Dr. Mjaanes

| March 17, 2014 | Comments (0)
jeff_mjaanes_125x140Dr. Mjaanes
Q~ How did you get interested in Sports Medicine?

A~ I got into sports medicine via pediatrics. I was always interested in Sports and even when I was a general pediatrician I would tend to see more adolescents than babies and saw more and more sports injuries – so I felt that I needed to expand my sport medicine knowledge base, went back and did a fellowship and now have been doing just sports med for 8 years.

Q~ Expound on your concussion research, what led you to this line of medicine?

A~ Concussion Research: At Rush I am working on a few projects – one is looking at using a test (the King-Devick test) which is a visual test used in brain injuries. in our study we are using it to see if we can diagnose concussions accurately and quickly in high school wrestlers. I have also submitted a proposal along with colleagues at U of I to look at sensors for detecting hard hits to the helmet, concussions.

A few years back I started seeing kids who went to the ER with a head injury and were diagnosed with a “grade 2 concussion” and then saw their pediatrician who said “no, its a grade 3 concussion” and then came to me for clarification and I said ” well, its neither, since we haven’t graded concussions for 4 years now”. The truth was I realized many family docs, Er docs and pediatricians were unaware of the latest research and guidelines in concussion management and so athletes weren’t being managed appropriately. I founded our Chicago Sports Concussion Clinic to create a “medical home” for these athletes where they could get treated with the latest guidelines and by physicians up-to-date on the latest research.

Q~ We’ve been hearing a lot lately about concussions in soccer, what can be done, if anything, to prevent injury?

A~ Concussions in soccer: Soccer, especially women’s is a high risk sport for concussions. Girls’ soccer is the highest risk sport for concussions in female adolescents in some studies (eclipsing ice hockey). Head to head (no pun intended), girls have higher risk of concussion in soccer than boys do. We are not sure exactly why this is though. Preventing concussions in soccer is difficult as headbands and mouth guards have NOT been shown to decrease the incidence. The best tips are education – educating the players, parents and coaches of the risks associated with concussions, especially the risk of continuing to play if you have symptoms of a concussion. Also communication between teammates is important since many concussions come from colliding with another player while attempting a header.

Q~ What advice do you give parents of young athletes who are in high risk sports?

A~ Advice to parents of kids in high risk sports: This is a tough one. I guess general advice would be:

1. Talk to your son/daughter about the risks of high speed contact sports. If they get hit on the head and have symptoms such as headache, dizziness, fogginess, vision changes, ringing in the ears, trouble remembering or concentrating or nausea they need to tell someone and pull them selves out of the game or practice. They have to stand up and advocate for themselves. “Playing through the pain” for any injury can be dangerous. If they have an injury, getting them to a (sports medicine) doctor sooner rather than later usually means less time out of sport, not the other way around.

2. Make sure they know the importance of hydrating, nutrition and rest

3. Make sure all equipment fits well and is in good shape.

4. Make sure the coach/ school has an emergency action plan in plan for each venue. See if the school has a certified athletic trainer (ATC) and/or team doctor accessible to the athletes.

Q~ What is the long-term advice for care once players have been injured? Especially in Middle School sports with so many years ahead to possibly be injured?

A~ Long-term advice: My long term advice is the same as for everyone: eat right and stay in shape. Even if they stop playing organized sports, staying fit is still extremely important. Cardio exercise 20-30 minutes, 3-5 times a week. Strength training. Eating healthy. All of these help to keep your weight low which will be extremely helpful for your joints as you age – especially if you suffered some damage or injury to these joints in sports when young.

Dr. Jeffrey Mjaanes is Medical Director, Rush University’s Sports Concussion Clinic, Pediatric Sports Medicine Specialist, Rush University, Chicago, IL

He recently caught up with The Chicago Moms at the Healthy Children Conference & Expo March 8-9th in Rosemont, IL
– See more at: http://www.healthychildrenexpo.org/page.cfm/Action=Visitor/VisitorID=76/loadSearch=2040_85#sthash.jglpM0b5.dpuf

 

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Category: Chicago, New Posts

About Dwana: Dwana authors a few blogs, is a full-time officer of the court and mom to two wonderful young men and two dogs. You can find her rants, advice for healthy living and Chicago tips at: "Healthier, Happier, You!", Chicagonista.com, TheChicagoMoms.com & ChicagonistaLIVE.com View author profile.

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