Category Archives: Health

Lacrosse In The Community: Wheelchair Lacrosse Offers Wounded Military Personnel “Physical And Mental Recovery”; “Wheelchair Lacrosse USA” Has Goal Of Establishing A Team In “Every Major City”


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Coach and founder of Maryland-based Freestate Wheelchair Lacrosse Mark Flounlacker said the sport has much to offer military personnel in recovery both physically and mentally.
“It keeps in tune with the warrior nature of the sport,” Flounlacker said, referring to its founding as a Native American sport in which it was perceived as cowardly to avoid an opponent. “It’s aggressive.” Plus, he said, “mentally, it’s an opportunity to learn that you are able to return to recreation and have fun.”

Wheelchair lacrosse was developed in 2009. Four years later, Wheelchair Lacrosse USA fields seven teams around the country, hosts workshops and has participated in tournaments nationwide.

Military participants just may be a key to reaching the goal of establishing a team in “every major city,” the organizers say.

Wheelchair lacrosse was invented in 2009. (Courtesy of Wheelchair Lacrosse USA)

Wheelchair lacrosse was invented in 2009. (Courtesy of Wheelchair Lacrosse USA)

For two hours each Tuesday afternoon, a small group of wounded troops meets in a gym at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, strapping on helmets, pads and gloves to get physical, battling one another to move a small orange ball down a court and hurl it into a goal.

The game is wheelchair lacrosse, and for these military laxbros — some novice, some experienced — the fast pace and demanding workout is just what the doctor ordered.

Military-Times Logo

By: Patricia Kime

Similar to its field counterpart, wheelchair lacrosse calls for players to swing sticks, poke check each other and slam into each other to force possession of the ball.

The often brutal contact is what many of the players crave.

“Most of us grew up playing team-oriented, competitive, physical games. You enter the disabled sports world, it lacks those competitive team sports. Sure, you’ve got quad rugby and sled hockey, but this gives guys another option to go out there and play hard,” said Army Spec. Calvin Todd, 25, a former college lacrosse player who is at Walter Reed recovering from injuries sustained in an IED blast in 2012.

For more: http://blogs.militarytimes.com/pt365/2013/10/15/wheelchair-lacrosse-gains-steam/

Concussions In Lacrosse: “Lacrosse Magazine” Presents “In-Depth Q&A” With US Lacrosse Sports Science & Safety Experts On The “Biology, Risks, And Long-Term Implications Of Concussions”


Dr. Margot Putukian and Dr. Ruben Echemendia of the US Lacrosse Sports Science and Safety Committee were among presenters at the International Consensus Conference on Concussions in Zurich, Switzerland.

Dr. Margot Putukian and Dr. Ruben Echemendia of the US Lacrosse Sports Science and Safety Committee were among presenters at the International Consensus Conference on Concussions in Zurich, Switzerland

What is the biology of a concussion? What actually happens to the brain?

RE: A concussion creates changes in the chemistry of the brain that produces a “neuro-metabolic cascade” that renders cells temporarily inoperative and vulnerable to further injury. This metabolic cascade is accompanied by a disruption of the blood supply to the brain, thereby reducing the amount of glucose (fuel) available to the brain for healing. These changes affect the entire brain, not just one region.

What are the risks of playing with a concussion? What is second-impact syndrome?

MP: It is difficult to know the exact risks of continuing to play while concussed, but in the younger athlete, there has been a concern that a second insult can occur while the athlete is still recovering from a first injury, and that a dysregulation in the blood flow to the brain can then result, causing a significant increase in the pressure in the brain. Though considered controversial by some researchers, second-impact syndrome has been reported in youth athletes and associated with significant complications, including death.

RE: Continuing to play while having symptoms places the vulnerable brain at risk for additional injury that may lead to more severe, prolonged or even life-long problems with cognitive and psychological functioning. Second-impact syndrome is rare and thought to occur when an individual sustains a blow to the brain during a time when the brain has not fully recovered from a previous concussion. The blow can often be a relatively mild one.

Are there long-term health implications from concussions?

MP: The majority of concussions resolve in 10-14 days without any known long-term consequences. However, in a very small percentage, there are persistent symptoms and ongoing difficulties with cognitive function or balance.

RE: Some studies suggest there can be long-term changes in neurocognitive functioning; others do not. There is no consensus among experts in the field. The key appears to be appropriate evaluation and management of the injury.

What impact, if any, does age play in concussions?

MP: Younger athletes appear to take longer to recover and therefore should be treated with caution. Other modifiers that are associated with a prolonged recovery include an increased number and duration of symptoms and a history of prior concussion. Other modifiers that may play a role in prolonged recovery include a history of migraine headaches, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (or other learning disorders) and history of depression, anxiety or other mental health disorders.

Besides rest (physical and mental), what else can help recovery?

MP: An initial period of rest is important, and avoiding cognitive activity, such as texting, video games and extended computer work, also is important. After a few days, light exercise can be initiated assuming it doesn’t worsen symptoms. It’s unclear if other interventions are helpful in assisting recovery, but alcohol, aspirin, narcotics and other medications that impair cognitive function or increase bleeding are typically avoided in the first few days.

RE: It is very important that athletes with concussions remain well hydrated, maintain good nutritional habits and get plenty of sleep. Keep in mind that physical and cognitive rest does not mean placing the child in a cocoon. Typical activities of daily living, including school, should be added as soon as they are tolerated without producing an increase in symptoms.

What misperceptions about concussions do you encounter?

MP: One myth is that helmets prevent concussion. Though they are effective in preventing skull fracture and bleeds, and may lessen impact forces, they do not prevent concussion. Sometimes the assumption is that putting a helmet on an athlete will protect them, when it might not. In fact, if they have a false sense of security, they may play more aggressively and therefore be at a greater risk for injury. Another myth is that the greater the impact force, the more likely that a concussion will occur or the more severe the concussion. There is not enough research to support this, and what limited data we have actually suggests that concussive injury can occur with different levels of impact.

RE: Some people still believe that you need to lose consciousness or have serious memory impairment to have a concussion. Neither is true. Some believe that a concussion is a bruise to the brain; it is not. Many believe that you have to be hit hard or be hit on the head to have a concussion. Neither is true.

Can you comment on the effectiveness of neurocognitive (baseline) testing?

RE: Baseline testing can be very useful in establishing the pre-injury functioning of the athlete. If available, athletes should take advantage of baseline testing. However, baseline testing sometimes creates significant complexity in the evaluation of an athlete’s cognitive functioning. Because of this complexity, a qualified neuropsychologist should interpret any neuropsychological testing.

MP: The utility of baseline computerized neuropsychological testing has recently been questioned. Although it appears to promising, there are several factors to consider in NP testing including the effects of fatigue, injury and motivation.

What are your opinions on the return-to-play laws that have been passed in 49 states and D.C.?

MP: The Zack Lystedt Law passed in Washington State was the first of many that have raised the awareness of the importance of this injury as well as the importance of removing athletes from play when signs and symptoms of concussion are present.

RE: These laws are a good first step towards raising awareness and providing basic guidelines for the management of concussion. The laws are not uniform across states, and hence some are better than others.

US Lacrosse contends there yet no scientific evidence to suggest helmets prevent concussions. Do you adhere to this position?

RE: Yes, this is accurate. Helmets are designed to prevent catastrophic head injury, and they are very good at doing that. They just were not designed to, and do not, prevent concussion.

MP: We need to explore the effects of various headgear options and continue to investigate the mechanisms of injury in lacrosse for both the men’s and women’s game, and evaluate interventions that can decrease injury — including rule changes, rule enforcement, coaches and player education. Whether future equipment modifications can prevent or lessen the severity of injury remains unanswered at this time.

Do you have other recommendations from the conference in Zurich?

MP: There has been a lot of research regarding the assessment and management of concussion that has led to a more cautious approach to this important injury. There are advanced neuroimaging techniques which show promise in demonstrating functional and structural injury with concussion. There also has been a significant amount of information regarding the acceleration forces that occur in different sports that quantify the number, extent and location of forces to the head with sport.

RE: Thus far we have focused a great deal of attention, effort and money on baseline testing but have not focused much on the post-injury evaluation, which is in many ways far more crucial. It is imperative that any athlete with a concussion be evaluated by a qualified medical professional who is specifically trained in the evaluation and management of this injury. The use of a multidisciplinary team of professionals — physicians, neuropsychologists and athletic trainers — is ideal.

