Sports Science

To the outside world, muscles look like they contract or do work but at the very small scale it is
myosin molecules pulling actin filaments and myosin and actin are essentially nanomachines that convert the chemical energy of ATP hydrolysis - how cells in our muscles create energy - into mechanical work.

New electron cryomicroscopy images reveal unexpectedly large conformational changes in the myosin molecule during the pull and that may show how myosin generates force and create a paradigm for the construction of true nanomachines.

The number of Australians who run for exercise has doubled since the mid-2000s. Preventing and managing injuries are common concerns, and can present an ongoing health burden and high cost if not addressed appropriately.

But what if listening to the sound of running could help prevent injuries?

We recently conducted the first study to relate running technique with the sound of feet hitting the ground. Listening could prove a simple and effective feedback mechanism for runners, coaches and clinicians to understand how runners land their feet and the potential for certain injuries.

A study led by Loyola Medicine researchers found that female triathletes are at higher risk for pelvic floor disorders, among other health issues.

The study, published in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery, found that female triathletes suffered from a high rate of stress urinary and anal incontinence.

"We expected the high rates of urinary incontinence, but did not expect to find such high rates of anal incontinence," said senior author, Colleen Fitzgerald, MD, MS. Dr. Fitzgerald is the medical director of the Chronic Pelvic Pain program and an associate professor in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

A first-of-its-kind survey has confirmed what some water polo players - especially goalies - have long suspected: Concussions seem to be prevalent in the sport. At least in surveys.

More than a third of water polo participants reported sustaining a concussion either during games or in practice, according to a poll conducted by University of California, Irvine.

While women's tennis is arguably far more interesting than the men's game, there are some who want to make it more like the male version, or at least more competitive between women.

In a Journal of Sports Economics paper, the authors examined the differences between men's and women's tournament scores from the 24 top men's and 23 top women's singles tournaments of the 2010 season. They evaluated the "tightness," or competitiveness of a match according to how close the set scores were. Men's sets were consistently closer (6-4, 7-5), while women's sets tended to be more lopsided, with scores of 6-2, 6-1.

Most people who enjoy running or cycling know that if you drink a sports drink you can perform for longer. But for people taking part in sports such as football or tennis, where skill and accuracy are important, it’s unclear whether sports drinks can improve performance.

A new paper says that current practices for grouping and evaluating young dancers in ballet can be counterproductive, because it places late-maturing girls at a significant disadvantage during important phases of their development and at greater risk for injury.

The authors endorse an approach to training known as 'bio-banding', which groups individuals by their biological rather than chronological age and is popular in sports like football. 

Shoulder and elbow injuries in adolescent pitchers are becoming more and more prevalent each year. Researchers presenting their work today at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's (AOSSM) Specialty Day, highlight how fatigue can affect pitching mechanics and potentially result in injuries. 

"Our study simulated a 90-pitch game for 28 elite, adolescent pitchers and investigated how their shoulder and elbow motions affected pitching speed, accuracy, pain, and pitching mechanics. As expected, the boys became progressively more fatigued and painful with additional pitches. We also found that their pitching mechanics changed, which may ultimately contribute to injury" said lead author, Peter Chalmers, MD from Rush University Medical Center, in Chicago.

Repairing massive rotator cuff tears is often a tricky proposition, especially for those who have failed prior surgery. Researchers presenting their work at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's (AOSSM) Specialty Day today, discussed how a new arthroscopic procedure to treat large rotator cuff tears may help patients return to sports and work quicker. 

"Our work on utilizing an arthroscopic superior capsule reconstruction (ASCR) restored shoulder function at a greater rate than previous forms of treatment and helped return our patients to recreational sport and work faster," said Teruhisa Mihata, MD, PhD from the Osaka Medical College

Preseason prevention programs are beneficial to young baseball pitchers, according to research presented today at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's (AOSSM) Specialty Day. The study, the first to analyze a well-monitored preseason training program, showed numerous arm flexibility and strength improvements in participating athletes that could ultimately diminish the risk of injuries.