You know what I’ve learned after talking to incredible sports physiotherapists and sports medicine professionals, attending numerous professional development courses, conferences and seminars and reading many books: there is so much that I don’t know. And I say that without reservation, as I know that it is impossible to stay at the forefront of current practice and research in all fields of sports medicine. There is just not enough hours in the day. Fortunately, I also know not to pass up opportunities to learn from experts in a given field. Thus, I would like to introduce you to Michael Boyle.
If you work with athletes who train hard, as many sports physiotherapists do, then you will have encountered exercise induced muscle damage or delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). It is also likely that the suffering athlete has come to you and said “I’m so sore from that workout – can you do anything?”. There are many widely used post workout and recovery strategies that are touted as effective at enhancing an athletes recovery from high intensity exercise. However, as is frequently the norm in sports medicine, the evidence for their use is mostly anecdotal rather than based on high quality clinical trials. Fortunately, a new review recently published discusses the effectiveness of physiotherapeutic interventions following high intensity exercise.
As sports physiotherapists we treat all sorts of patients that want to do crazy things. You know… run, swim and ride all day and even climb mountains and cliffs. Many of these athletes are young and physically active, and they strive to push their body to its physical limits. A well recognised condition to affect this group of people is chronic exertional compartment syndrome (CECS). In fact, eighty-seven percent of patients with CECS participate in sports, and runners account for 69% of these cases Thus, sports physiotherapists, particularly those that deal with endurance sports, will assess and treat this condition with considerable frequency. This article discusses new research on changing biomechanics to manage CECS.
The post-operative rehabilitation of an ACL reconstruction is something that many sports physiotherapists perform on a daily basis. Many will know that muscular atrophy is quite common; particularly affecting the quadriceps, hamstrings and triceps surae. In fact, quadriceps atrophy and strength will often exceed 20% during the first three months (Nicholas et al., 2001). Therefore, we see post-operative rehabilitation protocols focusing on quick restoration of the patients muscle function and strength. Thus, we are often quick to, and appropriately so, prescribe exercises. However, this article will discuss the potential for the additional clinical benefits of electrical muscle stimulation (electro-stimulation)
It has been suggested that up to 79% of runners will sustain lower limb injuries. The patients with these pathologies frequently present with identifiable biomechanical faults associated with either deficits in pelvic strength or neuromuscular function. Thus, physiotherapists and physical therapists the world over implement rehabilitation programs aimed at strengthening the lateral hip abductors and external rotators. However, when it comes to exercise prescription for this musculature we require EMG studies to ensure that we are operating from a strong evidence basis. This article discusses such research.
Patellofemoral pain syndrome is a condition that is commonly encountered by the sports physiotherapist. There is a clear reason for this, it has been reported to affect approximately 25% of athletes (DeHaven & Lintner, 1986). Furthermore, it is the most commonly reported injury sustained by runners (Taunton et al., 2002). Thus, it is the subject of much discussion on this site, and we have provided articles on a number of management options for patellofemoral pain syndrome. However, this article will discuss new research on potential prospective indicators for the development of patellofemoral pain syndrome.
We all know that hamstring strains are common injuries within sports that involve sprinting and jumping. In fact, they represent a significant proportion of muscle injuries: 50% in sprinting, 40% in soccer (Yeung et al, 2009) and 14% in Australian Rules football (Gabbe et al, 2006). They have been shown to be more common than any other muscle injuries and players are 2.5 times more likely to suffer a hamstring strain compared to a strain of their quadriceps (Woods et al, 2004). This is significant as Small et al (2010) found that soccer players miss on average 3 competitive matches per hamstring injury. Consider the huge impact on the success of sporting teams when high profile players are injured!
In the world of sports physiotherapy the assessment and diagnosis of knee pathology is a daily event. As we are all well aware, an accurate diagnosis is achieved only via a skilled subjective and objective examination. Thus, sports physiotherapists will regularly rely on the results of special orthopaedic or clinical tests to make a diagnosis. This is well covered ground on this site, as we regularly the discuss the diagnostic accuracy of clinical tests for common conditions. However, there is always new research regarding the accuracy of existing techniques and the development of new ones. This leads to new research on the use of joint line fullness to assist in the diagnosis of meniscal tears. This article will discuss the technique and its potential clinical utility.
Concussion is a common injury sustained by athletes in contact sports (Hunt & Asplund, 2010). Subsequently, it is a condition commonly encountered by the sports physiotherapist, particularly those who work on the sidelines of contact sports. Given its frequency, concussion has been discussed previously on this site. However, the previous article does not discuss indicators to predict recovery timeframes following concussion. That is exactly what this article does.
As sports physiotherapists we regularly assess and treat hamstring strains, sometimes on a daily basis! Hawkins et al. (2001) showed that hamstring injuries accounted for approximately 12% of football injuries, and thus are extremely common. Given their frequency, hamstring injuries have been discussed commonly on this site. However, to date, we have not paid much attention to the often recommended intervention of spinal manual therapy and its role in the evidence based management of hamstring strains….