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Healthy Roster provides patient engagement, care coordination, telemedicine and outreach tools for Sports Medicine, Orthopedics and other medical specialties. We enable patients to communicate with providers, reducing communication gaps, phone tag, and readmissions. Use with Home Health & SNF’s to manage CJR and Cardiac bundled payments.

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Filtering by Category: Injury Info

What Athletic Trainers Should Know About Esports

Healthy Roster

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Game On(line)

What Athletic Trainers Should Know About Esports

Athletic trainers are accustomed to seeing the same groups of athletes coming through their facilities every season: football players in the fall, wrestlers in the winter, softball players in the spring. There’s a rhythm to this cycle, each sport arriving with its own set of injuries and ailments to contend with. But now, a new sport is shaking up that rhythm, and its equipment consists of a console, a controller and a computer.

That’s right, esports is the latest competitive activity taking the world by storm. Though the stereotypical image of a hardcore gamer is someone holed up in a dark room and sitting stagnant in front of a screen all day, don’t be mistaken — these are called e-sports for a reason. And as with any other sport, esports requires ATs and other medical professionals to work with the athletes to ensure they’re staying on top of their physical and mental health. With esports rising in popularity and with more and more schools adding varsity esports programs, it’s important for ATs to understand the sport and the risks these athletes face.

What is esports?

Esports, as a whole, describes the world of competitive, organized video games. The games themselves vary, with teams competing in leagues dedicated to titles such as “League of Legends,” “Overwatch,” “Hearthstone,” “Fortnite,” and “CS:GO.” Though some leagues host live events and some competitions are even broadcast on television, the majority of esports fans tune in via streaming services such as Twitch. This is where most of the sport’s following has grown — and quite the following it is.

Esports Competition

Esports Competition

According to research firm Newzoo, the international esports audience will reach 453.8 million this year, generating revenues of $1.1 billion. With that much money at stake, a growing number of esports teams are now fully or partially owned by traditional sports team owners such as Robert Kraft and Stan Kroenke. Those sorts of investors are able to provide esports programs with the same level of medical staff as other professional athletes.

But the popularity extends beyond the professional realm as well. Varsity scholarships have been available to college esports athletes since 2014, and today, the National Association of Collegiate Esports consists of more than 135 member schools and over 3,000 student athletes. There is even discussion about making esports an Olympic event. Much more than just “gaming,” esports is a legitimate sport that requires intense levels of training and conditioning. Without the assistance of athletic trainers, esports athletes can succumb to myriad injuries, both physical and mental.

Common Physical Injuries

When you watch esports, you might not consider it a very physical activity. It involves a lot of sitting, clicking a controller, and staring at a bright screen. But these repeated motions actually put esports athletes at risk for very particular injuries, the most common of which is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, caused by intense repetitive movements of the fingers. Young gamers that notice their hands beginning to tingle or go numb tend to ignore it, thinking that it will heal on its own. But with time, use of their hand can grow more difficult, and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can actually end their careers. Education and preventative care are essential to catching injuries like this before they affect one’s future.

Other common areas of concern are the elbows, knees, feet, and neck, all of which are subject to repetitive motion or stress injuries, or even tendinitis. Additionally, medical professionals should work with esports athletes to monitor their eye health, as prolonged periods of staring at a screen can cause significant fatigue and strain, and can even affect their hand-eye coordination — an essential element in their athletic repertoire.

Common Mental Concerns

When working with any athlete, it’s important to focus on both their body and their mind. This is especially true with esports athletes, as their intense training regimen (12-16 hours of gaming a day) tends to keep them inside. In addition to the burnout that can be caused by looking at a screen for that long, their schedule often forces them to give up time with friends and family, and unlike other sports, they don’t enjoy a built-in off-season. Job security is also a concern, as the competitive nature of the burgeoning sport means there is always someone gunning for a player’s job, ready to take it if they don’t succeed. Taking all of this into consideration, it’s no surprise that mental health issues such as depression and anxiety are pervasive throughout the community.

Another item of concern is drug abuse. In the past, esports athletes have admitted to using Adderall during a competition to enhance their performance, as the ADHD medication can help them stay energized and focused. Though there is little evidence that Adderall actually gives players an extra advantage, abusing any prescription medication is dangerous, especially an amphetamine like Adderall that, in addition to increasing one’s heart rate and blood pressure, can be incredibly addictive.

One thing we have tried to do is create a support network for them to become more healthy overall, just like any other athlete. The esports team has voluntary team lifting with our Strength & Conditioning coaches, as well as the option to receive individual nutrition counseling…Every so often we have small groups talks on topics such as posture, hand/forearm injury prevention, and physical activity.
— David Jameyson, MS, AT, ATC (Ashland University)

Healthy Habits

So what should the relationship between an esports athlete and an athletic trainer look like? In addition to providing prevention, examination, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation for the conditions listed above, ATs — along with coaches and other medical professionals — should work with esports athletes to establish proper nutrition and general fitness routines.

We talked to David Jameyson, MS, AT, ATC, at Ashland University (which houses one of the country’s top esports programs and uses Healthy Roster for injury documentation and communication) about his experiences providing athletic training services to esports athletes:

Ashland University Esports

Ashland University Esports

“One thing we have tried to do is create a support network for them to become more healthy overall, just like any other athlete,” Jameyson said. “The esports team has voluntary team lifting with our Strength & Conditioning coaches, as well as the option to receive individual nutrition counseling…Every so often we have small groups talks on topics such as posture, hand/forearm injury prevention, and physical activity.”

