Sport medicine has evolved over the past 25 years from orthopedic trauma to a full study of musculoskeletal injury, both acute and overuse, plus a host of exercise medicine challenges. This is reflected by the Allan McGavin Sports Medicine Centre at the University of British Columbia. It was the first integrated sport medicine centre in Canada, and has a focus on clinical care by our team of primary care sport physicians, orthopedic surgeons, and physiotherapists. It is also dedicated to education, including postgraduate fellowships through the three divisions, residents, students, and visiting practitioners, and an extensive research team headed by Dr Don McKenzie.
As clinicians we see the results of the acute or overuse injury as well as the results of sedentary lifestyles. We are often asked to advise patients on training for fitness and competition and on injury prevention. Sport medicine is still in its childhood, and we are constantly assessing training methods and their outcomes and evaluating new devices and programs to assist in training and the avoidance of injury.
We are also very aware of population changes in the exercising public. For example, we now have an elderly population who can benefit from regular exercise in improving their quality of life and preventing falls, and we have baby boomers, who brought us the fitness movement and who want to continue exercising. We also have youth and the challenges of dealing with those who are sedentary and becoming obese. Our clinical work generates ideas and questions that are transferred to research projects.
Active lifestyles are equated to good health, and as we encourage people to become fit and to make fitness a way of life, sport medicine will continue to evolve.
The three articles in this issue deal with training—overuse injuries, an innovative exercise device suitable for those with arthritis or recovering from overuse injuries, and strength training in elderly women.
The first article deals with overuse injuries among novice runners. The Vancouver Sun Run 10-km road race now attracts close to 50000 participants, many of them new to running. The Sport Medicine Council of BC saw the need for clinics to assist these runners in preparing safely and injury-free for the Sun Run. Seventeen of these Sun Run InTraining Clinics were surveyed for incidence of injuries over a 2-year period, quantifying training limitation and training variables that affected the limitation or the injury and analyzing the training variables that most affected this training compromise (or running injury).
The second article in this issue reports on the use of running footwear called Kangoo Jumps. They are a boot similar to that of an in-line skate, but instead of wheels they employ a cantilever spring system on the bottom that allows the dissipation of force through the ankles, knees, hips, and back when running, making them useful tool for those with arthritis and those recovering from overuse injuries. The training effect while using the Kangoo Jumps was compared to a group running in conventional running shoes. Injuries were also recorded for both groups.
The third and final article in this issue reflects the growing interest in the effects of training on the elderly, particularly how increased strength can enhance balance, possibly reducing the number of falls and improving the quality of life.
In the December issue we will present three articles on sports-related injury treatment.
—Jack Taunton, MD
Director, Allan McGavin
Sports Medicine Centre