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ATSNJ's Robb Rehberg on Catastrophic Injuries from ATSNJ on Vimeo.

 

March 27 - Athletic Training Month Resource of the Day

Preventing Little League Elbow

"Little League Elbow" -- is an inflammation of the inner elbow that affects an alarming number of youth baseball players across America. Pitchers are most affected by this injury, which is the result of the excessive stress on the growth plate in a child’s forearm caused by excessive throwing. Children who experience little league elbow often complain of pain on the inside of their elbows and an inability to fully extend their arms.

Here are a few steps you can take to prevent little league elbow before it starts. 

1. Monitor pitch counts. 

  •  9-10  year olds should throw no more than 50 pitches per game, or 75 in a week.
  • 11-12 year olds should be kept to 75 pitches per game and 100 per week.
  • 13-15 year olds should keep their counts under 75 per game and 125 per week.​

2. Monitor the frequency of  pitching.

The number of times you pitch during the week is also important. Even in the major leagues, starting pitchers throw only once every four days. Rest time should depend on the number of pitches thrown in the last game. For pitchers ages 7-16, pitch counts can be easily broken up into units of 20. For example, 20 pitches or fewer require one day of rest; 20-40 require two days off; 40-60 require three days of rest; and anything above 60 pitches requires a break of at least four days.​

March 24 - Athletic Training Month Resource of the Day

As a follow up to yesterday tip of the day.  Here are some tips that may work for you as you try to avoid shin pain.

  • Increase stride rate to around 180 steps per minute. You can measure your stride rate by counting the number of times a single foot hits the ground in a minute, then multiplying by two.  180 is the rate that most top endurance runners have.  
  • Minimize the number of hard workouts. Running hard puts more strain on your shins.  Build up a slow mileage base until you beat shin pain.  At the very least, don’t run hard two days in a row.  Mix in very slow runs and off days to let your shins recover.
  • Run almost exclusively on soft trails, tracks, or treadmills. 
  • Wear the proper shoe for your feet.
  • Stretch before and after every run.

If shin pains does occur seek the appropriate medical attention fro evaluation and the proper treatment strategies.

 

March 23 - Athletic Training Month Resource of the Day

Shin Splints vs Stress Fractures

With spring track season now underway for over 3 weeks, in New Jersey, we thought it would be good to explain the difference between shin splints vs stress fractures of the lower leg.

A shin splint is an inflammation of the tissue running along the bone in the shin. Shin splints develop when the muscles and tissues tear due to the repeated pounding of running. This is usually caused by inflexible calf muscles in the back of the lower-leg, improper shoe choice, shoes that are not providing enough cushion, or ramping distance too quickly. A stress fracture is a very small crack or group of cracks that forms in the bone itself, similar to the white crease that would develop if you bent a credit card a few times.

The major difference in differentiating between a shin splint and a stress fracture is usually what we call “point tenderness”. With a shin splint, if you run your fingers along the shin, it will usually hurt all along the bone as you pass your fingers down the leg. With a stress fracture, there is usually one specific spot (or multiple spots) that hurts really badly. These spots are usually about the size of dime. The rest of the area will be much less tender.  In addition, people with stress fractures will also have pain with walking, sitting and even sometimes complain of pain that wakes them up from sleeping at night.

Stress fractures are much less common than shin splints. In most cases, a shin splint is a more likely explanation for shin pain, especially in new runners.

March 22 - Athletic Training Month Resource of the Day

"High" Ankle Sprain vs a "Common" Ankle Sprain

Ankle sprains are common injuries. In fact, they are one of the most common injuries encountered in the United States. But what is the difference between a common ankle sprain and a high ankle sprain? And why do athletes with a high ankle sprain seem to be out for a longer period of time? The reason lies in the anatomy of the ankle and the different ligaments injured in a common vs. high ankle sprain. 

The ankle is made of three bones in the lower leg:  the tibia, the fibula, and the talus. These bones act together to form the ankle joint, which typically sustains loads three times a person’s body weight with normal daily activity. The soft tissues that surround the ankle allow for its stability and motion. The ligaments, in particular, stabilize the ankle. 

Common Ankle Sprains

March 16 - Athletic Training Month Resource of the Day

Sprains, Strains and Contusions

How to Recognize and Prevent the Aches and Pains Most Common to Athletic Play

Athletes of all skill levels are bound to suffer some degree of injury during play or even pre- or post game. But, what exactly is your ailment and how should you treat it?

Sprains result when you over stretch or tear your capsule or ligament. Ligaments are tissues that connect bone to bone. The joint capsule is similar to a ligament and surrounds the joint.

Strains, also referred to as pulls, result from over stretching or tearing a muscle or tendon. Tendons are tissues that attach muscles to bones.

Contusions, typically known as bruises, are injuries to your tissue or bone in which the skin is not broken. Blood vessels rupture and bleed into the tissue causing discoloration. Bruises are usually blue or purple at first, and then gradually fade to various shades of brown, yellow and green as they rise to the surface of the skin.

For an informational handout on recognizing and caring for sprains, strains and contusion please visit:

ATSNJ: Sprains, Strains, and Contusions

March 3 -Athletic Training Month Resource of the Day

Participation in youth sports is at an all-time high. With participation comes sports injuries: 

  • 1 in 5 Emergency Room Visits are result of sports, recreation, or exercise – 3.65 million/yr (CDC)
  • Injuries to children 15 & under, playing the 29 most popular sports in the United States cost the United States public $49 billion/yr (The Consumer Products Safety Council)
  • An athlete’s injury has an effect on his/her parents, coaches, the team, his schooling,  health care professional, teammates

March is National Athletic Training Month.  The ATSNJ recognizes the important role parents, and coaches  play in preventing injuries and because of this the ATSNJ has developed a presentation to assist ensuring sports safety.

To see this presentation visit: http://www.atsnj.org/documents/pdf/2010_ATSNJSportsSafetyforCoachesandParents.pdf

 

Because Curlers Can Pull Muscles, Too

The repetitive sliding and sweeping at the Olympic curling center exact a toll that physical therapists for the United States and Britain try to minimize. Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Among the things that a curling team would not seem to need, an official athletic trainer might rank with a beach umbrella and a maid to sweep up after the athletes. But here is Brian McWilliams, a certified athletic trainer, on hand to treat any injury that might befall an American curler.
 
He knows what you are thinking.
 
“I get that all the time: ‘What injuries do they have?’ ” McWilliams said. “You know, it looks so simple. But it’s really a unique and difficult sport.”
 
There are certainly events at these Winter Games that require sophisticated medical assistance. Athletes have sustained severe injuries in violent crashes in slopestyle skiing and moguls, and danger looms over the sliding sports like luge because of the speeds attained. Curling? Less so.
 
The United States and Britain are the only delegations here with trainers devoted solely to their curling teams. The Canadian team, a longtime powerhouse in the sport, relies on staff shared with other athletes, and the Russian team enjoys home-court access to a variety of medical and training professionals.
 
Maggie Bush, the physiotherapist for Britain’s curlers, described it as a “dream job.” A Scot who hails from generations of curlers, Bush moved from working with dancers and performers in London’s West End to curlers after moving back to Scotland in 2007.
 

How to Prevent a Pitching Sports Injuries

"The debate over youth pitching has shifted in recent years from what types of pitches youth pitchers should avoid to how many pitches are too many for a young throwing arm. The mechanics of throwing a curve ball won’t necessarily damage a young pitcher’s arm, but the repetitive throwing as a pitcher learns to throw a curve can be the source of minor and sometimes serious damage to the arm; causing elbow injury or shoulder injury."
Continue reading the article...  Kerlan Job Clinic:  How to Prevent a Pitching Sports Injury

Young football players can learn how to limit injuries

As the nation's largest youth football organization, Pop Warner's decision to limit pregame contact to ward off head injuries that might haunt its players over a lifetime could be a game-changer.
For the 285,000 children, ages 5 to 15, who play in Pop Warner leagues, practicing largely without full-speed blocking and tackling will help safeguard young athletes who researchers say are more susceptible to injury. While restrictions on when an injured player may return to the field of play are being promulgated for many high school football players, it's particularly important to protect younger players from a first concussion that puts them at greater risk of repeated and more serious brain trauma.
To read more, click here. 

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