Sports Science

Two new studies look for ways to improve surgical treatment for a debilitating condition called  neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome, which is caused by compressed nerves in the neck and shoulder and causes pain, numbness or tingling in the shoulder, arm or hand.

It is most common in baseball pitchers and other elite athletes. Patients often describe pain and tension in the neck and upper back, numbness and tingling in the fingers, headaches and perceived muscle weakness in the affected limb.


People lose muscle mass, and find it harder to maintain, as they age, and so researchers have ben investigating ways to delay or counteract age-related muscle loss.

A study conducted by the Exercise Metabolism Research Group at McMaster University suggests that current guidelines for meat consumption are based on the protein needed to prevent deficiency without consideration for preservation of muscle mass, particularly for older individuals who are looking to maintain their muscle as they age. 


You may not ever carve out time to go to the gym but a new review by social psychologists suggests the health benefits of small amounts of activity in two-minute increments that add up to 30 minutes per day can be just as beneficial as longer bouts of physical exercise achieved by a trip to the gym.


Even cutting your own vegetables rather than buying them pre-cut counts.

The analysis of over 6,000 American adults found that an active lifestyle approach seemed to be as beneficial as structured exercise in improving health outcomes, including preventing metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.


San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is going to take the field in two hours and it won't just be a vindication of the decision by coach Jim Harbaugh to replace Alex Smith and his 13-3 run with a passer rating over 100 - Harbaugh can't lose in the eyes of the public even if the team does - it will be a vindication of science.

Researchers have created a device which potentially can see one molecule though a simple optical system and can analyze its components within minutes. It uses plasmonics, the study of vibrations of electrons in different materials, and could allow for rapid and more accurate drug testing for professional athletes because it could detect the presence of even trace amounts of a substance.

It could also be used at airports or other high-security locations to prevent would-be terrorists from concealing explosives or traffickers from smuggling drugs. 


Female athletes are three times more likely than men to suffer anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) ruptures, one of the most common knee injuries.   Studies have found that pre-season and ongoing neuromuscular training programs aimed specifically at improving knee stability when jumping, landing or pivoting can significantly decrease ACL injury risk among girls and women. 

The anatomical differences between the male and female knee may contribute to higher injury rates, and should be taken into consideration during reconstructive surgery and sports training, according to a review article in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (JAAOS).


A new study, believed to the largest randomized trial to directly compare changes in body composition induced by comparable amounts of time, has found that aerobic training is better than resistance training for weight- and fat loss. 

They measured time spent doing aerobic and resistant training, or both in combination, among previously inactive overweight or obese non-diabetic adults.  

Methodology


Cycling is safer than driving for young British males ages 17 to 20 - driving brings an almost five times greater risk per hour of an accident than cyclists of the same age.


Erythropoietin, called EPO, is banned from sports because of claims it can enhance an athlete's performance unfairly.

A systematic review couldn't find any benefit but it found considerable risk of harm.

Professional cycling remains a popular sport though its image has been tainted by high-profile doping cases. EPO, a blood-cell stimulating hormone, recently made headlines, when the self-appointed United States of America's Anti-Doping agency (USADA) claimed that it was used by record seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong. 


11 articles in the December issue of Neurosurgical Focus are dedicated to concussions in sports, focusing on methods of diagnosing concussion and evaluating its consequences, structural and functional changes that can occur in the brain following concussion, and changing attitudes and legislation concerning sports that traditionally carry risks of brain injury.

Concussion, also called mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) by virtually no one outside concussion article writing, has been hyped into a "silent epidemic" in 2012 because the event and its consequences, such as cognitive and behavioral changes, may be subtle and are not always recognized, which means they can be correlated to almost anything.