For more:  http://laxmagazine.com/genrel/100713_what_is_a_concussion_q_and_a_with_us_lacrosse_experts

Lacrosse Injuries: “Dr. James Andrews Targets Youth Sports Injuries” Article Discusses “Overuse Prevention” And Importance Of Avoiding “Sport Specialization” Until Senior Year In High School


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Concussions In Lacrosse: “Lacrosse Magazine” October 2013 Issue Article On Former Duke Middie Brad Ross’ “Post-Concussion Symptoms”


Lacrosse Magazine Lasting Impact Concussions

“I’m 28 years old, and I’m worried about long-term brain issues.”
-Former Duke and MLL midfielder Brad Ross on the post-concussion symptoms he has been experiencing the past two years, symptons that ended his career.
Lacrosse Magazine’s October issue focuses on some key sports science and safety issues like concussions, ACL injuries, equipment standards and more – all areas where US Lacrosse is taking an active role in helping keep the sport safe.
See what else is in this month’s issue, from stories about the Hall of Fame Class of 2013 to a look into Casey Bocklet’s UVa apartment — http://laxmag.us/XQxmkw

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“Lacrosse Magazine Oct 2013” Issue Features Sports Science & Safety, ACL Injuries, Hall Of Fame Class, Chesapeake Bayhawks’ John Grant Jr And Casey Powell, And Team USA Men’s Lacrosse


Lacrosse Magazine Oct 2013 Issue

COVER STORY — Sports Science and Safety
From concussions to ACLs and everything in between, US Lacrosse has established itself as a leader in sports science and safety.
Lasting Impact
“I’m 28 years old, and I’m worried about long-term brain issues.” Concussions have real-life consequences. Just ask Brad Ross, the former Duke All-American and MLL champ whose symptoms may never go away.
by Corey McLaughlin
ACL Confessions
What happens after you hear the dreaded pop? Jen Adams, Shannon Gilroy, Shawn Nadalen and Michelle Tumolo chronicle their experiences with ACL injuries and rehabilitations.
by Clare Lochary
Features
Hall of Fame Class of 2013
Eight greats – Jim Berkman, Quinn Carney, Michele DeJuliis, Sue Heether, Bill Miller, Tracy Stumpf, Ryan Wade and Michael Watson – will be inducted into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame October 26th. These are their stories.
Online Extras: Hall of Fame Home Page w/ Biographies | Video – 2013 Inductess Share Their Thoughts About Joining HOF
The Stuff of Legends
They say the MLL is a young man’s league. But in leading the Chesapeake Bayhawks to their third title in four years, John Grant Jr. and Casey Powell showed once again they’re in a league of their own.
by Corey McLaughlin
Online Extra: McLaughlin’s Favorite Championship Weekend Moments
Columns
From the Editor: Misson of the Mag
Her Space: It’s Not All Hocus Pocus
His Space: Take His Whistle
Departments
Lifestyles
Call him Cactus Jack, Dude Love or Mankind. However, you know WWE Hall of Famer and horedcore legend Mick Foley, we’ll just call him one of us.=.
World Lacrosse 2014
Who will represent the U.S. men on home soil? The training team is set and all 52 have high hopes for making it all the way to Denver next summer.
Your Edge
Take a journey inside the mind of Ohio Machine attackman and newly-hired Johns Hopkins women’s assistant coach Steele Stanwick as he works from behind the goal, then see how Penn’s Shannon Mangini uses a rare motorcycle grip for draws.
Give and Go
Former Penn State goalie Dana Cahill wants to take women’s lacrosse to new heights with Team STX.

High School Boys Lacrosse: New Rules For “Checks Involving The Head/Neck” And “Illegal Body-Checks To A Defenseless Player” Increase Penalty To “Two- Or Three-Minute Non Releasable”


National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS)In Rule 5-4 – Checks Involving the Head/Neck – the penalty for a violation was strengthened by dropping the possibility of a one-minute penalty. Thus, a minimum two- or three-minute non releasable penalty will now be enforced for this violation. Summers said this increased penalty will reinforce the need to eliminate hits to the head/neck from the game.

In another change designed to minimize risk, the committee added a fifth example of an illegal body-check. Rule 5-3-5 will state that an illegal body-check is one that targets a player in a defenseless position. This includes but is not limited to:

  1. Body-checking a player from his “blind side”;
  2. Body-checking a player who has his head down in an attempt to play a loose ball; and
  3. Body-checking a player whose head is turned away to receive a pass, even if that player turns toward the contact immediately before the body-check. A minimum of a two- or three-minute non releasable penalty is assessed for this violation.

“Intentional player-to-player collisions with players in a defenseless position are a concern, and this revision will reinforce the need to eliminate these collisions from the game,” Summers said.

