C4CT conference brings together experts to discuss concussions

Super Bowl Week in New York may be a time to celebrate the end of another great NFL season, but for MomsTeam, it's been business as usual as it spends another busy week of trying to keep kids safe -- from Brooke de Lench speaking at a concussion conference at the United Nations, to watching the latest, shocking episode of "Friday Night Tykes," to reporting about the latest developments in the use of impact sensors in contact and collision sports:

  • When MomsTeam launched its Youth Sports Concussion Safety channel back in 2001, Brooke de Lench suspected that most must have thought the time and energy that she, a team of experts and senior editor Lindsay Barton were devoting to the topic of youth sports concussions bordered on the obsessive -- especially as no other youth sports website was talking about sport-related concussions at the time. Fourteen years later, the issue of sport-related concussions has become a national obsession and, as de Lench reported from New York, she was just one of a long roster of experts assembled at the C4CT concussion conference at the United Nations speaking live to an audience around the globe.
  • This week's episode of "Friday Night Tykes" hit a new low. While it is chock-full of "teachable moments" that continue to show precisely how not to run a youth football program, de Lench said that the Esquire Network reality series about a San Antonio youth football league is becoming too painful to watch. This week's episode was so shocking that it not only prompted a statement of condemnation from one national safety group, but resulted in the suspension two days later of two of the teams' coaches.
  • The conventional wisdom has been that the 5 to 10 percent of concussed athletes whose symptoms don't clear within 7-10 days should be treated with rest, reassurance and anti-depressants -- and physical activity should be avoided. But Barton reported on emerging research that suggests that controlled exercise rehabilitation may be a core component of treatment of children, adolescents and young adults who are slow to recover from concussion.
  • The announcement during Super Bowl Week in New York by the Boston-based Sports Legacy Institute of a certification program for head impact sensors that track the linear force of hits players sustain above 20 Gs wasn't what Brooke de Lench had expected based on SLI's prior statements, but was a move she wholeheartedly supports. SLI's announcement, she said, provides additional impetus to the growing movement -- which MomsTeam has been championing for several years -- toward using impact sensors as a way of alerting sideline personnel to high impact blows that might cause concussion, as a teaching tool for coaches in helping to train players how to minimize head contact while blocking and tackling and finally, for research.
  • In 2001, a multi-center group of 20 clinicians issued a set of guidelines for rehabilitation after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction surgery dubbed the MOON guidelines (Multicenter Orthopedic Outcomes Network). A new literature review of studies in the journal Sports Health: A Multidisciplinary Approach evaluates the various therapies recommended in the MOON guidelines (and some that it didn't recommend) and found that most have a sound basis in science. MomsTeam's new orthopedic expert, Dr. Jennifer Weiss, an orthopedic surgeon with the Southern California Permanente Medical Group at the Los Angeles Medical Center, and physical therapist Dr. Keith Cronin, offered thoughts on their clinical experience helping athletes return to sports after ACL surgery using the therapies in the MOON guidelines.

-- MomsTeam.com and NFL Evolution

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