About 50 young athletes go into sudden cardiac arrest each year and die from a rare congenital heart defect called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM ). While some parent groups advocate for routine electrocardiogram (ECG) screening for youth athletes, sports administrator Donald Collins says attacking the HCM problem through education, by forming alliances between schools, leagues and sports governing bodies with
medical organizations and by the taking of detailed family history during a young athlete's pre-participation physical evaluation is a cost-effective approach to early detection.
Strength training during
childhood and adolescence can improve strength by 30-50 percent, increase bone density,
and self-esteem and reduced risk of coronary heart disease, childhood obesity, says a new study.
Overuse running injuries such as patellofemoral pain syndrome (so-called "runner's knee"), and Achilles tendonitis may have more to do with weakened hip muscles than the sheer number of miles an athlete runs.
If it was up to Dr. Lester Mayers, young athletes who suffer sports
concussions would be not be allowed to return to play (RTP) for 4 to 6
weeks after injury, a significant departure from current concussion guidelines which allow RTP 1 to 2 weeks after an athlete's concussion signs and symptoms clear, both at rest and during exercise.
Studies show that a new way of stretching (dynamic stretching)
increases power, flexibility and range of motion, and may reduce
injuries while the kind of stretching routine most of us have been doing since we were
in grade school (holding a stretch for 20 or 30 seconds, supposedly to
prepare muscles for exercise, or static stretching) not only fails to
do what it is supposed to do but may actually weaken muscles and hurt athletic performance.
That a sports concussions have an adverse short-term effect on cognitive functioning has long been known. But two recent studies add to a growing body of evidence that the effects of concussions may last for many months and in some cases years.