Saturday, April 19, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Brian Cammarota

POSTED: Wednesday, March 26, 2014, 5:30 AM
Jon Darling, athletic trainer for North Fargo, N.D. Spartan High School, tapes senior Marlee Nasset's ankle prior to track practice, Friday, May 14, 2004. (AP Photo/Alyssa Hurst)

While watching our favorite sports teams, we are generally hoping for 2 things—a win for our team and no injuries.

Injuries have always been a part of sports and likely always will be. The difference between a championship season and missing the playoffs may be 1-2 injuries. Fortunately, professional and college teams almost always have an athletic trainer on site to care for that injury.

Athletic trainers (ATs) are nationally certified after passing a board exam and obtaining a bachelor’s or master’s degree in athletic training. They are state-licensed and work under the direction of a physician in most states. The services provided by ATs comprise prevention, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions.1 ATs are the first medical providers to respond to an on field emergency. They care for the individual player (often alone), until an ambulance arrives to transport the player to a hospital.

POSTED: Monday, March 17, 2014, 11:45 AM
Filed Under: Brian Cammarota | Working Out

My recent article and the subsequent comments presented show some of the difference in opinions when it comes to squatting. I appreciate the responses and discussion and would like to clarify a few things.

First off, to clarify, I DO teach people to squat with their backs rounded, not extended. I have learned these methods form the Postural Restoration Institute (PRI) and once I incorporated these techniques, I found my athletes/clients were healthier. Even if you do not agree that the spine should be rounded, most would agree that the back should NOT be extended or arched. An extended back clearly increases your risk of back injury.

Let’s separate 2 parts of the article. First, the picture at the end (below) shows a deep squat with the back rounded. This is an excellent position to learn how to squat properly. It allows you to stretch when you incorporate deep breathing and extended holds. I would not place a heavy weight over her head in this position, but if she was using a vest or dumbbells, she could perform squats.

POSTED: Friday, March 14, 2014, 5:30 AM
Filed Under: Brian Cammarota | Working Out

Is squatting a good exercise? Should I squat past 90 degrees?

These are 2 questions I hear over and over as a clinician in the rehab setting. My answer to both questions is almost always “Yes.”

I would like all of my clients and patients to have the ability to squat. It is one of the most primitive and basic motions and all of us should be able to do it. But unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world and many people have not squatted correctly in many years; leading to knee, back, and other injuries. So, why do I wish my patients and clients could squat, and why do I teach it so often?

POSTED: Friday, February 14, 2014, 9:32 AM

Reaction time, vision, quick deliberate movements—these are important in most sports, but as a hockey goalie these skills are vital!

Josh Harding, starting goaltender for the Minnesota Wild, is currently leading the NHL in Goals Against Average at 1.65 and is tied for 2nd in save percentage at .933. He nearly made this year’s Canadian Olympic Ice hockey team (a perennial medal favorite) and likely would have been an Olympian had he lived anywhere other than Canada.

Harding’s career took an interesting turn since the fall of 2012. He went from being a back-up goalie, averaging fewer than 30 games per season over the past five years, to Olympic hopeful and one of the best goalies in the NHL.

POSTED: Wednesday, January 8, 2014, 5:30 AM
Team West pitcher Jazmine Ayala in action Wednesday. Team Southeast from McLean, Virginia was defeated 9-0 by Team West from Tucson, Ariz., in the 2013 Little League World Series Championship game Wednesday night Aug. 14, 2013 in Portland. (AP Photo/The Oregonian, Ross William Hamilton)

Throwing a baseball or softball is one of the most difficult activities in sports and requires extreme accuracy and skill. It is also one of the most unnatural motions in sports and leads to many injuries, especially among baseball pitchers.

The speed of the pitching shoulder in baseball has been shown to reach 6900 degrees per second in youth pitchers (and higher speeds in adult pitchers). That is equivalent to spinning your arm in a circle approximately 19 times in 1 second (or about half the time it took to read this last sentence). With speeds that fast, it is no surprise that shoulder and elbow injuries are common. One way to decrease injury risk is to perform an off-season throwing program that gradually builds arm strength and prepares a thrower or pitcher for their season.

Two common mistakes among baseball and softball players are:

POSTED: Monday, December 23, 2013, 9:53 AM

This article is a continuation of my post on December 3, Hamstring Injuries: Frequency, re-injury, and length of recovery.

Return to play following a hamstring or lower extremity strain may be one of the more difficult decisions a medical staff makes. Often the athlete is progressed through the rehabilitation process to tolerance. Every few days he/she is able to sustain increased workload to the point that they are running “sprints” at approximately 90 percent; they have resumed some practice; have begun cutting or functional drills; and have “full strength” when their hamstring muscle is tested by the physician or athletic trainer (while they are lying on a table).

