amount of acceleration during drop tests on helmets with and without the soft cap.
Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Meniscus is Key to Long-Term Joint Health

The Long Term Impact of Osteoarthritis Following Knee Surgery in Former Collegiate Athletes

Simon JE, Grooms DR, and Docherty CL. J Sports Rehab. 2017. [Epub Ahead of Print].

Take Home Message: Many former college athletes with a history of knee surgery, especially for meniscal pathology, reported a diagnosis of osteoarthritis. Those with a history of surgery and diagnosis of osteoarthritis reported poorer long-term outcomes than their peers.

Joint injury – and subsequent surgery – have a major impact on an athlete’s quality of life and increases the risk for an early onset of osteoarthritis. Unfortunately, we know very little about the state of our patients’ quality of life 15 to 25 years after surgery. Therefore, Simon and colleagues completed a cross-sectional study to identify the long-term consequences of knee surgery in a cohort of former collegiate athletes.
Tuesday, September 5, 2017

International Olympic Committee consensus statement on pain management in elite athletes

International Olympic Committee consensus statement on pain management in elite athletes

Hainline B, Derman W, Vernec A, Budgett R, Deie M, Dvořák J, Harle C, Herring SA, McNamee M, Meeuwisse W, Lorimer Moseley G, Omololu B, Orchard J, Pipe A, Pluim BM, Ræder J, Siebert C17, Stewart M, Stuart M, Turner JA, Ware M, Zideman D, Engebretsen L. Br J Sports Med. 2017 Sep;51(17):1245-1258. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2017-097884.

The International Olympic Committee convened a consensus meeting, which led to this consensus paper on the multifaceted aspects of pain physiology and pain management in elite athletes. The major headings were..
  • Prevalence of use of pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments to manage pain in elite athletes
  • Types of pain
  • Mechanisms and types of injury
  • Core principles of making a diagnosis in elite athletes in pain
  • Non-pharmacological pain management strategies in elite athletes
  • Pharmacological pain management strategies in elite athletes
  • Medication management based on pain severity and anticipated RTP
  • Pain management strategies when expected recovery is delayed
  • Antidoping issues in pain management
  • Special considerations: Paralympic athletes
  • Ethical issues
  • Future directions

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

More (Sport) is NOT Better

A Prospective Study on the Effect of Sport Specialization on Lower Extremity Injury Rates in High School Athletes

McGuine TA, Post EG, Hetzel SJ, Brooks MA, Trigsted S, & Bell DR. Am J Sport Med. 2017; Online Ahead of Print July 23, 2017.  DOI: 10.1177/0363546517710213

Take Home Message: An athlete who specializes in sport is more likely to have a lower extremity injury than an athlete with a low level of sport specialization. 

Young athletes are beginning to play one sport year round to focus on sport-specific skills and become a better athlete within that one sport.  Prior investigators have found that sport specialization may be related to a young athlete’s landing mechanics, movement patterns, and history of injury.  However, without following athletes over time it is hard to offer evidence that an athlete who specializes in a sport is more likely to get injured.  Therefore, the authors of this study prospectively investigated lower extremity injuries over the course of a year among 1544 athletes in 29 Wisconsin high schools with various sport specialization categories.
Monday, August 28, 2017

Not Catching Enough Zzzs Could Worsen Concussion Symptoms

Short Sleep and Adolescents’ Performance on a Concussion Assessment Battery: An Experimental Sleep Manipulation Study

Beebe DW, Powers SW, Slattery EW, Gubanich PJ. Clin J Sports Med. 2017; ahead of print.

Take Home Message: An athlete who sleeps 6.5 hours or less per night may report more concussion-related symptoms than when getting a good night’s rest.

The importance of sleep regarding cognitive abilities are well established. Poor sleeping habits and short sleep nights could complicate concussion neurocognitive evaluation and baseline testing, because students who report sleeping less often report more signs and symptoms and have worse cognitive performance. However, no well-designed study has been conducted to see the cause and effect relationship between short and normal sleep nights and reported signs and symptoms and cognitive performance. Therefore, the authors assessed 14 adolescents (~18 years of age; 46% female) following 5 nights of short sleep (6.5 hours/night in bed) and after 5 nights of healthy sleep (9.5 hours/night in bed) to compare cognitive function and subjective symptoms related to sleep time.
Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Playing High School Football May Not Lead to Impaired Cognition or Depression

Association of Playing High School Football With Cognition and Mental Health Later in Life

Deshpande SK, Hasegawa RB, Rabinowitz AR, Whyte J, Roan CL, Tabatabaei A, Baiocchi M, Karlawish JH, Master CL, Small DS. JAMA Neurol. 2017; ahead of print.

Take Home Message: High school football players followed since the 1950’s had no differences in cognitive or depressive symptoms at ~65 years of age compared with other men who did not participate in football.

Many have questioned the long-term safety of football due to previous reports stating there is an increased risk for cognitive impairments and depression later in life among those who played football. Though concerning and informative, many of these studies contain biases or lack a control group. Therefore, these authors followed 2,692 men (~65 years of age) who graduated from high school in 1957 to identify the long-term association of playing high school football with cognitive impairment using a composite cognitive score (letter fluency, delayed word recall tests), and depression using the modified Center for Epidemiological Studies’ Depression Scale score.