INTERVIEW | SPORTS MEDICINE | “Technology Leads Athlete Care” | TECHNOLOGY

This week, Dr. Struan H. Coleman, a sports medicine and hip preservation surgeon from the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS), was in Lima to present the Biologics in Sports Medicine conference to national specialists.

The New York Mets baseball team’s family doctor spoke to El Comercio about the current status of injuries and in highly competitive athletes like with weekend athletes.

READ ALSO | ACV, an emergency where time is of the essence

— How much does an athlete’s training affect the severity of an injury?

Exceptionally. One of the most important things in sports medicine is that the athlete is in excellent condition. It is essential that it be under the supervision of a person who knows how to train it. Not only how to squat properly, but also how to train the muscles that most people forget about. For example, for an athlete, the muscles of the body are very important, from the chest to the hips. But many forget it and we see a lot of injuries in these areas. One of the things we do at HSS in New York is work with a multidisciplinary team to really assess athletes, find their weaknesses and focus on those areas during training. This is the best way to avoid injury.

“And you forget that in addition to the muscles, you have to take care of the bones as well…”

It’s true. Bone health is very important. We exercise to build strong muscles, but – especially for contestants– it is necessary to pay attention to the bones. We have seen, especially among younger athletes who train a lot, some cases of osteoporosis or osteopenia. What we do is test them to focus on what we call metabolic bone health, using calcium, vitamin D and other substances that can help keep your bones healthy.

“Commercial ‘wearables’ monitor sleep hours and that’s key for an athlete.”

— Can modern medicine protect athletes from injury?

Yes, through a thorough patient assessment. So we can know which training will be more effective. We have movement analysis, we can know in which combinations it is stronger and in which movements it is slower. With this, we design focused learning. Imaging also plays an important role: nuclear magnetic resonance and computed axial tomography. Thanks to modern computer programs, we can see if the athlete has a problem in any part of the body.

— How important is the role of technology?

Has a leading role in athlete care. Not only in the images, but also in the detailed analysis. Even many of the commercial “wearables” are quite effective as they track your sleep hours and this is key for an athlete as they are constantly traveling and need to take care of their rest periods between competitions.

— All metrics generated by athletes during training and competition are today an invaluable contribution…

Now there are many sensors that can do a very complex analysis of their movements. From there, you can create a personalized workout that helps you be more efficient.

“I read in an interview you gave a while back that you consider these wearables.” [como relojes inteligentes] It’s important, but does it matter if it’s off-brand or specialty?

In fact, many of the commercial wearables are quite effective. They allow you to measure your sleep hours. This is key when you’re an athlete because you’re constantly traveling and you have to take care of your rest times between races. But of course, you also have more complex and specialized devices. For example, baseball players have a sleeve full of sensors to analyze the angle of their arm and how fast they can throw the ball. You can know how far to push it and then move on to other exercises.

READ ALSO | Experts agree on the importance of vaccinating children against COVID-19

“What about recovery time?” Is there progress that they can be reduced, or are these natural processes that must wait?

All the knowledge he had about recovery is what made the times longer, whether the athlete was young or old. Now we have much more sophisticated processes that allow the athlete to return to competition in less time. Now we understand better the different types of injuries, we know how long the recovery process takes. This area is also seeing progress towards personalized medicine.

— Speaking of athletes, what would be your recommendations for athletes over the weekend to avoid injury?

I call this group the “weekend wars” and they are almost 90% of the patients I see. My recommendation is to try to find a simple workout routine at home and do lots of stretching throughout the week. As I mentioned at the beginning, the key is to train your core muscles hard. If you have to focus on one area of ​​the body to prevent most injuries, you should focus on that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *