Ice Hockey & Head Injury — can we have one without the other? The podcast

I am pleased to introduce our most recent guest to the CJSM podcast: Aynsley Smith, RN, PhD of the Mayo Clinic.  She is the lead author of a new General Review in our September 2017 issue: Concussion In Ice Hockey: Current Gaps and Future Directions in an Objective Diagnosis.

Dr. Smith and the Mayo Clinic have been at the forefront of research into the prevention, diagnosis and management of concussion in ice hockey.  The Mayo Clinic has hosted three semi-annual ‘ice hockey concussion summits,’ the most recent having just taken place at the end of September

It’s probably always a good time to talk about concussions in ice hockey, but perhaps never better than the start of the NHL season  [my hometown Columbus Blue Jackets open their season tonight!]

In our conversation, Dr. Smith and I cover a lot of ground:  old time Stanley Cup drama, fighting, promising new developments in objective diagnoses, and the potential for rules changes and more to minimize the risk in this exciting, fast-moving contact sport.

The review is open access — which means it’s freely available.  So….subscribe to the CJSM podcast on iTunes, or go directly to our website for a listen to the conversation I had with Aynsley.  And then get the article itself for your weekend reading.

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IOC Injury Prevention Conference, Monaco

The setting for IOC Injury Prevention Conference, photo Osman Ahmed

Where do I begin?

The IOC World Conference on Prevention of Injury and Illness in Sport took place in Monaco a couple of weeks ago (16 – 18 March).

It was one of the best conferences I have ever attended.

Drawing from clinicians across the globe, the conference packed in ‘not-to-be-missed’ sessions over the course of the three days.  The issues ranged from prevention of ACL injuries to the best treatment of tendinopathies; preventing sudden cardiac death to addressing the scourge of physical and sexual abuse in sports.

South African friends (L to R): Jon Patricios, Ross Tucker, Wayne Viljoen, Phatho Zondi

The lecturers were an impressive array of clinicians, many of whose names will be familiar to readers of this CJSM blog or the journal itself: Roald Bahr organized the proceedings and talked about the challenges of screening for athletes at risk of injury; past AMSSM presidents Jonathan Drezner and Cindy Chang gave keynote addresses, as did the esteemed Willem van Mechelen; Osman Ahmed and a panel of others gave a very informative presentation on the uses of social media in sports medicine.  The list goes on.

I can’t do justice to the full conference, if only because of the necessary limitation of ‘concurrent sessions’ — with so much content to cover, the organizers understandably needed to schedule sessions aside from the keynote speeches concurrently.  How to choose when there may be two or three talks one wants to see at the same time? Read more of this post

Six Nations — a hymn to rugby

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In the President’s Box, watching South African Rugby — photo: A Brooks

One of Rugby Union’s big, international events – The Six Nations Championship – kicked off this weekend, and we’re looking forward to the great sport the event will offer through mid-March (the last competitions take place March 18).

I have a soft spot for rugby (union and league), though it is a sport I never played myself (a middle- and long-distance track runner, I would have been eaten up and spit out on the rugby pitch). I’ve lived at different times in southern Africa and New Zealand, where I was exposed to the glorious traditions of both Springbok and All Blacks rugby.  And I did my sports medicine training under Dr. Lyle Micheli, whom many know played rugby well into his sixties.  Inevitably, one gets to take care of plenty of rugby athletes when spending some time with Dr. Micheli.

Rugby is a sport that combines collision with endurance, fierce play with fluid movement.  It is also a sport about which it has been written:  “Rugby is a game for barbarians played by gentlemen. Football is a game for gentlemen played by barbarians.”  I don’t intend on offending fans of soccer/football, but I do want to emphasize the special character of so many of the players, coaches, referees and others I see in the sport of rugby.

“Building character since 1886”:  that’s how World Rugby, the sport’s international governing body states their mission.

Consequently I have become, over time, increasingly involved with USA Rugby and have written several of these CJSM blog posts on various issues related to the sport.  My interest continues to grow.

This personal interest parallels the interest CJSM has in publishing research related to the sport. Read more of this post

Head guards in boxing — the podcast

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Dr. Mike Loosemore, lead author of new CJSM boxing study

We open 2017 with a new podcast on the new (non)-intervention in Olympic-style boxing:  head guards, or the lack thereof.

Our guest is Dr. Mike Loosemore MBBS MSc PhD FFSEM(UK), a consultant in sport and exercise medicine at the Institute of Sport, Exercise and Health, University College London.  Dr. Loosemore is currently the doctor to the British Olympic Boxing team, and a well known figure in the boxing medicine world.

He is, as well, the lead author of a highlighted study in our January 2017 issue: The Use of Head Guards in AIBA Boxing Tournaments — A Cross-Sectional Observational Study.  The team of researchers included Julian Bailes, whose name will be familiar to most people who study and treat sport-related concussions [or familiar to those who watched the movie Concussion in 2016].

Rio 2016 was the first Olympic competition since the 1984 games in Los Angeles where male boxers did not wear head guards , a rules change which generated a lot of controversy. Research like Dr. Loosemore’s was instrumental in making the determination to stop 52 years of practice.jsm-podcast-bg-1

Just before Christmas, we chatted with Dr. Loosemore, and he shared what he and his team found in their study and the back story behind the use, and now discontinuation, of headguards in Olympic-style boxing.

Be sure to listen to the podcast here and read the study (free access currently) here…..and, as ever, let us know what you think, or give Dr. Loosemore a shout out on Twitter @doctorloosemore

 

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