social media

Reading #ACSM15 twitter stream, two Fellows of the ACSM: Drs. Anastasia Fischer and Avery Faigenbaum

california coast

Even views from a train are apparently blissful on the California coast.

The 2015 annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine has not ended yet, but I’ve had to cut out early.  I’m sad to say I’m on my way from San Diego to L.A. Well, let me clarify my sadness:  I’m on a train heading up the California coast right now, with an absolutely stunning view outside of my window–talk about Exercise is Medicine!  I may not be burning calories while I blog, but there are plenty of surfers in the water this afternoon burning some for me.

No, I’m not sad to still enjoy a little bit of the California ambience.  I’m sad to bid #ACSM15 so long.  It’s been a great conference.

I can only give a superficial nod to all the sessions that have taken place already.  As the world-renowned Australian injury prevention expert Caroline Finch put it in a tweet of hers: “This conference size always stuns me ”

patricios gray

Drs. Aaron Gray & Jon Patricios, multi-tasking on the dais while talking about the power of social media for sports medicine clinicians.

Dr. Avery Faigenbaum was among a panel of youth sports researchers discussing a new IOC initiative regarding a “Youth Athlete Development Model.”  Pierre d’Hemecourt gave a great, live demonstration of hip ultrasound–I walked away from the session with a renewed sense of the importance of this modality to our profession, a topic CJSM has returned to on several occasions in the journal and on this blog.  Peter Kriz from Brown University gave a hands on demonstration of the clinical use of video analysis in evaluating baseball throwers.  I joined my fellow social media friends, doctors Aaron Gray and Jon Patricios (AKA @MizzouSportsDoc and @JonPatricios) in giving an enjoyable talk on the power of this—of social media in sports medicine.  The power of twitter, for instance, in curating content, in professional networking. The power of podcasting and blogging, whether a producer or user of content.

Of course, there is the socializing at conferences that provides memories as well. I enjoyed a fine diner with Kate Ackerman, the subject of a recent blog post,and Dai Sugimoto,an author of a recent CJSM published study on gender differences in hip abduction/adduction peak torques.

#ACSM15 is not nearly done; there is plenty left today and tomorrow.  But for me, San Diego is well down the train tracks.  Fare well until ACSM 2016 in Boston.  Now that is something to look forward to.

5 ? with Kate Ackerman #RowingDoc #FemaleAthlete15

rowing with Cornell alumni at HOCR.bow seat

Dr. Kate Ackerman (in bow, far right) rowing with Cornell alumni, Head of the Charles Regatta

The 2015 meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine begins in less than a week, and I–like thousands of my colleagues–am getting ready: getting ready for the conference, getting ready for some blogging and tweeting coming to you from San Diego.

I am looking forward to seeing so many friends in the world of sports medicine:  Avery Faigenbaum, Jon Patricios (with whom I’m giving a talk on ‘social media in sports medicine’), Tim Hewett….and Kate Ackerman.

Kathryn Ackerman, M.D., M.P.H. is a friend of mine whom I first met as she was wrapping up her training with Dr. Lyle Micheli, and I was beginning mine.  She is an internist, fellowship trained in endocrinology as well as sports medicine. She is the Medical Director of the Female Athlete Program at Boston Children’s Hospital, the Associate Director of the Sports Endocrine Research Lab at Massachusetts General Hospital, a team physician for US Rowing, and an accomplished rower herself. A renaissance woman.


Dr. Margo Mountjoy (C); Former Editor in Chief of CJSM, Dr. Gordon Matheson (L); and Current Editor in Chief of CJSM Dr. Chris Hughes (R)

She is also the director of an upcoming conference on the “Female Athlete:  Strategies for Optimal Health and Performance”, taking place  June 19 – 20 2015 in Boston. Among the people speaking there are Margo Mountjoy, an internationally recognized expert on the Female Athlete who is also on our Editorial Board.

I just happen to be collaborating on a paper about dance medicine with other colleagues, and the section I am authoring deals in part with some of the issues to be addressed in the Boston conference.  So it was perfect timing for me to catch up with Kate and ask her about her thoughts on the Female Athlete Triad, ‘Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport,’ and more.

Dr. Ackerman!


1) CJSM: Tell us about the upcoming Female Athlete Conference? What are some of the ‘Strategies for Optimal Health and Performance’ you will be discussing in Boston June 19 – 20?

