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Sports Medicine Research Projects
Lower Body Positive Pressure Treadmill Exercise for Early Rehabilitation after Injury Purpose: Ankle injuries are considered to be the most common sports trauma, accounting for 10–30% of all sports injuries and most common in sports that involve jumping and sidestepping. More concerning, athletes that do not participate in preventative balance training are almost six times more likely to sustain another ankle injury. Early motion is advocated to reduce the musculature atrophy that occurs in type I and type II fibers of lower extremities, to maintain full range of motion by preventing ligamentous deterioration, and to reduce the chance of arthrofibrosis or excessive scarring thus permitting earlier recovery and enhanced comfort. Motion also stimulates healing of torn ligaments within the joint and is critical to enable new collagen to align with the stresses and forces applied at the joint. There are several techniques which reduce the patient’s weight such as water immersion, parallel bars, walking devices (rollator, crutches), overhead harness suspension, or lower body positive pressurized (LBPP) chamber. The chamber has several advantages compared to the other methods: 1) extension of exercise time because it is more comfortable than harness suspension (no straps are fixed around the hip and the upper extremity), 2) accurate control of the amount of body unloading, 3) no water drag, 4) improvement of balance skills as there is no external support, 5) maintaining upright posture during walking, and 6) no upper extremity involvement as with walking devices. Hypothesis: Improved rehabilitation time and quality will be experienced with regular use of the LBPP chamber following immediate diagnosis of an ankle sprain. Technologies Used: LBPP Intracranial Pressure Waveforms in Boxers and other Head-Contact Sports Purpose: In a study looking at traumatic brain injury, occurrence of brain edema and elevated intracranial pressure (ICP) were linked to the apoptosis of brain cells. In the absence of a diagnosable mild traumatic brain injury, or concussion, the participation in a head-contact sport may still produce cognitive impairments. Presumably this results from the cumulative consequences produced by multiple minimal head collisions that causes a certain degree of sub-clinical neuropsychological vulnerability. Furthermore, repeated exposures to high ICP may contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s Disease. Therefore experts suggest that cognitive evaluation in organized high-risk sports should be considered regardless of age or performance. The goal of this study is to correlate non-invasive estimates of intracranial pressure, intraocular pressure (IOP), changes in the fundus, blood pressure, and blood-markers for brain injury to head-contact during sports activity in order to better understand the effect of head-contact in boxing and mixed martial arts. Hypothesis: We hypothesize there will be a significant change in ICP waveforms and inner-ear fluid pressure immediately after head-contact sports, and that no such changes will be evident following non-contact related exercise. We also hypothesize that there will be changes in IOP and fundocopic images with altered ICP. Technologies used: CCFP, Ultrasound, OCT
RESEARCH Space Physiology Tissue Pressure Microvascular Flow
Sports Medicine