ECOSEP in Dubai

The Burj Khalifa, the tallest structure in the world — among the dazzling sights in Dubai

Our intrepid Junior Associate Editor, Dawn Thompson, has been busy not only with her training but also her travels:  she recently attended the ECOSEP Congress in Dubai, where she was Tweeting her thoughts in real time.  At last having the chance to catch her breath in between the demands of the registrar’s life, she shares with us a post on the congress’ proceedings.

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If you are a follower of CJSM on twitter you may recall that back in December I attended the 5th Congress of the European College of Sports and Exercise Physicians (ECOSEP) in Association with FIFA in Dubai. Somehow it’s now a new year and January is already behind us – if only there were a magic button to stop time and give me a few extra hours in each day! Now, with a few quiet moments to myself’ I wanted to reflect on what was a great conference with plenty on offer for anyone involved in Sports and Exercise Medicine.

This was the first International Sports Medicine Conference held in Dubai, with experts from around the world meeting at this central hub.  During the congress one speaker described it as a huge step forward for the future of Sports Medicine in Dubai: a country in which sports physicians normally have to travel to other continents to get the opportunity to learn from leaders in the field. The event was held at Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences, and there was a real sense of pride from all the staff who had worked tirelessly to make it a success. With the FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence already based in Dubai, I really hope the success of this event will prompt more organisations to consider Dubai when looking for a central location for a worldwide conference.

Dr. Thompson at the podium, ECOSEP Dubai

It was also the first ECOSEP Congress to hold a careers talk and discussion of trainee opportunities as well as a junior doctors workshop – run by myself as part of the ECOSEP Junior Doctors Committee. This was a chance for trainees to ask questions on SEM in a low-key environment and learn more about this important specialty. Juniors are the future of the specialty, and ECOSEP prides itself on helping to nurture and develop young doctors who will carry forth the work of SEM. Read more of this post

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The Controversy Over Grass

madison plains

Where Pigskin Meets Grass

To be clear, my topic today is NOT a survey of what cannabis legalization has wrought in states like Washington or Colorado [as an aside, in our own little corner of the USA the question of legalization will be on the ballot in Ohio this fall].

The grasses we’re discussing are ‘Bermuda,’ ‘Fescue,’ ‘Bluegrass’ and the like.

And the question today is not whether ‘the Dude abides’ [he most certainly does], but is this: which is the safer surface on which to play sport, grass or turf?

The subject came to mind after reading about a recent kerfuffle in the NFL.  The Houston Texans have played on a specially designed grass surface over the years. This season, they are switching to turf in response to concerns voiced about the field quality by opponents such as the Kansas City Chiefs.  In the NFL, in this season for this stadium, there’s a push toward turf.

On the other hand, readers may remember the controversy that raged much of this year regarding the use of turf [as opposed to grass] for the FIFA Women’s World Cup. And that ‘other’ world cup, Rugby World Cup 2015, is taking place right now in England, with  Twickenham Stadium and its grass pitch as that event’s centerpiece.

Grass vs. turf?  The perennial question.  Looking at it solely from the perspective of injury prevention [as opposed to factors such as sports performance or maintenance costs], we have looked at this question from time to time in the blog and in the journal.

For instance, this summer, in the July 2015 CJSM, O’Kane et al. published their timely findings looking into shoe wear and surface type on injury rates in female youth soccer players.  They found that a grass surface and wearing cleats on grass raised rates of lower extremity injuries; they concluded: “When considering playing surfaces for training, communities and soccer organizations should consider the third-generation artificial turf a safe alternative to grass.” Something to consider in this population and this sport and a countervailing argument to the push for grass in future iterations of the Women’s World Cup? Perhaps.  Or might that be too great of a generalization, extrapolating from the youth to the elite sport level?  Very likely.

What about you: your thoughts on this matter?  Taken purely from the perspective of sporting safety and injury prevention, what are your thoughts, your read of the medical literature?  Grass vs. Turf:  which is safer?  Does the sport matter?  Does the level of play matter?

Tell us in the poll!

 

What’s a World Cup without controversy?

Uruguay 4 - Chile 0

Uruguay’s Alvaro Pereira

Followers of this blog will know I have just returned from Quebec City, where I spent a fabulous four days catching up with professional colleagues from around the world at the 2014 FIMS sports medicine conference.  The event was hosted by the Canadian Academy of Sports and Exercise Medicine (CASEM), who conjointly held their annual meeting with FIMS.

Followers of the vastly bigger event known as the World Cup will know during this same period, there was the medical (mis)decision seen around the world involving Uruguay’s Alvaro Pereira:  knocked unconscious, and subsequently allowed to return to the pitch.

In truth, I got to see the event live, along with hundreds of millions of other people on the planet.  On a break in between conference sessions, I was in my hotel room. I had the television on while working on the laptop, when I noticed the downed Pereira.  My initial glimpse of his limp body was first out of context, which is to say I didn’t see the hit live, and I had yet to see the replay; my initial reaction was to fear the worst, as Pereira’s entirely limp body had me concerned he had suffered a cardiac event.

Quickly, though, I got to see the replay–the knee to the head–and it all made sense to me.

What followed, in some ways, made no sense.

Like the others in the viewing universe, I saw Pereira attended to by his medical staff.   As he got to the sideline he started to vigorously protest the intended substitution; and, of course as you all know, Pereira eventually made his way back to the pitch……

And at that moment I saw the twitter universe explode.

At the very least, the 2012 Zurich Consensus Statement on Concussion in Sport was being honored in the breach rather than the observance.

Just a smattering of the tweets: Read more of this post

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