KA: I’m really excited about this conference.  We came up with the idea a few years ago, seeing a need to get good information out to athletes, parents, coaches, and the health providers who treat female athletes.  There really wasn’t anything like this out there- a large conference devoted just to the multiple issues of the female athlete.  So, we held the first 2-day female athlete conference two years ago, and we’ve decided to make it a biennial event. I think it’s a great opportunity to get some great minds together and I’m thrilled that so many people from different parts of the globe have agreed to come speak.  The wealth of information is going to be fantastic and we make sure to provide lots of opportunities to network and mingle.  We have some Brits coming to talk about biomarkers to monitor in endurance female athletes; Swiss Nanna Meyer discussing her experiences applying her sports nutrition research to the diets of US and Swiss Olympians; sports biomechanist Greg Myer speaking about ACL injury prevention; seasoned athletic trainers discussing good training plans for the growing female athlete; eating disorder experts discussing body image and unique issues of female athletes suffering from distorted eating patterns; coaches discussing personality profiling to get the best out of individuals and teams; members of the IOC Medical Commission’s female athlete group discussing RED-S; doctors discussing various sports injury treatments; and star power from Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman and the first woman to enter and win the Boston Marathon, Kathrine Switzer, who has been a great advocate for this conference and women participating in lifelong sports. Read more of this post

#YouthSportSafety: Early Sports Specialization in Youth Athletes

youth sports julie young

My colleague and Athletic Trainer Julie Young,
pool side and talking about injury prevention
in young swimmers

I’ve been thinking a lot about youth sports specialization lately.

It’s likely the nexus of the Olympics, my reading of the book The Sports Gene, and our own journal’s publication of the AMSSM Position Statement on Youth Sports Specialization and Overuse that has prompted this.

Readers of this blog will recall that I recently profiled the AMSSM Position Statement and interviewed the lead author, Dr. John DiFiori. Likewise, I  recently reviewed the excellent book The Sports Gene, which looks into, among many other things, the application of the ’10 000 hour rule’ to athletes’ pursuit of elite sport excellence.  What does it take to make an Olympian?  Many would argue that part of the answer lies in identifying excellence early, and starting to groom that talent at a young age:  it takes about 10 years to fit in those 10 000 hours of dedicated practice.   These forces are at least part of what drive the growing phenomenon of youth sports specialization.

I have a professional bias toward this line of thinking, of course:  I practice clinical pediatric sports medicine, and most of my research interests lie in keeping kids safe and active.

For instance, Nationwide Children’s Hospital (NCH) and the YMCA of Central Ohio recently paired up to release a couple of educational videos on the Education and Prevention of Overuse Injuries in Youth Swimmers and the Risks for Early Specialization in Youth Swimmers.  The task combined my interests in youth sports and swimming (I am a member of the USA Swimming Sports Medicine Task Force).  It was a lot of fun working with folks like Julie Young, a swimmer and athletic trainer at NCH with whom I work and do research.  Click on the links to those videos and let me know what you think.

CJSM has made quite an effort over the years to profile high quality research that looks at the phenomena that impact youth sports.   Read more of this post

Overuse Injuries and Burnout in Youth Sports


10,000 hours of practice, and
he might make the Red Sox?*

We’re very pleased at CJSM to open the New Year with a shout:  a fantastic systematic review and position statement on the subject of youth sport, from the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM).

The focus of the paper–in the January 2014 issue, which has just published–is on overuse injuries, which are thought to represent roughly half of all the injuries youth athletes sustain.

All readers of the journal, and of this blog, will find this a worthwhile read.  I have a selfish interest in the subject, as I am currently practicing pediatric sports medicine, and in my professional life I live and breathe the issues discussed in the paper. Moreover, I know several of the authors of this paper, and I think highly of them all.

But this is not about ’eminence based’ medicine.  No, it’s evidence-based all the way.  The paper is both a systematic review and the AMSSM position statement on the subject of “Overuse Injuries and Burnout in Youth Sports”.  The authors conducted a thorough review of the literature, identifying 953 papers and citing 208 unique references in their comprehensive analysis of this broad subject.  They go on to review what is known, and then make recommendations, classified using the Strength of Recommendation Taxonomy (SORT) grading system.

The paper is broadly organized into the following subsections:  epidemiology; risk factors (intrinsic and extrinsic); discussion of high-risk overuse injuries;  discussion of several concepts mentioned frequently in the literature of youth sports (readiness for sport; sport specialization; burnout); and prevention.

The study is so very comprehensive, I cannot do better justice to it than encourage you to read it yourself.  I thought I might here mention some of what stood out for me. Read more of this post

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