Presentations at NATA Conference

This summer the National Athletic Trainer’s Association held its annual conference in New Orleans. Dr. Ray Castle, Dr. Melissa Thompson and Shelly Mullenix represented Louisiana State University. Dr. Ray Castle, Dr. Melissa Thompson, and Dr. Rick Ahmad, MD (LSU hand surgeon) worked in conjunction with the NBA Athletic Trainers’ Association on the 2011 Ron Culp Athletic Training Student Cadaver Workshop. Over 300 hundred students learned about athletic hand and wrist injuries and the related anatomy using 20 cadaver hand/forearm sections. Dr. Ahmad did a fantastic lecture and live dissection for the student attendees. Dr. Melissa Thompson did an oral presentation related to shoulder research that she has been working on with colleagues from the Department of Kinesiology. Overhead athletes are at greater risk for shoulder injuries, especially subacromial impingement syndrome. However, based on static analysis of the size of the subacromial space it is unclear if overhead athletes have a relatively larger or smaller subacromial space as compared to non-athletes. Melissa used the fluoroscope to capture dynamic images of the subacromial space during scaption exercises in female overhead athletes and non-athletic female college students. Based on the results, the athletes who were significantly stronger than the non-athletes in external rotation also had a larger subacromial space. This provides support for the influence of external rotation strength (rotator cuff) in maintenance of the subacromial space, and may be an important factor in the prevention subacromial impingement syndrome. Dr. Melissa Thompson and Dr. Dennis Landin (Professor in the Department of Kinesiology) also did a poster presentation related to the torque produced by the gastrocnemius during different knee and ankle joint combinations. Based on their findings they concluded that the best manual muscle testing position, with most gastrocnemius torque, is in a long sit position. The gastrocnemius produces the least torque when the patient is sitting at the end of the table with the knee flexed to 90 degrees and the foot in a gravity dependent plantar flexion position, which makes this the least desirable manual muscle testing position for clinicians.

Shelly Mullenix, along with researchers and team physician's from around the country presented the NATA's Position Statement on Safe Weight Loss and Maintenance Practices Among Physically Active Individuals. Specifically, Mullenix was able to contribute her keen insight to the challenges that face Division I collegiate athletes as they try to meet the sometimes unrealistic goal weights and how to do this while maintaining high levels of self-esteem and self-confidence. The hope for the panel was to educate athletic trainers, coaches, administrators, parents, and athletes on more effective ways to reach these goals while simultaneously reducing the prevalence of eating disorders and other unhealthy eating habits among athletes. Mullenix spoke about not only eating well while in-season, but developing diet plans and lifestyle changes that are safe and healthy year round, all at a pace that is realistic and specifically accommodating. "You have to do things in a healthy way," Mullenix says. "A lot of student-athletes are too quick to enter into bad patterns of eating, but you have to approach these goals in small increments. Quite often athletes - as well as the regular population - will want an entire diet plan laid out for them, but it's not something that gets fixed in a day." To read more please see articles below: