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Illinois Athletic Trainer Saves High School Baseball Catcher's Life

A Manual High School baseball player is thankful to be alive after a baseball game last Tuesday took a turn for the worst.  Austin Noel was the catcher in a game against Tremont.  During the fourth inning, a foul ball caught Noel under his face mask, hit him in the throat and knocked him unconscious. That blocked his airway.

Luckily, an athletic trainer was in the dugout and helped save Noel's life.

The details of what happened April 1 may be fuzzy for Noel, but what he does know is that Greg Eberle took the lead in saving his life.

"Never in my career have I had to deal with a situation like that," said Eberle, Assistant Director of Sports Medicine at Hopedale Medical Complex.

Last Tuesday, a foul ball turned your typical high school game into a race to save one player's life.

"Greg opened my airway and gave me the breath, basically the life I needed to live," said Noel.  Noel's airway was blocked after a foul ball hit him in the throat.

"When we got him down he was gurgling which is not really breathing," Eberle said. "He did go unconscious and he was non-responsive at the time."  Eberle tried to clear the airway and started mouth-to-mouth while the school nurse monitored his heart until emergency crews arrived.

Athletic Trainers In Demand

Early in his high school career, Ryan Arnold, a lacrosse player, wound up with chronic exertional compartment syndrome, a painful muscle and nerve condition caused in athletes by repetitive exercise.

It wasn't properly diagnosed until his senior year, when a new athletic trainer at his school committed himself to figuring out why Arnold's legs hurt so much. Arnold had surgery and was able to play the sport in college.

"I saw the effect that a good athletic trainer can have on somebody's future," said the 26-year-old athletic trainer with the University of Rochester Medical Center's Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation.

According to the New York Department of Labor,employment opportunities for athletic trainers are expected to grow by 28.6 percent between 2010 and 2020 in the Finger Lakes region. Demand should increase as awareness grows about sports-related injuries at young ages.

Arnold, who has a bachelor's degree in sports medicine from Pennsylvania's Mercyhurst University and is licensed as a certified athletic trainer through New York state, splits his time between URMC's sports medicine clinic in Brighton and the Aquinas Institute on Dewey Avenue.

He focuses on preventing injuries, as well as providing emergency and rehabilitation care for injuries. Weekend games at Aquinas, where he works with more than 20 sports teams in grades 7 to 12, are responsible for his typical six-day workweek.

March 31- Athletic Training Month Resource of the Day

Today brings a close to athletic training month and the athletic training month tips of the day.  At the ATSNJ, we are committed to sports safety so be sure to continue to visit our website as your main resource for sport safety tips and athletic training news.

If you read a tip that you found useful you can always come back to read it.  All tips for March 2013 athletic training month at http://atsnj.org/tags/tip-day

Remember to continue to promote sports safety everyday and that

"We've Got Your Back"

 

March 28 - Athletic Training Month Resource of the Day

 

Ice or Heat for Sports Injury

Do you know when to use ice and when to use heat on a sports injury?

Acute and Chronic Injuries

Acute injuries are sudden, sharp, traumatic injuries that occur immediately (or within hours) and cause pain (possibly severe pain). Most often acute injuries result from some sort of impact or trauma such as a fall, sprain, or collision and it's pretty obvious what caused the injury.

Acute injuries also cause common signs and symptoms of injury such as pain, tenderness, redness, skin that is warm to the touch, swelling and inflammation. If you have swelling, you have an acute injury.

Chronic Injuries, on the other hand, can be subtle and slow to develop. They sometimes come and go, and may cause dull pain or soreness. They are often the result of overuse, but sometimes develop when an acute injury is not properly treated and doesn't heal.

Ice

Icing an injured body part is an important part of treatment. Icing injuries can be effective for sprains, strains, overuse injuries and bruises.

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.​

Study: Concussion recovery time doubles when injury is sustained during school year

Concussions and the treatment after one is sustained have been at the forefront of media coverage in recent years. What once was viewed by some as brag-worthy or a badge of honor now is being taken seriously for its potential immediate and long-term effects.
 
While progress has been made in how the seriousness of a concussion is perceived, it’s still relatively unknown when it’s acceptable for individuals, including children, to return to normal cognitive and physical activity after suffering one.
 
According to a study by the Concussion Clinic at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, a child who sustains a concussion during the school year takes significantly more time to recover than one who suffers a similar injury during the summer.
 
“We were surprised at the magnitude of the differences,” Robert Doss, PsyD, co-director of the Pediatric Concussion Program and one of the study’s researchers, said. “We weren’t surprised that it was in that direction; just simply that the magnitude was what it was.”
 
Researchers took patients seen in the Concussion Clinic at Children’s from 2011-12 — 43 children who suffered concussions during the school year and 44 injured in the summer — and monitored their progress. For the children who sustained a concussion in the summer, the average number of days to recover was 35. Recovery time more than doubled (72 days) when the injury was sustained during the school year.
 

March 26 - Athletic Training Month Resource of the Day

Youth Sports Injury Prevention Suggestion

Here good document on sports safety recommendations.  While  mainly focused on Japan, there are some good pieces of information that are pertinent to sports safety in the United States. Particularly suggestions for reducing injuries and head injuries. There are also some good statistics as well.

Topics covered include:

  • Youth Sports Injury Prevention
  • The scope of the youth sports injury problem in the United States
  • Recommendation to prevent youth sports injuries

To read the entire https://coa.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/AaronLMillerUSAReportforMRIForCOA.pdf

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

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