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Heart of the matter: Defibrillators need to be more commonplace

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creening for cardiac disease prior to participation in athletics is a hot topic these days. The American Heart Association has a 12-element recommendation for inclusion in any pre-participation physical examination of young athletes. Included are a personal and family history (verified by a parent or guardian), and physical examination that encompasses listening for a heart murmur, checking blood pressure and heart rate. It is not recommended to perform an electro cardiogram on all athletes. With a 10 percent false positive/false negative rate, the accuracy of the testing often leaves a family with unneccessary anxiety, and can just as frequently not catch the cardiac issue. In Italy, where there is a national health care system, all young athletes are required to have an EKG prior to participation (a trend that may ultimately hit U.S. shores). However, Italy still has an incidence rate of 1in 200,000 sudden cardiac deaths of young athletes. Ironically, the rate of sudden cardiac death in the U.S. is no different. So given the expense and lack of any significant decrease in incidence rates, currently EKG’s are not recommended as a component of the pre-participation physical examination. In the past year alone, Children’s Hospital and Research Center Oakland has received eight young athletes who have suffered cardiac arrest. Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) revived all of them. Only one continues to suffer a lasting impact of being stricken, due to a delay in receiving the life saving intervention of defibrillation. Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) are important life saving devices that should be readily available in all public places where athletics occur. Unfortunately they have not yet become as common a sight as an exit sign, or fire extinguisher. It is the one item that no one wants to ever use; yet everyone should have access to. The AED is designed for simplicity, with verbal instruction and pictures to guide the user through the action of saving a life. The problem remains, however, that we as a society have not yet reached the tipping point of having the expectation of finding an AED in any building, field of play, or sporting venue we may find ourselves in. The good news is we are not very far off. The public’s awareness is rising, with CPR classes covering the use of AEDs, news and print media covering the issues, and the universal sign of a heart with a lightning bolt becoming more common place. Still, more advocacies are needed and it is the public’s pressure on institutions that wins the money to make the AED a pervasive sight. That advocacy is the responsibility of us all. ✪

Health Watch Bruce Valentine

Bruce Valentine is a physical therapist assistant for the Sports Medicine For Young Athletes, a division of Children’s Hospital Oakland with a facility also located in Walnut Creek. If you have questions or comments regarding the “Health Watch” column, write the Sports Medicine For Young Athletes staff at Health@SportStarsOnline.com.

Aspire Pilates

Pilates workouts benefit any athlete, male or female

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By erik stordahl | SportStars

erhaps the biggest myth when it comes to Pilates is the notion that it’s meant solely for women. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Meet Antone, a wrestler, swimmer, boxer and track athlete. Obviously a multi-sport athlete, Antone practically lives in the gym. But because of the intensity of his workouts and the extreme physicality of the sports he plays, he has sustained severe knee injuries over the years, tearing his ACL, MCL, PCL and Medial Meniscus. He has also had very “upset” shoulders including torn rotator cuffs, a detached clavicle, and a torn bicep tendon. In addition he has had painful leg injuries that have included pulled hip flexors and groin muscles. Ouch. “I enjoy pushing myself to the limits,” Antone said. “When it comes to training and exercise.” Through his many years of athletic injuries, Antone has tried modality after modality to keep him out of pain and performing on the field/ring/mat. “I have had many coaches, trainers, and physical therapists,” Antone said. “But the one thing I could’ve used the most was Pilates. Too bad I thought it was only for girls.” The look on Antone’s face was priceless when Tonya Amos, founder of Aspire Pilates, revealed that Joseph Pilates was a

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wrestler and boxer. “I feel my athleticism would have greatly benefited,” Antone said. “And it would have helped me from getting injured.” Antone was dragged to Pilates by his girlfriend. He liked that all of the exercises combined strength, flexibility and balance, which made for a streamlined, powerful workout. “Before I discovered Pilates, I would do thousands of ab exercises to strengthen my core, which gave me a great six pack but not a stable core,” Antone said. “With Pilates I learned how to really engage my hamstrings which increased overall strength and speed. “I also realized that I was not stretching important muscle groups which inevitably led to injury. Tonya’s keen eye is able to see unhealthy movement patterns in just a short time. I never thought Pilates could be so beneficial.” The beauty of Pilates is that it’s for athletes of all walks and disciplines. It can maximize your body’s potential even if you’re already incredibly strong and fit like Antone. “What Antone found with Pilates was a deeper level of full body strength derived from the power of his core and stability of his joints,” Amos said. “Strength that he had never before realized was possible. “Combine all of that and you get a faster, stronger and more agile Antone with even more “weapons” in his athletic arsenal.” To learn more about Pilates or to sign up for a class, check out www.aspirepilates.com. ✪ December 8, 2011

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Profile for Caliente! Communications

EB Issue 37 Dec. 8, 2011  

High School basketball preview

EB Issue 37 Dec. 8, 2011  

High School basketball preview

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