CJSM Podcast 7: Chris Nowinski

jsm-podcast-bg-1Our second podcast of the year focuses on the on-going sport ‘concussion crisis,’ a topic we have explored in previous podcasts with guests such as Drs. Cindy Chang and Matt Gammons of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) and Drs. Oliver Leslie and Neil Craton of the Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine (CASEM/ACMSE).


Chris Nowinski

We’re happy to have Chris Nowinski as our guest for this podcast.  He is the author of Head Games, the co-founder and chief executive officer of the Sports Legacy Institute, and a published author in the pages of the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine.

Our conversation ranged from the issues of underreporting of brain injury in sport to the use of helmet sensors in helmeted sports to identify possible concussive and sub-concussive hits; from youth football to elite soccer, and more.

We appreciate the time Chris gave us from his busy schedule, and we hope you enjoy the conversation.  Share with us your comments–here on the blog or on our twitter feed, @cjsmonline.


In the Press


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Our Main Website is a treasure trove of information: radio buttons often highlight associated characteristics of individual studies

The Atlantic, a highly-regarded monthly magazine published in the United States, recently published an article entitled “The Genetics of Being Injury Prone.”  It has garnered a lot of buzz on social media.

The study chiefly referenced in the article was recently published in our January 2015 CJSM:  “The Dawning Age for Genetic Testing in Sports.”  I found the same study–the lead study for the January CJSM–to be so important to disseminate that I blogged about it a month ago, and am reblogging that post (see below) so the study and the concept get the attention they deserve.

The Atlantic article went on to cite another CJSM study from 2013, as well:  Collagen Genes and Exercise-Associated Muscle Cramping, which I commend to you as well.

Enjoy the studies, the blog posts, the Atlantic article.  And take the time to head to our main website at cjsportmed.com, a treasure trove of information:  studies, polls, podcasts……An interesting feature of the site are the ‘buttons’ next to published studies that may be ‘inthe news,’ ‘open access,’ ‘free,’ or have other media associated with them–blog posts, podcasts, and the like (see above image).

Have a great weekend.

Originally posted on Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine Blog:

The recent NFC championship game proved, I think, this truth: a true champion is not dead until the final whistle blows. The Seahawks  won in dramatic fashion over the Packers, my favorite team.  As many commentators noted, Seattle played horribly for 58 minutes, but were stellar for the last two; and that was all that mattered in the end.

As a fan, my initial reaction is to think “we gave it away.”  But that is a disservice to the champions.  The Seahawks never lay down, and they seized the moment when it presented itself.

Still…..as a fan, I wonder–if Aaron Rodgers’ calf were 100%, would we have pulled away more decisively earlier in the game?  The field goals in the red zone: would they have been touchdowns instead if our quarterback had his usual mobility?

Bdna_cropped Does Rodgers carry a valuable SNP in the genes of his gastrocnemius? I…

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Placebos & Cyclones–it’s becoming even more interesting at ACSP

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ACSP members learning how to manage trauma on the pitch.

The Australasian College of Sports Physicians (ACSP) has been holding its annual conference in Coffs Harbour, NSW.  We have one more post coming from our intrepid correspondent Dr. Hamish Osborne.

Yes, ‘intrepid’–as he remains on site for the end of the conference and post-conference proceedings,  Cyclone Marcia approaches.  Hamish, I wish we had a live feed showing the wind whipping your hair while you stand on a quay.
In truth, stay safe: and we look forward already to your posts from the next ACSP meeting.
As a category 5 cyclone bears down on our coast the Australasian College of Sports Physicians annual scientific conference has drawn to a close. The most fascinating talk  on the final day was by A/Prof Damien Finniss from University of Sydney. He is a pain specialist with a special interest in placebo. You don’t have to deliver a placebo for placebo to be working. The social interaction of a consultation, context, cost, choice of words all have a placebo effect that overlays our intervention. This means we as clinicians are using placebo all the time in practice – wow, just now need to think a bit harder about that and how to be more efficient when using it.
Not all of us have gone home from conference – 40 fellows and trainees have stayed on for a Management of Sporting Trauma course. Basic and advanced life support skills and management of serious acute conditions are important skills that every sports physician hopes they never have to use on the side of a sporting field.
So tomorrow we will finally wrap it all up and hopefully be out of beautiful Coffs Harbour before the storm surge and rain flood our way out. Keep an eye out on our website for next year’s conference location and dates.  Remember February in Australia is (normally) warm/hot and the scenery world renowned. Would love to see you all down under next February – put it in your diary.
Thanks again Hamish.  And Cyclone Marcia is no figment of the imagination, for sure:  get out of Coffs Harbour in one piece!


