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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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:

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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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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Concussion Recovery Is Slower in Girls, Mounting Evidence Suggests

Recent findings suggest female children and adolescents are more susceptible to head injuries, and may take longer to recover. (Scientific American)

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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.


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

Exercise Is Medicine, the American College of Sports Medicine

Prescription Opioids Fail Rigorous New Test for Chronic Pain

Patients taking opioids for chronic back pain or pain from hip or knee arthritis reported similar relief from pain during activities after one year as patients treated with nonopioid medications—and significantly more side effects. (NPR)

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How to Fit in Exercise While You Travel

Traveling, whether for business or pleasure, is no reason to leave your fitness goals behind. Here’s how to get a good workout, on the go. (New York Times)

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Soccer is Basically Medicine, Some Researchers Argue

Compared to inactive people, recreational soccer players have lower cholesterol, blood pressure and resting heart rates as well as less fat mass, a research review suggests. (Reuters Health)

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A Before-School Exercise Program May Help Children Thrive

A supervised exercise program that gets young children running and playing for an hour before school could make them happier and healthier, while also jibing with the needs and schedules of parents and school officials, according to a new study involving two dozen elementary and middle schools. (New York Times)

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Middle Age Is not Too Late to Increase Cardiac Fitness, Studies Show

Research has shown that nearly half of all New Year’s resolutions have faded by the end of January, and things only get worse after that. If you find yourself struggling, three new studies might rekindle your motivation. (Washington Post)

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Pedal through the Winter with Indoor Smart Trainers and Virtual Bike Routes

Smart trainers fuse fitness and social media in a virtual landscape without potholes or cars. (Milwaukee Sentinel Journal)

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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)

Recent News
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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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Risky Stimulants Turn Up—Again—In Weight Loss and Workout Supplements

A new study reports potentially dangerous pharmaceutical ingredients turning up in products that consumers can easily order online or pick up from retail shelves. (STAT)

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 Just How Bad Is Sugar for You, Really?

Why exactly is sugar so bad for you and so hard to avoid? Here’s what you should know about the added sugar that’s lurking in your diet. (University of Washington)

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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


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

Recent News
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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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