The player often feels good and being an elite competitive athlete wants to return to play ASAP to help his team. Testing at this point is functional as lying on a table is much different than playing a dynamic sport like football. The tests often consists of:

POSTED: Tuesday, December 3, 2013, 5:30 AM

Hamstring injuries are the most common injury in sports1 and have been shown to occur 176 times per NFL season or 5-6 per team each season.2 The most common mechanism of hamstring injury in the NFL was non-contact sprinting which caused 68.2 percent of hamstring strains. Hamstring re-injury is fairly common and has been shown to occur in approximately 16 percent of hamstring injuries.2,3

Re-injuries can occur due to a multitude of reasons, but they obviously indicate the hamstring had not healed enough to allow the athlete to return to full play. 

The hamstring is composed of three muscles that begin at the hip (sit bone) and end at the knee. Two of these muscles, the semimembranosus and semitendinosus, are medial or inside of the knee and the other; the biceps femoris is lateral or on the outside of the knee.  The biceps femoris muscle is the most commonly strained hamstring muscle, occurring in up to 83% of hamstring injuries,3 in part due to movement dysfunction as this muscle is overactive and very tight in many individuals. The same study by Eckstrand et al. found that allhamstring re-injuriesoccurred with the biceps femoris (outside) muscle. 

POSTED: Friday, November 8, 2013, 11:03 AM

With autumn in full swing a few things are becoming evident—days are getting shorter, temperatures are getting colder, and the pageantry and tradition of the World Series is complete.

Congrats to the Boston Red Sox and their fans on being on top of the baseball world. But with the completion of the Fall Classic comes the realization that we will not see baseball until next spring. The baseball and softball off-season is here, whether we like it or not. For most youth players this means taking a break from baseball, playing other sports, training to get ready for next season, or a combination of the above. Many players and parents are faced with the question of how to recover from last season and prepare for next season.

The main area to address is throwing and pitching. All players should stop throwing and take at least 2 months off. Preferably, 3 to 4 months of no throwing is recommended by many experts including Dr. James Andrews. If you are a pitcher, you absolutely should not pitch or throw from a mound for 3 to 4 months and you need at least 2 months of no throwing. As throwing a baseball is an unnatural motion, throwing year round does not allow your shoulder and elbow to recover. Furthermore, it increases muscle imbalance making future injuries more likely.

About this blog

Whether you are a weekend warrior, an aging baby boomer, a student athlete or just someone who wants to stay active, this blog is for you. Read about our growing list of expert contributors here.

Robert Senior Sports Doc blog Editor
Alfred Atanda, Jr., M.D. Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children.
Robert Cabry, M.D. Drexel Sports Medicine, Team physician - U.S. Figure Skating, Assoc. Team Physician - Drexel
Brian Cammarota, MEd, ATC, CSCS, CES Symetrix Sports Performance, athletic trainer at OAA Orthopaedics
Desirea D. Caucci, PT, DPT, OCS Co-owner of Conshohocken Physical Therapy, Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist
Michael G. Ciccotti, M.D. Rothman Institute, Head Team Physician for the Phillies & St. Joe's
Julie Coté, PT, MPT, OCS, COMT Magee Rehabilitation Hospital
Peter F. DeLuca, M.D. Rothman Institute, Head Team Physician - Eagles, Head Orthopedic Surgeon - Flyers
Joel H. Fish, Ph.D. Director - The Center For Sport Psychology, Sports Psychology Consultant - 76ers & Flyers
R. Robert Franks, D.O. Rothman Institute, Team Physician - USA Wrestling, Consultant - Philadelphia Phillies
Ashley B. Greenblatt, ACE-CPT Certified Personal Trainer at The Sporting Club at The Bellevue
Cassie Haynes, JD, MPH Co-Founder, Trap Door Athletics, CrossFit LI Certified
Eugene Hong, MD, CAQSM, FAAFP Team Physician - Drexel, Philadelphia University, Saint Joe’s, & U.S. National Women’s Lacrosse
Jim McCrossin, ATC Flyers and Phantoms
Kevin Miller Fitness Coach, Philadelphia Union
Heather Moore, PT, DPT, CKTP Owner of Total Performance Physical Therapy, North Wales, Pa.
David Rubenstein, M.D. Main Line Health Lankenau Medical Center, Team Orthopedist - Philadelphia 76ers
Justin Shaginaw, MPT, ATC Aria 3B Orthopaedic Institute, Athletic Trainer - US Soccer Federation
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