This week’s best of MomsTeam.com, a website devoted to health issues involving youth sports:
* The benefits of sports participation are numerous, says Lyle Micheli, M.D., Director, Division of Sports Medicine at Children’s Hospital Boston, in this instructive video, including improved physical fitness and opportunities for socialization. Parents should help their child find a sport they enjoy, but too much sports can result in psychological burnout, physical injuries, and turn the child off to physical exercise.
* Structural abnormalities persist in the brains of children and teens for months after mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) or concussion, even when symptoms have cleared and results on neurocognitive tests have returned to normal, finds a sobering new study in the Journal of Neuroscience. “These findings may have important implications about when it is truly safe for a child to resume physical activities that may produce a second concussion, potentially further injuring an already vulnerable brain,” said lead author, Andrew Meyer, PhD, associate professor of translational neuroscience at the Mind Research Network and research assistant professor in the psychology department at the University of New Mexico, and supports conservative return to play keeping kids out of contact and collision sports as long as possible after being symptom free.
* Most people think that, when an athlete is hurt, they see a physical therapist (PT), but if they are looking to run faster, jump higher, or get stronger, they see a personal trainer or strength coach. The fact is that a physical therapist can help a healthy athlete improve their performance, too. As musculoskeletal specialists, PTs are, of course, experts in injury rehabilitation. But they are also experts in maximizing athletic potential, whether it be a quarterback who wants to throw the ball further or harder, or a running back looking to explode faster out of the backfield. How? By using the same orthopedic tests, measures, and assessments involved in treating injured athletes to expose musculoskelatal weaknesses in healthy athletes, says Keith J. Cronin, DPT.
* While no medicine has been shown to effectively speed the recovery from concussive brain injury (although, as pointed out in an article last week, the drug Amantadine has shown promise), anecdotal evidence suggests that some new and non-traditional therapies may help relieve the symptoms of post-concussion syndrome, and a new study shows that strict cognitive and physical rest, even long after injury, can help patients recover from PCS.
* With a new study in the journal Pediatrics showing that almost six percent of U.S. high school students are abusing anabolic steroids, the recent position statement by the National Athletic Trainer’s Association recent position statement says active monitoring for such abuse and that maintaining an open, honest, and evidence-based dialog with all stakeholders, including athletes, coaches, administrators, parents, advisory groups, and others, is vital.
– MomsTeam.com and NFLEvolution.com