Medical

We provide you with information to help your patients pursue an active lifestyle that is healthy and safe.

We help you stay abreast of new developments in sports medicine, and provide tools to educate your patients, better inform their decisions and keep them safe.

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Concussion
Exercise & Health
Nutrition & Hydration
Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Learning Center

Concussion management video A 15-minute video on the importance of understanding concussions and guidelines for removal from play and return to play after a concussion. Stanley Herring, MD, director of SHSI, serves as host.

Pocket Concussion Recognition Tool. A sideline tool to help parents, coaches and athletes recognize a concussion and know when a brain injury is an emergency.

Heads Up: Online Concussion Training for Clinicians The course features interviews with leading experts, dynamic graphics and case studies, and provides an overview of what a health care professional needs to know about concussion in young athletes.

Heads Up resources from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that include:

Doctors Often Skip Discussing Dangers of Driving After Concussion

Most doctors who treat young athletes for concussion know that the injury increases the risk of having a car accident, but barely half counsel their patients against driving, a U.S. study suggests. (Reuters Health)

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Knowledge About Concussions Mixed Among High School Coaches, Athletes

Most high school coaches, athletes and parents do not know that a concussion is a brain injury. But they generally understand the importance of being symptom-free before returning to play and how a concussion affects the risk of future concussions. (Mayo Clinic Proceedings)

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Faulty Positioning in Rugby Tackles Boosts Injury Risk

Head, neck and shoulder injuries during rugby tackles are more common when the tackler’s head is incorrectly positioned in front of the ball carrier. Athletes employing recommended techniques had significantly fewer injuries. (Reuters Health)

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State Laws Have Reduced Concussion Risks In High School Kids, Study Finds

Laws spearheaded by the director of UW Medicine’s Sports Health and Safety Institute, Stan Herring, MD, and colleagues have led to a noticeable nationwide decline in repeated concussions among teenage athletes. (Washington Post)

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State Laws Have Reduced Concussion Risks In High School Kids, Study Finds

Laws spearheaded by the director of UW Medicine’s Sports Health and Safety Institute, Stan Herring, MD, and colleagues have led to a noticeable nationwide decline in repeated concussions among teenage athletes. (Washington Post)

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Can You Predict Future Brain Damage? Hundreds of Pro Fighters Are Helping Researchers Find Out

The ambitious goal: to identify early signs of trauma-induced brain damage from subtle changes in blood chemistry, brain imaging and performance tests — changes that may show up decades before visible symptoms such as cognitive impairment, depression and impulsive behavior. (STAT)

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Movement, play and sports: What are the benefits?

The sports and activities children love often come with risks. But sports, movement and play also yield abundant benefits, and can enhance the physical, mental and social health of children long into the future.

The benefits of physical activity

  • Physical activity in childhood and adolescence can increase muscular strength, improve the ability to perform complex movements, build bone, improve mood, and increase heart and lung fitness.
  • Physical activity can help prevent inactivity-related diseases that occur in childhood, including Type 2 diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, asthma, sleep apnea and depression.
  • Physically active children are more likely to be physically active adults—and less likely to meet an early death or develop heart disease, breast and colon cancer, diabetes, obstructive lung disease, depression, anxiety or osteoarthritis.
  • Physical activity can help to prevent obesity and aid in its treatment.
  • Physical activity leads to better brain structure and function. It can improve thinking and mental performance, including focus, memory, attention and academic achievement.

Understanding Heat Stroke in 7 Steps

Athletes can develop life-threatening exertional heat stroke for a variety of reasons, but virtually none is acceptable among trainers and coaches who put player safety first. Summer training deaths from heat stroke serve as regular, harsh reminders of the importance of knowing how to prevent, recognize and properly treat this devastating condition.

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Beat the summer heat

In this compilation of stories, find out what science says about training in the summer. Learn what you need to know about proper hydration in the heat, avoiding and treating debilitating heat cramps,  and the prevention, recognition and treatment of life-threatening heat stroke.

