Over the course of the last 9 months, I have spent significant time researching two topics: Cheerleading injuries and the Functional Movement Screen (FMS). This has culminated in my Capstone Project with the above title. Today I’m pleased to share with you my project. I would certainly be remiss if I did not thank the cheerleaders at Waterloo High School and their coach Amber Hensiek, my mentors Ashley Rockey and Dr. Carlen Mulholland, and the program director at the University of South Florida Dr. Rebecca Lopez. Without all of their help, this project would not have been possible. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions you may have and I’ll try to answer them to the best of my ability!


Injury prevention is a mainstay in the athletic training profession and something that we attempt to achieve on a daily basis. Identifying exactly why and how the injury rates can be improved must be a priority. National injury surveillance programs have been developed that help researchers to track these injury rates if that sport is included in the particular interests of the study.

Cheerleading has long fought to be recognized as a sport, which caused it to be excluded from national sports injury surveillance programs for many years. Additionally, rules and regulations have long lagged behind the sport itself in terms of safety. There are national associations such as the National Cheer Safety Foundation and the National Cheer Association who have attempted to improve the safety of the sport, but much work remains. Cheerleading is no longer the cheerleading mothers and grandmothers grew up with girls on the sideline leading the cheers of victory. Instead, the sport has become a competitive activity with similarities to gymnastics combined with team spirit1. Many cheerleaders were at one time gymnasts and these girls have brought those skills and experiences to the cheerleading competition mat. Competitive cheer and gymnastics share many risks and rewards. One of these risks is the increased opportunity for serious injury. Absent serious injury, cheerleading also causes numerous less severe injuries such as sprains and strains on a regular basis. It has been noted that while cheerleaders do not suffer injuries at the same rate as other athletes, the percentage of catastrophic injury is much higher than other female sports at the high school level1,2.

If you want to read the whole thing, you can download the paper FinalDraftCapstone.

Read the rest of this entry »

Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing some papers that I’ve written in graduate school. None of these shall be considered “peer-reviewed” but hopefully they are beneficial for readers. Please leave any kind of feedback! Remember, we’re all here to learn so definitely share any thoughts.

Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI) is a condition in the hip theorized to be a potential precursor to osteoarthritis in the joint [7]. Its relative recent discovery and correlation leaves much to be desired at this time. It was not until the early 2000’s that this group of bony deformities were correlated appropriately within the orthopedic community. For this reason, there is much to learn as the medical community moves forward. FAI is categorized in three different fashions. First is a cam lesion which is associated with an abnormality on the femoral neck or head, second a pincer lesion is over-coverage of the acetabular rim, while the last category includes both of the previous deformities.


Read the rest of the paper here: FAIMikeHopperFall2012

Research Article: Ankle

September 12, 2011


Zinder SM, Granata KP, Shultz SJ, Gansneder BM. J Athl Train. 2009 Jul-Aug;44(4):363-9.


This study was conducted to compare the accuracy of injury reporting by athletic trainers and through parent surveys. Soccer is one of the leading sports in the world and one of the most common causes for sports injury in youth athletes. There is not a lot of research available for this age group because these teams and leagues often do not have the medical personnel available to address the injuries involved.

The first thing this group did was to collect injury information via a parent survey conducted on the internet. The parents were required to respond to the survey each week and were contacted if they did not complete the survey. They could not edit the information once it was submitted and they could not do multiple weeks at one time. Read the rest of this entry »


Soccer Injuries in Female Youth Players: Comparison of Injury Surveillance by Certified Athletic Trainers and Internet. Melissa A. Schiff,MD,MPH; Christopher D. Mack,MS ; Nayak L. Polissar,PhD; Marni R. Levy; Sara P. Dow,MD; John W. O’Kane,MD

Check back later this week..

Here is a brief overview of the article out of the newest Journal of Athletic Training. I suggest you take a chance to read the entire article. It’s free to NATA members!

Frommer LJ, Gurka KK, Cross KM, Ingersoll CD, Comstock RD, Saliba SA. Journal of Athletic Training. Sex Differences in Concussion Symptoms of High School Athletes. 2011; 46(1):76-84.

An estimated 1.6-3.8 million sport-related concussions are reported each year with about 21% of those being high school athletes. The occurrence of injury in female athletes has continued to rise with the increase in sports participation and females have a higher incidence rate than males of sport-related concussions.

Research has shown that females may respond to concussions differently than males. Females tended to fare worse than male counterparts leading to longer hospitalizations, longer disability, and higher mortality rates. Females also require greater monitoring and more aggressive treatment due to symptoms not aligning with Glascow Coma Scale. Read the rest of this entry »

Frommer LJ, Gurka KK, Cross KM, Ingersoll CD, Comstock RD, Saliba SA. Journal of Athletic Training. Sex Differences in Concussion Symptoms of High School Athletes. 2011; 46(1):76-84.


My summary and conclusions will be posted on Saturday..

Concussions appear to continue to rise. Is it due to an increase in incidence or is it due to an increase in awareness? This study was conducted over an 11 year period in the Fairfax County School District in Falls Church, Virginia. The authors note that the numbers saw significant increases over the course of the study, but they do not attribute that to anything in particular.

The researchers conducted an 11 year study in a large school district with a certified athletic trainer onsite for games and practices. Each school had 2 part-time athletic trainers from 1997-2005 and then a minimum of one full-time athletic trainer and one part-time athletic trainer after that.

A common occurrence is that football was the leading sport for concussion incidence. I think this fairly well-known at this point and no surprise. Girls’ soccer was #2 on the list which also should not be a great surprise. One result I found interesting in this study was its conclusion that in sports where the male and female games were similar in equipment and rules, females had a higher incidence of concussions than their male counterparts. One exception to this conclusion is lacrosse because the rules and equipment are different between the two. Read the rest of this entry »

Lincoln, AE., Caswell, SV., Almquist, JL., Dunn, RE., Norris, JB., & Hinton RY. (2011). Trends in concussion incidence
in high school sports. The American Journal of Sports Medicine, 39(5), 958-963.


I’ll try to find a link to this article and post it..

Research: Graston Technique

August 13, 2011

The first research article was the Graston Instrument Soft Tissue Mobilization and Home Stretching for The Management of Plantar Heel
Pain article posted on the GrastonTechnique website. You can find the article here.

The article mainly focused on the treatment of plantar fasciitis. The subjects were treated utilizing the Graston Technique and some home stretching. 7 of the 10 subjects saw “clinically significant” improvements. The treatments were focused on the triceps surae, soleus, plantar fascia, and the medial calcaneal tubercle. This study lasted approximately 8 weeks with some being treated for only 3 weeks 1-2 times per week.

This article did not impress me because I don’t believe it showed much evidence of anything. I would not say that this article led to much with regards to education. I was disappointed.

Hopefully future articles are more interesting. Check back on Monday for the next article!

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