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Sports Then and Now



How to Prevent Common Sports Injuries 1

Posted on September 18, 2020 by Martin Banks

The human body is an amazingly resilient biological machine, but it is not invulnerable. Whether you’re playing football, soccer, rugby or something in between, there is always the potential for injury. Of course, some injuries happen more frequently than others. What are the most common sports injuries, and how can you prevent them?

1. Shin Splints

Shin splints, or pain in the shins during exertion, are a common complaint among runners. They can happen to anyone, but are most prevalent in athletes who increase their speed or mileage too quickly, those who need new shoes or those that start exercising without properly stretching or warming up. Left untreated, these can develop into more severe injuries, up to and including stress fractures in the shin.

Stretching and switching to new shoes with arch support are the best ways to prevent shin splints. If they do occur, treat them with rest and ice. 

2. Concussion

Concussions occur when you take a blow to the head hard enough to jostle your brain around inside your skull. They’re common in most contact sports, and require diagnosis and treatment from a trained professional. Anyone with a suspected concussion should stop playing immediately and seek the help of a medical professional. 

Providing proper training and safety equipment can help prevent concussions in sports. Rules that disallow headshots and an athletic culture that endorses good sportsmanship can also prevent these common injuries.

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Athlete Accident: 4 Tips For A Fast Recovery 12

Posted on January 26, 2017 by Kara Masterson

AthleteFor Sport athletes, accidents come unexpectedly and can result in a sprained ankle, broken bone, or a muscle tear. However, there is no secret formula for healing from sports injuries. The key to a fast recovery lies in simple measures that are often overlooked. The following web page will share some tips of gaining fast recovery from an athlete accident.

RICE (Rest-Ice-Compression-Elevation)

Experts recommend the RICE procedure to reduce swelling, relieve pain, and to fast track healing after a minor athletic injury. The first step is to limit regular activities. The next steps involve putting ice on the injured part and exerting pressure to prevent swelling. Make sure you take the ice off every 20 minutes to prevent a cold injury. You can use an elastic wrap or air cast to put pressure on your injury. Lastly, you should elevate the injured area at a level that is above the heart for minimal swelling. The RICE approach is usually used before a person seeks advance medical treatment. If a RICE strategy does not work, it means your injuries are severe and you should seek the counsel of professionals such as those at McLaughlin & Lauricella, P.C. in addition to getting medical attention.

Change Your Diet

Macro nutrients will help you heal from an injury faster. Proper nutrition increases the supply of nutrients transported by blood to the injured area. Avoid consuming foods that increase inflammation. These include foods such as cayenne, eggplant, potatoes, hot peppers, tomatoes, and processed flour. Instead, eat foods that accelerate healing such as juice from organic vegetables, foods rich in omega 3 acids, ginger, garlic, beets, and radishes. Additionally, focus on foods that are high in zinc, calcium, glucosamine sulfate, manganese, and multivitamins. Read the rest of this entry →

Worst Injuries in Football History 4

Posted on March 04, 2016 by Martin Banks

NFL football is the most popular sport in the United States, which comes as little surprise to most Americans. From opening day to the Super Bowl, football is a weekly phenomenon. However, between all the dazzling Odell Beckham Jr. one-handed grabs and Aaron Rodgers successful Hail Marys, there’s an unsettling truth lurking: Football is – by far – the most dangerous popular sport.

In 2013, more than 4,500 NFL players reached a $765 million settlement with the league after being diagnosed with and/or suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a brain disease often caused by a severe blow to the head. CTE is impossible to diagnose until death, but many players report the symptoms, which begin to show around 8-10 years after the infliction. CTE sufferers can experience dizziness, headaches and disorientation, in addition to memory loss, poor judgment and erratic behavior.

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While a big tackle isn’t necessarily going to inflict future CTE among the player being hit every time, there’s no arguing that the potential for CTE is a growing concern every time players take the field. It’s a sad reality that, when you turn on a professional football game, it’s extremely likely that players you’re watching will develop CTE symptoms down the line, purely because how the game is played. No other sport involves as much contact or bang-bang tackles. Football leads significantly as the sport with the most head injuries.