The intrepid Hamish Osborne: our CJSM reporter and ACSP instructor

To our readers, I’d encourage you to check out just one of CJSM’s offerings on the issue of placebo in sports medicine:  a fine 2008 piece of original research from (fittingly) an Australian group, “Characterizing the Effectiveness of the Placebo Effect in Sports Medicine.”  Listening to Dr. Finniss, reading the research, we all might just approach our next patient in a slightly different, more efficacious manner.

Australasian College of Sports Medicine: Galas, Golf & Geriatrics (and some Surfing)


Dr. Stu Watson, lecturing on ‘surfing medicine’

Those of you who follow this blog likely read the most recent post, which was coming to you from Down Under courtesy of Dr. Hamish Osborne, a member of the CJSM Editorial Board.

Dr. Osborne practices in Dunedin, New Zealand, and is a member of the Australasian College of Sports Physicians (ACSP), one of this journal’s partner societies.   The College is having its annual conference in Coffs Harbour, NSW, and Dr. Osborne is reporting on the proceedings.
Without further ado:  Dr. Osborne!
The  morning after the night before–big celebrations last night here at the ACSP Conference at Coffs Harbour.  At the annual gala dinner fellowship certificates were presented to 5 recently completed trainees. The dinner was preceded by our annual general meeting at which major constitutional overhaul has set the college up to spend a lot more of our time and effort in further developing our training, education and research programs. Celebrations for both of these occasions went deep into the evening (and perhaps for some into the small hours).
Dr Stu Watson, one of our founding members and second president of the College, gave us a very interesting presentation on the literature and science being used in one of his favourite passions – surfing. These athletes are using FIFA 11plus protocols and Olympic lifting in preparation for surfing and prevention of injuries; it’s not just about slipping on your wetsuit and hitting the lip.
My favourite talk so far was by Prof. Marie Antoinette Fiatarone Singh from University of Sydney. She is a geriatrician and researcher focusing on integration of geriatric medicine, exercise and nutrition. She practices in Sydney but also has board certification in internal medicine and geriatric medicine in the USA. While we know that exercise is good for arthritic knees, pain can effectively limit the amount of walking a patient may get.  Dr. Singh emphasized that we clinicians try not to get these patients to walk; rather, they should lift relatively heavy weights through a somewhat limited range of motion initially,  and then they may progressively add range of motion and aerobic fitness as the increasing strength allows. It’s likely that this method is a disease modifying treatment!
This afternoon we will be off to practice what we preach:  a round of golf, which will have most of us exceeding our weekly required dose of walking for health. It might be the only preparation I get for the conference fun run tomorrow morning.  Hopefully, my swimming fitness will translate nicely to a short run.
Looking forward to the Management of Sporting Trauma (MOST) course later in the week. Watch out for my next post from there and a wrap up of the conference.
Thanks Hamish!  Your reporting gave me a sense of deja vu regarding another college of sport medicine:  the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).  As a Team Physician for the University of California, Santa Cruz, I once gave a talk at an annual ACSM meeting on surfing medicine; I would love to have sat in on Dr. Watson’s talk.  And I am happy to say I got a chance to catch Dr. Fiatarone Singh at last year’s ACSM meeting, and I concur:  she does a fabulous job discussing her years of research on the application of resistance training to the health and wellness of the elderly (and that work is frequently referenced in manuscripts in our own publication).
Enjoy the proceedings (and we hope you break par)!
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