Jan 29, 2015
Bulletin Board

N.C. Considers High School ATC Requirement

After five North Carolina high school student-athletes died from catastrophic injuries this past school year, two bills intended to make high school athletics safer were introduced in the state legislature. One would require each of the state’s public high schools to employ a certified athletic trainer, and the other calls for the creation of a sports injury task force to study injury prevention and treatment options.

The North Carolina Athletic Trainers’ Association (NCATA) pushed legislators to introduce the first bill. James Scifers, PT, SCS, LAT, ATC, President of the NCATA and Associate Dean of the College of Health and Human Services at Western Carolina University, says it is getting a lot of support from the athletic training community, school officials, coaches, and parents, but many are worried about funding.

“We’ve estimated a $21 million price tag, and North Carolina, like many other states, is running a huge deficit right now,” Scifers says. “So while this bill is certainly timely due to the unfortunate deaths we’ve had, our economic situation is posing a real challenge. There are also logistical questions the NCATA is working on, like whether there are enough certified athletic trainers to fill the need.”

The second bill would create a new task force made up of 14 members, including a sports medicine doctor, an athletic trainer, a high school coach, a high school athletic director, and a representative from the North Carolina High School Athletic Association. The group would be charged with studying prevention and treatment of sports injuries at the high school and middle school levels.

Both bills have been introduced in the state house and senate, and await committee readings. In North Carolina, three committee readings are required before a bill can be sent to the floor for a vote.

To view status updates on the bills, visit the North Carolina General Assembly Web site at: www.ncleg.net. Click on “Legislation/Bills,” then “Bill Look-Up” and search “H 1006” for the athletic trainer bill or “H 536” for the task force bill.

Windmill Pitching Carries Injury Risk

An overwhelming majority of studies on the underhand throwing motion of softball pitchers say that it rarely results in injury. But some new research is challenging that conclusion, suggesting that the “windmill” pitch actually subjects the thrower’s biceps muscles to high forces and torques that pose significant injury risk.

The study, which appeared in the March 2009 issue of the American Journal of Sports Medicine, analyzed muscle firing patterns of three collegiate and four professional women’s softball pitchers. The authors used motion analysis and surface electromyography, which detects electrical potential generated by muscle cells when they contract.

The data showed that unlike in a traditional overhand baseball pitch, where the maximum force occurs when a pitcher’s arm is cocked, the maximum force in a windmill delivery occurs when the arm circles from the nine o’clock position to the six o’clock position. It was also found that the biceps, not the elbow, receives the most stress.

Lead researcher Nikhil Verma, MD, a sports medicine specialist at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, cautions that overuse injuries are a real concern for softball players and should not be ignored. “Competitive female pitchers often pitch in every game during a weekend tournament–the equivalent of 1,200 to 1,500 pitches in as little as three days,” he told Medical News Today. “This is the opposite of the baseball world, where pitchers receive three to four days of rest before returning to the mound.”

To view the abstract of the study, “Biceps Activity During Windmill Softball Pitching,” go to: ajs.sagepub.com, click on “Archive,” then click on “March 2009.”

To read an article from Training & Conditioning on overuse injury risks associated with windmill pitching, search “Checking the Windmill” at www.training-conditioning.com.

Helping Athletes With Asthma

Are college athletic trainers lagging behind when it comes to managing asthmatic athletes? A study from Ohio State University revealed that few athletic trainers at NCAA institutions follow the asthma guidelines established by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The study, published in the April 2009 issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, was based on survey responses from 541 athletic trainers at NCAA schools. Slightly more than 20 percent of the respondents reported having asthma management protocols in place, while almost 40 percent said they do not require that a rescue inhaler be available at all practices, and more than 40 percent said an inhaler is not required at games. All three are recommended by the NIH.

While almost one quarter of survey respondents reported having a pulmonologist on staff, only 17 percent said their athletes are screened for exercise-induced bronchospasm (EIB). Lead researcher Jonathan Parsons, MD, Associate Director of the Ohio State University Medical Center’s Asthma Center, said athletes often ignore the symptoms of EIB, assuming that wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath are signs of being out of shape.

He also emphasized that preparedness is key when it comes to asthmatic athletes. “Evidence has shown that outcomes are better when… the proper help is available,” Parsons said in a press release. “Since it’s impossible to predict an asthma attack, we need to be prepared for when it happens.”

To view the abstract of the study, “Management of Exercise-Induced Bronchospasm in NCAA Athletic Programs” go to: www.ms-se.com, click on “Archive,” and select “April 2009.”

Fueling For Recovery–With Breakfast

Most people remember being told as children at the breakfast table to eat their cereal. According to research from the University of Texas, athletes can benefit from that same advice after workouts.

The study, appearing in the May 2009 issue of the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, compared two groups of cyclists: One that drank a sports drink, and another that ate whole grain cereal with nonfat milk, both following moderate exercise sessions. Researchers found that both methods helped initiate muscle recovery equally.

A dozen trained cyclists (eight men and four women) cycled at a moderate pace for two hours, then consumed either a sports drink with 78.5 grams of carbohydrate or a bowl of cereal and skim milk with 77 grams of carbohydrate, 19.5 grams of protein, and 2.7 grams of fat. Blood samples were taken before the workout and at 15-minute intervals for one hour after the workout, and showed similar glycogen and muscle protein levels in both groups.

“Our goal was to compare the whole grain cereal plus milk, which are ordinary foods, and sports drinks after moderate exercise,” Lynne Kammer, MA, exercise physiologist and lead researcher for the project, said in a press release. “We wanted to understand their relative effects on glycogen repletion and muscle protein synthesis for the average individual. Cereal and nonfat milk are a less expensive option than sports drinks… making this an attractive recovery option for those who refuel at home.”

To view the abstract of the study, “Cereal and Nonfat Milk Support Muscle Recovery Following Exercise,” go to: www.jissn.com, click “Browse articles,” then “May 2009.”


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