When looking at the types of injuries that are fairly commonplace in the sport, certain gruesome injuries come to mind that effectively demonstrate the sport’s high-risk nature, even beyond the brain:

Mike Utley’s Vertebrae Injury

Mike Utley, a former Lions offensive lineman, suffered perhaps the sport’s more gruesome injury when he severely injured his sixth and seventh vertebrae against the LA Rams on Nov. 17, 1991. Although he gave the crowd a thumbs-up as he was removed from the field, his spinal cord injuries made him a paraplegic. Although his career was finished by the injury, Utley has turned it into a positive, starting the Mike Utley Foundation, which supports treatment for spinal cord injuries.

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Were Early NFL Uniforms Safer Than What Is Worn Today? 3

Posted on January 22, 2014 by Martin Banks

Imagine a time in the history of American football when helmets were completely optional. That was the reality for early NFL football. In fact, helmets and face guards were not mandatory until 1943 — four years after they became mandatory for collegiate football. Even after the change, older players were allowed to play without a helmet. The last player to do so was Dick Plasman, whose career spanned from 1937 to 1947.

Looking back to a time when players preferred to play the game with no helmet whatsoever, it’s clear that such a policy would be unthinkable today. Odds are better of finding a nutritious meal at a local McDonald’s. Was this lax behavior due to ignorance about safety or was the game much different then? Were the NFL’s early uniforms so different that they actually made the game safer?

The Uniform Materials Of Yesteryear

Early American football uniforms were rather simplistic. Taking a look at vintage uniforms, much of the padding was reinforced with leather, at least what little padding there was. Early gridiron veterans resented all the padding. In their eyes, the focus on safety was making the game more “effeminate.” The mental image back then was similar to “A Christmas Story” where your mother didn’t let you out the door unless you were bundled up in layers to the point you couldn’t move.

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Pittsburgh Penguins playing fine with call-ups 0

Posted on December 31, 2013 by Martin Banks

Jayson+MegnaHockey is a game of “What Ifs.” What if Ken Dryden had a longer career? What If Brett Hull’s crease violation was called? What If Mario Lemieux didn’t get cancer? So many records and games could be changed by just the slightest details, and we often mull over them and ponder an alternate universe where Kerry Fraser doesn’t blow a call or Tim Thomas doesn’t go hide in a bunker. One of the biggest “What Ifs” involves the Pittsburgh Penguins and their constant injury issues. “What If the Penguins stars never got injured?” Ever since Crosby’s concussion in the Winter Classic, the Penguins have been setting records for man-games lost to injury. This season they’ve already racked up over 210 man-games lost, which is staggering not only in the amount, but the fact that it isn’t just 3rd and 4th liners, but some of their top stars like Malkin, Dupuis, Orpik and Letang. Fortunately, Pittsburgh is lucky enough to have one of the best farm systems in the NHL, and can pull from Wilkes-Barre Scranton and receive NHL-ready players while their starters watch the game from their physical therapy pools. Let’s take a look at a few of the call ups who have been outstanding in their time with the big club.

First, we’ll start with Robert Bortuzzo, who isn’t exactly a call-up, as he started the season with the Penguins, but injuries to regular starters required him to be moved up on a more permanent basis. Bortuzzo is like Brooks Orpik, only bigger and younger. He has the ability to deliver bone crushing checks, yet still has the heads-up awareness to move the puck well. This season has been his first real shot at staying on the roster, and he’s made a good case for an extension.

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Stan Jones – Weight Training Trailblazer
      October 11, 2020 | 1:48 pm
      Stan Jones

      The Sports Then and Now Athlete of the Month was one of the great linemen of his era and is considered a trailblazer for using weight training and conditioning to develop his skills.

      After a standout career at the University of Maryland, Stan Jones spent nine seasons as an offensive lineman for the Chicago Bears, making seven Pro Bowl appearances and earning first team All-Pro three times.

      In 1962, assistant coach George Allen suggested Jones move to defense to help solidify that unit for the Bears. He played both ways in 1962 and then in 1963 moved permanently to the defense.

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