Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Hip Flexor Assessment

I'm currently in Igls, Austria with the US Bobsled and Skeleton teams, and was working the other day with a chiropractor who did something that caught my attention.  She assessed hip flexor tightness using arm length!  A great reminder that our soft tissue is all connected.  Here is the premise:
1.  Athlete is lying supine, arms at side.
2. Clinician is standing at the athlete's head.
3.  Athlete raises arms to the ceiling, over the head and towards the clinician.
4.  The clinician then places the hands together; the "shorter hand/fingers" indicates tight hip flexors on the same side.

So, yet another interesting evaluative variation!. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

New Helmet Device to Prevent Concussions?!?!

As technology goes the nation.  A fascinating new technology is upon us:  The Impact Indicator. This new device is endorsed by Ndamukong Suh,  Keith Primeau, etc.  Basically, a light on the helmet flashes green normally.  When an impact is exceptionally high, it flashes red.  The software utilizes microsensor technology to measure hits at or above 240 HIC (see previous posts on this).  This device is located on the chinstrap, and can help take the guesswork out of when to assess for a concussion. 
A brief intro here:

It was developed by a company called Battle Sports Science.
If you are an ATC, coach, parent or athlete, do yourself a favor.  Take 10 minutes out of your day and watch this video. Perhaps the best aspect, is that it begins with some real, hard data from peer reviewed documents.
So, enjoy.  Your thoughts?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Great New Series

In class, I often tell students to look through the skin of their athletes, and envision the muscles, tendons and bones working in concert with one another to help identify how functional pathology can occur.  Well, this new series on Discovery does just that.  While each scenario isn't necessarily an athletic one, the parallels are certainly present which allows for a great cross-educational tool.  I've posted the direct links in the title above each video, if you'd like to view it in full screen.  A great show, and a great learning tool hope you enjoy!
The Human Body: Sensation
The Human Body: Strength

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Of Athletic Trainers and Rectal Thermometers

A hot button topic in Athletic Training lately has been the use of rectal thermometers in the field.  Recent discussions with colleagues has revealed a somewhat divided stance, so let me do my best to set the stage.  WE are in the midst of a time where our profession is really pushing for the inclusion of evidence based practice, that is utilizing research to help dictate and guide our daily professional practice.  This is common in health care professions in the U.S.  Sometimes though, practitioners are resistant, for a variety of reasons, substantiated and unsubstantiated.  Essentially, the NATA Position Statement on Heat Related Illness, found here recommends utilizing rectal temperature as an evaluative tool to help differentiate between heat exhaustion and heat stroke.  It clearly states that oral, tympanic and axillary forms of temperature measurement are inaccurate pre and post exercise.  Research has shown that rectal assessment is the most accurate form of measuring core body temperature.  So why the resistance of ATC's to perform?  To be honest, I'm not sure.
We are educated to recognize life threatening conditions and to evaluate and treat them accordingly, and this is no different.  A rectal thermometer should be in every ATC's kit. It can be a valuable tool which provides valuable information. 
Let me be clear on this; when an ATC decides to take a rectal temperature, it's because bad things are happening (think life threatening emergency).  The athlete may be exhibiting cognitive difficulties, and systems are not functioning properly.  Scenario: An athlete collapses on the field during pre-season, clearly struggling.  The ATC makes the decision to call an ambulance for transport; the ambulance will take approximately 20 minutes to arrive.  During that time, many things can be done; including assessment of rectal temperature and cold water immersion (another statistically supported treatment method that is quicker at reducing core temp. than packing with ice bags).  Core temp is reduced (and you are monitoring it in real time) and again, literature has stated that heat stroke can be completely survivable if appropriate actions are taken immediately. 
My point:  Isn't that what we are here for?  I don't know about you, but I'd rather know exact temperatures than "guess" or speculate. 
Here is another recent take on the topic:
 Best Line:  Would an ATC hesitate to use an AED on a female because her torso would be exposed?
For those interested, you can view an excellent "How To" of rectal temp here:
The bottom line:  If we are to be viewed as health care professionals, we should act in accordance.  Perhaps, if we acted as health care professionals (we teach our students to view the body objectively, don't we?), we might even be viewed as such!