Aug 26, 2015|
Dr. Eric Berkson, founding director of Mass General's Sports Performance Center, discusses the best ways to prevent sports injuries
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934 and this is WRK you know we're joined this morning by doctor. Eric Burke send and doctor Burks and he's the founding director of the MGH sports performance center. And doctor it's good to have you with us today is the day that Massachusetts. Athletic associations since. False sports athletes back to practice in high schools across the state and this is the time of the year win. Kids have to be ready for the sport and parents have to be ready for possible injury associated with it. Absolutely thank you amateur having a Spartan. You back to what do you suggest. Two young athletes who maybe haven't been playing that sport for full year and and we hope I've gotten themselves back in shape better. Starting to get back into it at this point. I think it's if it's a much more complicated process and just thinking about it that they have full practice and sit with this is a process that starts during the summer and and some they need to build into an activity and and really recognize it conditioning takes some time as a very important concepts. I can't try to do too much too quickly in Munich got editing. And there's a reason that pre season as pre season. Allowed you to build into an activity. But one of the most important parts of early pre season is getting a pre season physical. And got that pre participation physical isn't just wouldn't. Something that the school requires some terrorism still another checkbox it's actually something that's really important and it's an excellent screening tool to prevent illness and injuries and and really evaluate the students are the athlete and make sure that sports is the right thing in the direct communication takes place. If they have a level of concern about a lot of these coaches. And what their involvement is with the student athletes. Absolutely the coaches are that he controller over how much activity is being done how fast they're wrapping up in terms of activity and recognizing an injury and and respecting it appropriately. And I think there's been a large change in the way that coaches are educated about injury and about preventing injury. And and that's a change from how it used to be in the past. Seems like every day and the professional sports world like college sports rule you're reading about torn ACL injuries is a problem with young kids as well and if it is. Do you know or does anyone know why it happens so often it. Her that's an excellent question. So the answer crushing it ligament injuries as this is an injury to as central ligament or 1 of 2 central ligaments inside the knee. And it's a one of the primary stabilizing ligament symphony it's a very common injury Tom Brady had it been. Lots of professional sports. People had to just Aziz said. But it's also something that's becoming increasingly common for kids of all ages and all sports club also and we don't exactly know why some of this have to do with the fact that kids are specializing in sports earlier and training harder. Some of it has to do that were recognizing these injuries much more than we used to but certainly there's an increased prevalence of these injuries and and it's becoming an increased problem. One of the things about ACL injuries those we do know how to prevent pizza and we note that with the right type of neural muscular training and it's. Prevention and learning how did jump and how to land appropriately. It really can make a big effect on how many of these injuries happen in an area. And I think coaches are just beginning to learn how to incorporate its tightly training into their practice. An end what do you do sir after these athletes unfortunately suffer some of these injuries what do you suggest. Well when he was. When you suffer an anterior crucial ligament injury it usually is surgery that is the answer. And after the reconstruction her halfway through the reconstruction process is really starting to think about the athlete as a whole. And that two approached. The reasons why this happened in the first place so as you recovering from unanswered. Associate ligament injury. We start neuromuscular training him in the physical therapy afterwards. Really teaching. The body how to land appropriately and how to coordinate muscles so try to prevent this century. But it's it's a complex process and it's not as easy as it sounds. What do you say to a pair her son plays baseball or in football for that matters quarterback as worried about Tommy John surgery how to prevent that. We. That's also one of the increasing. Injuries that we find all the time now and to that it's a lot of conditioning and thinking about this entry to begin where it. That we know that Tommy John entries are the injuries of this inside ligament of the elbow. Helped bend when. Athletes are over trained this is an overuse injury it's not just this sudden burst of some of this ligament in rather it's. Something that happens over time as. The shoulder and arm he'll work to march. And our current thought is that the more you pitch and the harder you throw more likely you are to injure this ligament. So after this type of injury we. The importance of building up into the year is absolutely important it's a six weeks building up process to be able to pitch on the mound it isn't something that you can do right away. And it's something that you have to respect in injury force that would you have pain especially when your pitcher but also another sports. And I you have to respect it and that's something that when Matt Cain his presence you're more likely to suffer a larger injury if you work through that payment not. We're talking with doctor your Burks and from MGH. Doctor do you guys stressed age appropriate sports for kids because injury you know for example pitching. You know that's a that's a perfect example I remember when my oldest was you know going through a Little League and whatever and they were very strict about how many pitches he could pitch in. Are you are you must be an advocate of those kinds of things. Absolutely I think it's less an age thing though that it is a technique or mechanics thing to do so it's appropriate to a two week train. Appropriately that you have to have the right mechanics with pitching is one of those sports that. And activities that pushes the arm and shoulder that has such a high extent. That you really have to have the perfect mechanics before you take it up to the next level. So our recommendations do include avoiding throwing a breaking off for instance until you can have the mechanics and arm strength to be able to support that. And pitch count sir are one way to modify and to control how much. Activity and over used the arm has been it's not the only thing we've learned that. But even being a catcher and pitcher at the same time if you if you commodity game as a pitcher don't need to throw every. Often Wear that as a catcher you probably keeping your arm just is that at risk as everything else. I'm so it's controlling the pain it's recognizing it and having a coach that and training staff that recognizes. Injury and and and when you're injured. Modifying what you're doing to prevent that problem from propagating. And I would think doctor that you feel pretty strongly about. Monitoring concussion issues. That is the issue of these days and I think that one of the things that we've learned from the NFL and even from. Just their experience who is with the younger athletes is that concussions are very serious injury that. That. That education can really prevent and what we've learned is that a concussion. Is anything that. Happens to the brain after being hit in the head sort concussion just isn't when you lose consciousness after. After being head hit my head but it can be as simple as having a headache after hitting being hit they had. And recognizing the concussion is the key event and it's important for two reasons. The first is that when you recognize the concussion early. And the rest of the actually did he get better faster. So playing through that initial symptoms may actually make it longer and harder to get better. And then the second is that if you play through a concussion if you return back to sport before that concussion has all the way over. You were susceptibility. To a second concussion is much lower much so you can you can you get a concussion much easier than you would otherwise. And the effects of that head injury can be much more severe. In younger kids you can actually died from that but. Certainly the effects are very severe. Playing through the construction and trying to figure out when that concussion is over. Is is also a support. Sure I think we talk about you know the education of coaches vote it seems to me we need to educate our young athletes about this is well they have to be the one he says. I got to come out of the game I I got a pounding headache. Brito there in a tough yeah thanks. Absolutely and this is a an opportunity as well and you inspire some leadership in the team because not only is recognizing a concussion more likely to keep a spare teammates. Helping them later in the game but it's also gonna hope that he may prevent from having a future problem in school and and I am sports. So it's there it's a great leadership opportunity to be teaching students about concussions and not only their prevention but also recognizing them when they have a. Great insight doctor air Burks and he is the founding director of the MGH sports performance center thank you. Thank you it's down 944 here on the WRKO boston.com or in China.