For more:  http://www.nfhs.org/content.aspx?id=9614

Concussions In Lacrosse: Maryland Classifies Boys Lacrosse As A “Collision Sport”; Will Limit “Full-Contact” Practices, “Live Checking” Before Games


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Head Injuries In Lacrosse: “Concussion 101: Symptoms, Risk And Return To Play” From The Houston Methodist Concussion Center (Video)


Each year, approximately 3.8 million Americans suffer concussions & many of those injured are student athletes. Hear from experts at the Houston Methodist Concussion Center & Houston professional sports teams as they share the signs & symptoms of concussion & what you can do to help prevent head injuries.

High School Girls Lacrosse: Princeton (NJ) School District To Require Headgear For All Middle And High School Girls Lacrosse Players


The SG360 model will be mandated in Princeton schools for women's lacrosse and field hockey.  (Photo courtesy of HRP Products, Inc.)

The SG360 model will be mandated in Princeton schools for women’s lacrosse and field hockey. (Photo courtesy of HRP Products, Inc.)

Princeton’s school board unanimously approved the new headgear rule following a strong recommendation from the district’s athletic director. Quinn said that as far as he knows, Princeton is the only district in the state to have such a policy. The district will pay for the SG360 headgear, which runs about $60 in retail.

A few years ago, New Jersey enacted a law mandating student athletes with a suspected concussion get medical clearance before being allowed to return to play.

Now, the Princeton school district has gone a step further, requiring headgear for all middle- and high-school soccer, field hockey and lacrosse players.

While parents and coaches hope that will reduce the risk for concussions, some sports experts aren’t convinced it will help.

Tim Quinn, president of Princeton’s school board, said nothing can totally prevent a concussion from happening, “but if we can minimize the effect of any sort of head injury, I think that’s a good thing. I think what we’re doing here is looking out for the best interests of our athletes.”

For more:  http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/health-science/item/58190-princeton-schools-mandating-headgear-for-soccer-lacrosse-field-hockey?Itemid=3

Injuries In Lacrosse: Big Ten Conference And The Ivy League Conclude “Head Injury Summit” On Epidemic Of “Sport-Related Concussions”


“Concussion in athletics is a growing public health concern with increased attention being focused on treatment and management of Ivy League Big 10 Head Injury Summitthis puzzling epidemic. No single research laboratory, regardless of how well equipped and funded, is in a position to resolve a critical dilemma facing athletic trainers, coaches and medical practitioners: What is the time frame for safe return to sports participation after concussion?”

“I believe that the Big Ten-Ivy League Head Injury Summit has provided us with a wonderful opportunity to combine our intellectual resources in order to address numerous questions and controversies about sports-related concussion.  I was pleased to see a lot of enthusiasm among the participants to share their knowledge and, more importantly, to contribute to the filling scientific knowledge gaps at the junction between basic science and clinical management of sport-related concussions.”

Dr. Seymon Sloubonov, Director of Penn State Sports Concussion Research and Services, Professor of Kinesiology and Neurosurgery

The Big Ten Conference and The Ivy League, in conjunction with the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), hosted the Big Ten-Ivy League Head Injury Summit on July 18-19 in Park Ridge, Ill. A total of 65 individuals from 23 institutions, representing each member institution from the Big Ten, Ivy League and CIC, participated in the two-day event in an effort to engage in collaborative discussions and to refine the strategic priorities of the historic, unprecedented research initiative that was announced by the conferences in June 2012. The summit provided an open forum for the subject-matter experts in attendance to review the current clinical and research efforts that exist on each campus, and allowed the group to define the short- and long-term areas of emphasis to address.

The first day of the summit provided an opportunity for the participants to discuss the history and vision of the collaboration, while also defining the goals and outcomes of the meeting. The group received a comprehensive analysis of the existing research literature on the topic of traumatic brain injury and sports from Thomson-Reuters representatives. Through this report, it was discovered that research papers on this topic that are authored by either a Big Ten/CIC or Ivy League institution are cited on a more frequent basis than research papers authored by other sources, and are published at a greater rate in top quartile journals. Further, research papers that are authored by a combination of both Big Ten/CIC and Ivy League institutions are cited at the highest rate in this category and are published in top quartile journals at the highest rate as well, showing the benefits of collaborative research between the Big Ten/CIC and Ivy League.

For more:  http://www.ivyleaguesports.com/information/general_releases/2013-14/releases/Big_Ten-The_Ivy_League_Host_Head_Injury_Summit