Learning Center

Youth Physical Activity Guidelines Toolkit. To promote physical activity guidelines, the CDC and others developed this toolkit, which highlights strategies schools, families and communities can use to support physical activity. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Exercise Is Medicine, the American College of Sports Medicine

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You Can Get Even More Out of Strength Training Than Killer Abs

People who strength train for at least two non-consecutive days a week have significantly fewer symptoms of mild to moderate depression, according to a recent review. (Runner’s World)

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Commutes on Foot or Bike Tied to Lowered Risk of Heart Attack or Stroke

People who regularly add walking or cycling into parts of a longer commute or journey may reduce their risk of a heart attack or stroke, according to a study from the United Kingdom that followed more than 350,000 people for seven years. (Reuters Health)

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America’s Fittest Cities

The 11th annual American College of Sports Medicine fitness index ranked U.S. cities for their residents’ healthy behaviors. The top 5: Arlington, VA; Minneapolis, MN; Washington D.C.; Madison, WI; and Portland, OR. Seattle came in one-tenth of a point behind Portland at #6. (King5)

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Using Behavioral Science to Build an Exercise Habit

Fewer than half of Americans exercise as much as they should. Thankfully, the field of behavioral science has solutions to offer. (Scientific American)

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How Much Exercise Your Kid Needs, Based On the Latest Research

What types of physical activity should kids and teens do, and how do you get young people excited about exercise? “The main message is that children and adolescents need to be physically active daily and to take this habit into adulthood.” (CNN)

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Standing Up at Your Desk Could Make You Smarter

A new study has found that sitting is bad for your brain. And it might be the case that lots of exercise is not enough to save you if you’re a couch potato the rest of the time. (New York Times)

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Exercise Could Lower Your Chances of Getting Heart Disease Even if You’re Genetically at Risk

About one in four deaths in the United States are due to heart disease. But a new study suggests that even if you have a genetic risk for heart disease, there’s a simple way to combat it: Exercise. (TIME)

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Hydration in the heat for young athletes

Young athletes, their parents and coaches frequently ask about safe ways to hydrate in the heat. They want to know how much to drink and what to drink in training or competition. Confusion can arise from conflicting hydration guidelines and roiling debate. Let me try to clarify.

Muscle cramping in the heat

Muscle cramping can hobble athletes playing in the heat. This painful problem can range from vexing to disabling. Players prone to cramping are urged to salt their food and eat healthful salt-rich foods. Fad remedies can delay proper therapy.

Learning Center

Hydration. This site includes videos and information on hydration, including how to know if an athlete is hydrated, how much to drink and what to drink. (Korey Stringer Institute)

Hydration Kit. This two-page handout lists hydration supplies, from electrolyte freezer pops to pumper-style cooling stations. The handout provides prices and links to websites where individuals or teams can purchase them. (Korey Stringer Institute)

Exercise and fluid replacement. ACSM Position Stand. In-depth information and recommendations on hydration for athletes written by the leading experts in the field. (American College of Sports Medicine)

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Year-long Diet Study Finds It’s What You Eat, Not How Much

Research from Stanford University shows that neither low-fat nor low-carb diets are key to sustained weight loss among overweight adults. Instead, it’s back to basics: avoid refined wheat and sugar, and eat more vegetables. (University of Washington)

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Why Is It so Hard to Lose Weight and Keep It Off?

Why exactly are some people able to maintain a healthy weight while others can try and try with no luck? The process of weight gain and weight loss involves a complicated combination of genetics, complex body systems and the environment. (University of Washington)

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Dangers of Energy Drinks for Kids

Energy drinks may be dangerous for kids and young adults, a new survey found. The most common problems included a fast heartbeat, insomnia and headaches. (MedPage Today)

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‘Raw water’ Is the Latest Health Craze. Here’s Why Drinking It May Be a Bad Idea

By shunning recommended water safety practices, raw water purveyors may also be selling things you don’t want to drink that can make you sick. (Washington Post)

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What You Should Know Before Trying an Elimination Diet

Elimination diets, like the popular Whole30 diet, can help you find out how certain foods make you feel, and potentially reduce gastrointestinal distress. If you’re considering starting one, this is what you should know before cleaning out your fridge. (University of Washington)

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Can Ketones Rev Up Our Workouts?

