Consensus on injury and illness prevention aids physicians and athletes
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and five other professional organizations released a new team physician consensus statement today that outlines best practices for injury and illness prevention for athletes of all levels. This statement is the newest paper in a series published since 2000 that addresses pertinent topics such as return-to-play decisions, concussion treatment, injury and illness prevention, sideline preparedness, psychological issues and other important topics. The team physician consensus statements serve as a reliable resource for team physicians and other medical professionals treating athletes, and can provide peace of mind for coaches, athletes, parents of youth athletes and the general public.
The new consensus statement, titled “Selected Issues in Injury and Illness Prevention and the Team Physician,” updates a statement originally published in 2007. The new document provides recommendations regarding musculoskeletal injuries, head and neck injuries, heat illness, cardiovascular issues, equipment and injury reduction/modification and skin infections. Key recommendations in the paper include the importance of up-to-date treatment information for athletes, the role of sport-specific prevention programs and cautions regarding equipment safety. An infographic is available that summarizes the paper’s recommendations.
“This paper offers guidelines for practice in the areas of injury and illness most commonly seen by team physicians,” said Stanley A. Herring, M.D., FACSM, chair of the project-based alliance and clinical professor in the Departments of Rehabilitation Medicine, Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, and Neurological Surgery at the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle. “It provides a roadmap of common issues facing medical professionals on the sidelines and in their offices.”
Collaborating with ACSM to produce the team physician consensus statements are the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine and American Osteopathic Academy of Sports Medicine.
“The combination of education, training and experience, together with the ongoing relationship with their team, allows the team physician to offer a unique level of medical care to athletes under their supervision,” said James R. Whitehead, executive vice president/CEO of the American College of Sports Medicine. “Experts from six sports medicine associations came together to produce these guidelines for team doctors, athletic trainers and other dedicated professionals to help athletes play safe and perform their best every day.”
The team physician consensus statement is jointly published in the January 2016 issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise® and the January/February 2016 issue of Current Sports Medicine Reports. All team physician consensus statement documents can be found here.