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Troy R. Garrett and Peter J. Neibert

Clinical Scenario:

Injury to the plantar fascia, whether acute or chronic, is common among many populations. A conventional multiple-treatment approach is commonly administered by health care providers, consisting of controlling inflammation, managing pain, and promoting healing. Frequently, the initial treatment for plantar fasciitis is targeted at increasing dorsiflexion range of motion by stretching the gastroc-soleus musculature. It has been theorized that inflexibility of the gastroc-soleus complex can lead to excessive pronation and overcompensation of the plantar fascia at the first metatarsal phalangeal joint, therefore increasing the stress at the medial calcaneal insertion. Therefore, it is deemed that gastrocnemius–soleus stretches are a beneficial treatment in the initial stage of a plantar fasciitis treatment or rehabilitation program.

Focused Clinical Question:

Is a gastrocnemius–soleus stretching program, as a stand-alone treatment variable, effective in the treatment of plantar fasciitis?

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Sandra O'Brien Cousins

This study analyzed older women's (age 57–92, N = 32) descriptions of motivating triggers for physical activity. Among active women, activity was triggered by situations such as declining fitness levels, low bone density, more free time, fears about inadequate health care leading to self-care, expectations for reduced aches and pains, awareness of new community programs, and public reports of the health benefits. Semiactive women had doubts about the appropriateness of being active. Inactive people also experienced triggers but seemed firmly committed to a less active lifestyle by reminding themselves that retirement requires no commitments, exercise is not needed if you are healthy, exercise is not appropriate if you are ill, being very busy is a substitute activity, and serving others is less selfish. The findings suggest that active-living interventions might be more effectively aimed at semi active seniors who seem positively disposed to participating but need help to get started or to stay involved.

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Barbara Resnick, Marcia G. Ory, Kerrie Hora, Michael E. Rogers, Phillip Page, Jane N. Bolin, Roseann M. Lyle, Cody Sipe, Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko and Terry L. Bazzarre

The Exercise Assessment and Screening for You (EASY) is a tool developed to help older individuals, their health care providers, and exercise professionals identify different types of exercise and physical activity regimens that can be tailored to meet the existing health conditions, illnesses, or disabilities of older adults. The EASY tool includes 6 screening questions that were developed based on an expert roundtable and follow-up panel activities. The philosophy behind the EASY is that screening should be a dynamic process in which participants learn to appreciate the importance of engaging in regular exercise, attending to health changes, recognizing a full range of signs and symptoms that might indicate potentially harmful events, and becoming familiar with simple safety tips for initiating and progressively increasing physical activity patterns. Representing a paradigm shift from traditional screening approaches that focus on potential risks of exercising, this tool emphasizes the benefits of exercise and physical activity for all individuals.

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Stephan R. Walk

Recent work has suggested that masculinist sport subcultures (e.g., Young & White, 1995) and “conspiratorial” sports organizations (Nixon, 1992a) foster the acceptance of pain and injury by athletes. Using semistructured interviews, this study examined the experiences and beliefs of 22 student athletic trainers at a large university. The study found that student athletic trainers had conflicting alliances to student athletes and to staff trainers, held competing beliefs about athlete pain and injury, and struggled with athletes who did not properly use health care services and advice. It is recommended that future studies focus upon processes of negotiation and conflict, that more attention be directed to medical treatment of injured women athletes, and that recommendations to change medical services for athletes await further research.

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Jacquelyn Allen Collinson

Despite a growing body of research on the sociology of time and, analogously, on the sociology of sport, to date there has been relatively little sports literature that takes time as the focus of the analysis. Given the centrality of time as a feature of most sports, this would seem a curious lacuna. The primary aims of this article are to contribute new perspectives on the subjective experience of sporting injury and to analyze some of the temporal dimensions of sporting “injury time” and subsequent rehabilitation. The article is based on data derived from a 2-year autoethnographic research project on 2 middle/long-distance runners, and concludes with some indicative comments regarding the need for sports physiotherapists and other health-care practitioners to take into account the subjective temporal dimension of injury and rehabilitative processes.

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Dominic Malcolm

In this article I examine the role and working practice of rugby union club doctors in England. While medicine is widely perceived to be one of the most powerful professions in Western societies, sociologists of sport have argued that sport clinicians often wield relatively limited power over their athlete-patients. In this article I therefore attempt to shed further light on the “peculiar” character of sports medicine. Using data drawn from interviews and questionnaires, I argue that this phenomenon can be understood only by looking at the structure of the sports medicine profession, the specificities of the rugby club as a workplace setting, and the relationships club doctors have with clients (coaches and athletes) and other health care providers (physiotherapists).

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Thomas Rowland

Recognizing the cardiac features of athletically trained children bears importance for health care providers and exercise physiologists alike. This literature review reveals that ventricular enlargement and/or hypertrophy are commonly observed in studies of pre- and early-adolescent endurance athletes, yet the magnitude of these features is less than that described in adult athletes. Moreover, the upper range of values in child athletes is sufficiently small that clinical confusion with findings mimicking those in individuals with heart disease should not be expected to occur. In contrast to sex differences in the “athlete’s heart” in adults, cardiac structural findings in child athletes are similar in males and females. The extent that cardiac features observed in trained child athletes reflect a response to training or are influenced by genetic preselection remains uncertain.

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Ross E. Andersen and John M. Jakicic

The aim of this review is to provide a scientific update on the current guidelines for both health and weight management. There has been confusion among health professionals as to which physical activity guidelines should be used to help various specific populations adopt more active lifestyles. We first review the history of the physical activity guidelines. Using the physical activity guidelines in clinical practice is also explored. We also describe common barriers to physical that overweight individuals report and we discuss when it is appropriate for a health care professional to seek a referral from an exercise scientist to help sedentary adults increase their levels of activity. It is important for individuals who care for overweight patients and sedentary adults to understand the current physical guidelines and how these guidelines can be worked into clinical practice.

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Lisa M. Stobierski, Shirleeah D. Fayson, Lindsay M. Minthorn, Tamara C. Valovich McLeod and Cailee E. Welch

Clinical Scenario:

Injuries are inevitable in the physically active population. As a part of preventive medicine, health care professionals often seek clinical tools that can be used in real time to identify factors that may predispose individuals to these injuries. The Functional Movement Screen (FMS), a clinical tool consisting of 7 individual tasks, has been reported as useful in identifying individuals in various populations that may be susceptible to musculoskeletal injuries. If factors that may predispose physically active individuals to injury could be identified before participation, clinicians may be able to develop a training plan based on FMS scores, which could potentially decrease the likelihood of injury and overall time missed from physical activities. However, in order for a screening tool to be used clinically, it must demonstrate acceptable reliability.

Focused Clinical Question:

Are clinicians reliable at scoring the FMS, in real time, to assess movement patterns of physically active individuals?

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Christian C. Evans and Sandra L. Cassady

Objective:

To describe the underlying conditions that predispose athletes to sudden cardiac death (SCD) and review signs and symptoms that indicate an athlete is at risk.

Data Sources:

MEDLINE, the Los Angeles Times and Triathlon Times archives, and other sources identified in the references of articles initially located therein. A total of 43 references were included.

Conclusions:

Most cases of SCD in younger athletes (≤35 years) are attributable to multiple hereditary conditions, with familial hyper-trophic cardiomyopathy being the primary cause, whereas the major cause of SCD in older athletes (>35 years) is coronary artery disease. Health-care professionals evaluating athletes should pay particular attention to past medical and family history. Items in an athlete’s screening that suggest increased risk include a history of chest pain, syncope, excessive shortness of breath, irregular heart rate or murmur, or a history of SCD in an immediate family member.