Jan 29, 2015
Bulletin Board

Soccer Injury Rate Linked to Game Frequency

Do soccer players need more rest between matches to stay healthy? Yes, says a study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine April online edition, which found that competitions in close succession led to an increased injury rate.

At the Laboratory of Human Movement Studies at the University of Lille in France, researchers followed professional soccer players in the UEFA Champions League for 52 games over two seasons. They reviewed match results, compiling data on each player’s total distance run, high-intensity distance completed, sprint distance, and number of sprints per game while also documenting injuries and player participation statistics.

Gregory Dupont, PhD, lead author of the study, told the Kansas City Star that injury risk was doubled when athletes played two games per week compared to one game per week. “Playing multiple matches in a week without sufficient time for adequate recovery can lead to fatigue, and… physiological function may not be returned to normal when the recovery time is too short,” he noted. “[Players] experienced a variety of different injuries, however the most common injuries included ligament sprains and strains/tears of muscles and tendons. The sites most injured were the ankle, the knee joints, and the thigh, groin, and calf. In addition, most major injuries occurred when players played two games per week.”

According to Dupont, the study highlights a need for improved recovery strategies when athletes compete frequently. He said this includes immersion in an ice bath after games and using compression garments after competition. “We also recommended that recovery following a game can be further optimized by consuming high glycemic index carbohydrate foods and proteins, such as sports drinks, milkshakes, yogurts, soup, and sandwiches,” Dupont said.

For more information on the study, “Effect of 2 Soccer Matches in a Week on Physical Performance and Injury Rate,” go to ajs.sagepub.com and enter “2 Soccer Matches” into the search window.

Weightlifting Injuries on the Rise

According to researchers from the Center for Injury Research and Policy (CIRP) at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, emergency rooms in the U.S. saw more than 970,000 weight training-related injuries from 1990 to 2007. That represents a 50-percent jump from the previous 18-year period.

Their study, published in the April issue of the American Journal of Sports Medicine, analyzed injuries directly related to weight training. Among the findings, which were based on data drawn from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, was that males ages 13 to 24 remain the most frequently injured population, but the percentage of females injured while lifting weights is on the rise.

The researchers also found that injuries to the upper trunk were most common, prompting 25 percent of ER visits, while injuries to the lower trunk made up 20 percent. Sprains and strains were the most frequently diagnosed injury type, followed by soft tissue injuries.

Free weights were the most common cause of weightroom injuries, with 90 percent of all injuries attributed to their use (or misuse). Among those, 65 percent resulted from a weight being dropped. Children 12 and under had the highest free weight-related injury rate of any age group, with a higher proportion of lacerations and fractures than older lifters.

The take-home message? Athletes need instruction before exertion. “Before beginning a weight training program, it is important that people of all ages consult with a health professional… to create a safe training program based on their age and capabilities,” study author Dawn Comstock, PhD, Principal Investigator at CIRP, said in a press release. “Getting proper instruction on how to use weightlifting equipment and the proper technique for lifts, as well as providing trained supervision for youths engaging in weight training, will also reduce the risk of injury.”

To view the abstract of the study, “Epidemiology of Weight Training-Related Injuries Presenting to United States Emergency Departments, 1990 to 2007,” go to ajs.sagepub.com and search for “weight training injuries.”

Sore Muscles? Treat them Ginger-ly

Long known as a remedy for upset stomachs, ginger root may also be an answer for muscle soreness brought on by exercise, according to researchers at the University of Georgia. Two studies published late last year in The Journal of Pain chronicled the effects of ginger supplementation on muscle pain and reported that ginger root was an effective natural pain reliever.

Patrick O’Connor, PhD, a professor in the UGA College of Education’s Department of Kinesiology, directed the studies, which examined the effects of ingesting raw and heat-treated ginger (some believe that cooking ginger enhances the root’s pain-relieving effects). For each day of the two 11-day studies, about 35 participants consumed two-gram capsules containing raw ginger, heat-treated ginger, or a placebo.

On the eighth day of the study, each person performed 18 elbow flexor extensions with a heavy weight to induce moderate stress on the arm muscles. Arm function, inflammation, and pain were assessed prior to and for three days after the exercise. Results showed a 25-percent reduction in pain among those who consumed raw or heat-treated ginger, with no additional effects from the heating.

To view an abstract of the study, “Ginger Reduces Muscle Pain Caused by Eccentric Exercise,” go to: www.jpain.org and search for “ginger reduces muscle pain.”

Athletic Training YouTube Video Goes Viral

By now, you’ve probably seen or at least heard about “Smooth Professional,” the brainchild of James Madison University student athletic trainers Pratik Banjade and Jared Miller. The online video features original lyrics about athletic training set to Michael Jackson’s 1980s hit song “Smooth Criminal.” With over 60,000 YouTube views to date, “Smooth Professional” became an Internet sensation this spring, and Banjade and Miller were invited to show it at the NATA convention in June.

After the NATA Hall of Fame induction ceremony, over 3,000 people looked on while the video played on four large screens at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. When it ended, Banjade and Miller took the stage to raucous applause.

“It was a bit surreal–my rock star moment,” says Miller, who will pursue a master’s in athletic training at Michigan State University in the fall and work with the Spartan wrestling team. “We were approached with congratulations, questions, and even gratitude throughout the four days we were at the convention.”

The video first went online in late April, and Miller says the reception was eye-popping. “We received a ton of e-mails in the first few weeks following its release,” he recalls. “Support came from everywhere–from new students just starting out and from athletic trainers who have been in the profession for over 20 years. It was refreshing to see how athletic trainers will support the work of their peers.”

The pair made the video while preparing for finals and the ATC certification exam. They spent three weeks shooting footage around JMU’s campus and 25 hours editing the film, which won the NATA’s 2010 Most Creative Project award.

Intended as a fun way to educate the public about athletic training, “Smooth Professional” has achieved popularity beyond its creators’ wildest dreams. “It has been so exciting getting e-mails from other students or professors who loved the video and want to use it to promote the profession in their region,” Miller says. “We also had numerous media outlets covering us, including newspapers and blogs, and we even came in as the top viral video on G4, a national cable TV channel. It was very rewarding to see the interest it received from the general public, since that’s who it was intended for.


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