A new study suggests that ketone supplements may not work as advertised and could have the kinds of gastrointestinal side effects that make starting, let alone completing, an event almost impossible. (New York Times)

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Sudden Cardiac Arrest: Six Key Facts

Sudden cardiac arrest is the number one cause of sudden death in exercising young athletes.

It usually strikes without warning in individuals with a structural or electrical abnormality of the heart, often inherited. Males, African-Americans and male basketball players are at increased risk.

No method of detecting heart problems in athletes is perfect.

A comprehensive medical history and physical exam is required for all young athletes before they participate in sports. Some medical experts are adding a screening electrocardiogram (EKG) to the standard pre-participation physical exam.

In some cases, warning signs or symptoms can help identify an athlete at risk of a sudden cardiac arrest

Signs of a potentially risky heart condition include fainting or passing out during exercise; excessive shortness of breath or chest pain with exercise; palpitations (heart racing) for no reason; and unexplained seizures.

Until proven otherwise, you should suspect sudden cardiac arrest in any collapsed and unresponsive athlete.

Unless effective emergency steps are taken immediately, death or serious disability will occur.

Every team should have—and practice—an emergency action plan for sudden cardiac arrest.

It is critical to review and practice your emergency action plan in the preseason with all personnel who may be involved in the emergency response.

Life-saving measures include calling 9-1-1, immediate chest compressions (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), and shocking the athlete with an AED as soon as possible.

Early initiation of all of these measures is important. Early defibrillation (shock) with an automated external defibrillator (AED) is the most important factor for survival. A few minutes’ delay can be the difference between life and death.


Learning Center

Resources

Sudden Cardiac Arrest (video). A seven-minute course to prepare youth coaches and league administrators for an acute sudden cardiac arrest emergency (planning, recognition, screening and four steps to survival). USA Football developed the course, but the information is relevant to basketball, baseball and other sports in which sudden cardiac arrest can occur. The video features University of Washington and Seattle Seahawks team physician Jonathan A. Drezner, M.D.

American Heart Association

American Medical Society for Sports Medicine

National Athletic Trainers Association

Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation

UW Medicine Center for Sports Cardiology

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A Hoop Player’s Sudden Return from Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Fewer than 8 percent of those who suffer cardiac arrest outside a hospital survive. But this high school basketball player did—because there was an automated external defibrillator on hand and people who knew how to use it. (Rivard Report)

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Abnormal Electrocardiograms Common in NBA Players

Many elite basketball players of the National Basketball Association have abnormal ECG readings even when the latest athlete-specific screening criteria are applied, according to researchers. (Medpage Today)

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Cardiac Arrest Rare In Young Athletes but Tough to Predict

Young athletes have a very low risk of suffering a fatal cardiac arrest. But more important, researchers found that more than 80 percent of cases probably won’t be caught through “pre-participation screening” that includes electrocardiograms to detect electrical abnormalities in the heart. (HealthDay)

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This Mistake Can Cost the Lives of Athletes in Cardiac Arrest

Athletes are dying from cardiac arrests that occur during play because teammates, coaches and other bystanders don’t know how to best save their lives, a new study claims. (Chicago Tribune)

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Heart Screening for Teens May Cause More Problems than It Solves

Dozens of not-for-profit organizations have formed in the past decade to promote free or low-cost heart screenings for teens. The groups often claim such tests save lives by finding abnormalities that might pose a risk of sudden cardiac death. (NPR)

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Olympic Athletes Have Heart Problems, Too

Some Olympic athletes could be at risk while training and competing because of heart defects or dysfunction that they may not even know about, Italian researchers say. (Reuters Health)

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