On this week’s show, Doctor Souryal talks about fitness screenings, preseason screenings, and why he prefers the term screening to the term physical. The Doc also talks about his experiences with high-school sports physicals, and why he doesn’t do them anymore.
Casey Smith, head trainer for the Dallas Mavericks, joins the show to talk about preparation for the upcoming season, reducing days lost to injury, what he’s looking for in preseason screenings.
Listeners call in with questions about whether to use ice or heat for elbow problems, different types of anti-inflammatories for aches and pains, cardiac screenings, disc problems, and things aging athletes can do to prevent injuries.
This week’s Business of Medicine segment focuses on who pays for medicine. Guest Dave Patzwald come on to talk about realfitscore.com, and a comprehensive assessment of fitness.
Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease, was generally thought to be an American problem. CTE, as the disease is known, has been found to have eroded the brains of professional boxers and football players, many of whom had suffered major concussions during their careers.
Sad news from Brazil is upending the notion of CTE as an American disease. Bellini, a former World Cup champion and star for the Brazilian soccer team who died earlier this year, was found to have suffered CTE.
The problem with CTE is that it can only be diagnosed post-mortem, so it is usually misdiagnosed as Alzheimer’s disease. This was the case for Bellini, who suffered from memory loss for 20 years before his death.
There is, however, a growing body of research that can help prevention efforts. It has been found that small, repeated sub-concussions can put a player at risk of developing CTE just as much as the less frequent concussions suffered by the average NFL quarterback. In Bellini’s case, it was likely repeated sub-concussions in the form of headers that caused his case of CTE.
Brain injuries are a thorny issue for soccer rulemakers. A year ago, the Princeton, New Jersey school district mandated that all school soccer teams wear soft helmets to mitigate the effect of headers. This was met with great resistance within the district and within the medical community, which is largely unconvinced that soft helmets prevent brain injury.
Perhaps the biggest development in terms of brain injury prevention in soccer comes from FIFA, international soccer’s governing body. This month, they announced a new rule that would allow for a three minute stoppage of play in order to assess the seriousness of a head injury. The goal is obviously to avoid leaving concussed players on the field, something that happened multiple times in this summer’s World Cup.
In the meantime, many doctors agree that the best solution for those of us not competing internationally is simply to learn proper header form, as demonstrated below.
Get the realFIT Score! A “healthy you” is our goal. Your realFIT Score a comprehensive measure of your total fitness. It includes 13 separate tests across six different categories. The overall score on a scale from 0-1000 is the fitness equivalent of your credit score.