Gaming itself is not physically exhausting, but because of their intense commitment to training, many esports athletes neglect to eat healthily, develop a regular sleep cycle, or get enough physical exercise. This sedentary lifestyle that esports has a tendency to breed can lead to mental burnout. Even more seriously, at least six high-profile esports players have suffered spontaneous pneumothorax (collapsed lung), though there has been no direct indication of causation.

Keep in mind that esports is still young, as is the knowledge of how to treat these athletes. New advancements are being made every day. For instance, in 2017, a 2,000-square-foot esports training center opened in Thousand Oaks, California, with state-of-the-art technology designed specifically to perfect gamers’ physical and cognitive skills. And Dr. Levi Harrison, a Los Angeles-based orthopedic surgeon has established the country’s first esports-focused practice, helping to develop specific exercises and ergonomic hand positions for athletes based on what sort of controller they use. There is a lot of ground to cover, so as with any field, it’s important for ATs to stay up-to-date on the latest advancements, continuing their education so they can provide the best possible care.

5 Things You Should Know About Ice Hockey Injuries

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Ice Hockey Injuries

5 Things You Should Know

As the month of February kicks off, ice hockey teams across all levels are entering the latter halves of their season, many of them gearing up for a high-energy playoff run. Given the sport’s incredibly fast pace and frequent body contact, the increased intensity during this time of year can put players at a higher risk for getting hurt. With this in mind, we’re taking a look at some of the most important concepts to understand regarding hockey’s common injuries.

Read through these to ensure that once the puck drops, you’re well prepared for whatever the hockey gods throw your way.

  1. Game Versus Practice

    Even though games account for only 23 percent of all collegiate athlete exposures (AE) — defined as a single player participating in a single game or practice, 65 percent of all hockey injuries occur during game time. Another way to look at this is that injuries occur roughly six times as often in games as in practice.


    To understand why this is, one must consider the violent nature of the sport when played at full intensity. Top hockey athletes can skate at speeds of up to 30 mph and shoot the puck upwards of 100 mph. While penalties prohibit players from certain physical behaviors (e.g. directing contact with their elbows, hitting players from behind), using one’s body to check another player, either at open ice or into the boards, is generally legal — and these sorts of collisions account for more than 50 percent of all injuries. Finally, compared to other contact sports such as football or wrestling, hockey sees few stoppages in play. With all of this in mind, it’s easy to understand why players are much more likely to be injured amid the speed and aggression of game play than at a controlled practice.

  2. Variation

    While there are common injuries that routinely occur across all leagues and levels, some variation can be seen as well. For instance, goalies report lower injury rates (2.7 per 1000 AE) than forwards and defensemen (five per 1000 AE), and among the latter, studies show that forwards have a 2.1 times increased risk of concussion. There are considerable differences between genders as well, with men seeing higher rates of injury across all level of play. (It’s important to remember that, even at the professional level, women are not allowed to body check while men are) However, concussions account for a higher percentage of injuries in women’s hockey (17 percent versus eight percent), while men see a higher rate of upper-body injuries. Finally, there has also been some reported variation across styles of play. While European hockey is heavily focused on maintaining possession, Americans favor a “dump-and-chase” style, in which the attacking team shoots the puck into the offensive zone and skates after it at full speed — a style which can put players at a higher risk for dangerous collisions. It’s important that players understand the way in which their style, position, and gender affect their disposition to certain injuries.

  3. Concussions

    Given hockey’s high level of contact, it’s no surprise that concussions represent the most common injury across all levels, accounting for 18.6 percent of all injuries, as well as the second-most amount of time lost from practice or games. At the collegiate level, concussions are more common in women’s hockey, representing 22 percent of game injuries and 13 percent of practice injuries.


    Lacerations also contribute to the high occurrence of injuries to the head and face. However, leagues have taken considerable measures to decrease this, from penalizing contact to the head to requiring players up to the collegiate level to wear full face masks. Regardless, with the amount of concussions and other head injuries, it’s essential for athletic trainers, players, and coaches to understand how to recognize and treat these conditions.

  4. Body Checking

    As we mentioned before, it’s hockey’s uniquely fast play and high rate of body collisions that contribute to many of its injuries. For instance, the acromioclavicular (AC) joint sprain, which accounts for 59 percent of all shoulder injuries, occurs more often once male players reach the age in which they’re allowed to body check. Especially when hit into the boards (legally), players who are checked often have their AC joint placed in a position to absorb a lot of force.


    Because of this, body checking has received much of the focus with regard to injury prevention in recent years, particularly in youth hockey. For instance, in 2011, USA Hockey increased the level of play at which body checking was allowed from Pee Wee (11-12 years old) to Bantam (13-14). Despite arguments that kids should learn to check “properly” at a young age, the rules change was followed by a 20 percent decrease in overall injury, with 23 percent drop in fractures and a 41 percent decrease in internal organ damage.

  5. Unique Injuries

    Ice hockey’s setting and style puts its players at a predisposition for certain injuries not as common in other sports. For example, the unique athletic movement involved in skating places demands on the pelvis and hip that can be difficult to manage if the player has suffered a past injury to their adductor or has inadequate adduction strength. As such players transition from one leg to the other during a stride, the loss of pelvic control can lead to a groin strain — one of the most frequently occurring ice hockey injuries. Also distinctive to the sport is the syndesmosis injury, or “high ankle sprain.” Hockey skates are stiff enough to support one’s ankle, but the combination of one’s elevation off the ice (due to the skate blade) and the high speeds and quick directional changes while skating can leave the lower leg just above the ankle at risk for rotational injury.