Recent Posts in Blogs & Updates Category

  • TO ADDRESS PLAYER safety and injury risk, the governor of California recently signed a bill that places restrictions on the amount of time allowed for tackling during any given week at football practice for high school and youth athletes. Aimed at reducing the amount of contact allowed during football practice (reducing exposure), this move follows other state and athletic legislatures in the ...
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  • The Dreaded "Burner" Injury in Athletes

    || 14-Oct-2020

    Burner or stinger injuries are a common nerve-related issue among contact athletes. Despite a pandemic-caused delay, professional football is now in full swing minus the stadiums being filled with the teams’ passionate fans. As would be the case even during a "normal" season, the player injury reports have begun to roll in, from ankle injuries to ACL tears and plenty in between. ...
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  • Pain and Addiction on the Sidelines

    || 2-Oct-2020

    How can athletes avoid pain and addiction post-surgery? As a sports-neurologist and pain medicine specialist, I have specific expertise in the management of chronic pain in athletes. Unfortunately, with this expertise, I bear too-frequent witness to the dual-heartbreak of athletes who experience a season- or career-halting injury and subsequent surgery, only to have it be accompanied by pain and ...
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  • Under Pressure: How Elite Athletes Respond to Stress

    || 3-Sep-2020

    Elite athletes, though among the most skilled and talented in their sport, are still not immune to the psychological pressure that can attack the mind and body before, or during an important athletic event. Professional athletes are humans, just like the rest of us. They feel the same nervousness, "butterflies," or physiological stress that everyone has felt in situations where and when ...
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  • THE GLOBAL PANDEMIC brought on by COVID-19 put a halt to much of what we previously took for granted – including athletics on the youth, collegiate and professional levels. Though such measures seemed extreme to sports fans, they were also very necessary. But as countermeasures often do, they may come with a cost of their own. In this case, that price might be paid by incoming rookies who ...
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  • Taking Control of Your Telehealth

    || 26-Jul-2020

    During the COVID-19 pandemic, here’s how to be ready for a great telehealth appointment. Though few could have predicted why it happened, the rise of the virtual doctor's office visit has exploded in 2020, in large part due to COVID-19. But, virtual medicine, or telehealth, made waves before this pandemic and is one "new normal" that would be great to keep around well beyond ...
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  • How Sleep Deprivation Affects the Brain

    || 13-Jul-2020

    The amount of time spent in quality, deep sleep has decreased over several decades. Sleep might seem like a period of time when the brain is at rest. But that’s not true. Sleep is an active neurological process. The brain is going through very specific stages that should happen for specific periods of time. The brain should run through these cycles of stages a certain number of times over ...
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  • Migraines in Children and Teens

    || 1-May-2020

    Treatment and prevention plans are unique for younger people who experience migraine headaches. If you’ve ever experienced a migraine, you know it’s not your average, run-of-the-mill headache. And a migraine is more than just a “bad headache.” Migraines are in a headache class all their own. They have specific clinical criteria. Migraine headache pain is often described as ...
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  • IF YOU'RE LIKE MOST people in America, and many parts of the world, your usual, everyday way of life has been significantly altered because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Efforts to stem the contagion of the viral outbreak have abruptly changed the way we're living our lives in what we've always known as a modern – and convenient – world. "Disruption" is one word for ...
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  • Support for Chronic Pain Sufferers

    || 2-Mar-2020

    Constant pain can make people feel alone on a deserted island; a support system helps. When you observe someone in a neck brace who is wincing in pain, it can result in an immediate feeling of sympathy for them – an understanding that this individual is hurt, as evidenced by the presence of the neck brace. You need no further “proof” that the injury is “real” because ...
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  • Why We Need More African-Americans in Medicine

    || 25-Feb-2020

    AS I REFLECT ON THE significance of Black History Month in my life, I can't help but think of the African-American mentors who blazed the trails before me. These are individuals who didn't allow their racial makeup to stand in the way of achieving their dreams. More importantly, as a result of their dedication and despite many obstacles, race didn't prevent them from contributing to ...
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  • Physical Activity as Brain Food

    || 25-Feb-2020

    Beyond what we eat, the way we move provides important nourishment and protection for the brain. I am a Neurologist. I am a Sports Neurologist. And I am a Pain Medicine specialist. It’s complicated, but all three are intimately related. I frequently explain to patients that see me for a “Pain Management” consultation that part of my motivation for successfully treating their pain ...
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  • How Exercise Benefits Esports

    || 3-Sep-2019

    I RECENTLY READ A fascinating article about professional e-gaming teams who train like professional athletes in traditional sports and are seeing significant success in their performance as a result. The concept of e-gaming isn't "new," but relative to traditional professional athletics and the potential money to be won, professional e-game team owners and sponsors are taking a new ...
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  • Sports Neurology - Impact Beyond the Playing Field

    || 23-Jul-2019

    The principals of this burgeoning medical field will positively impact more than just athletes. Sports neurology is benefitting from and contributing to a greater awareness of concepts such as neuroplasticity (the brain’s ability to form and organize synapse connections) and neuromodulation (delivering a targeted stimulus to alter nerve activity as a means for restoring function or relieving ...
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  • How Aerobic Exercise Benefits the Brain -- Especially As You Age

    || 11-Jul-2019

    A RECENT COLUMBIA University study builds on previous research linking aerobic exercise to cognitive function and cortical thickness improvement in middle-aged and older adults. Here's a look at what the findings could mean for you. Can you imagine living through chronic neurological disease and dysfunction that prevents you from learning, reasoning, behaving appropriately or even remembering ...
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  • Artificial Intelligence Shows Promise in Concussion Management

    || 21-May-2019

    TYPICALLY, WHEN WE TALK about analytics in sports, the discussion is focused on advanced player statistics – and more recently, on performance analytics through things like wearable sensor technologies and high-speed cameras. Advanced analytics and AI in sports are continuing to grow and evolve, even into the injury prevention and management arena. A recent research study I was involved in ...
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  • The Neurological Phenomenon of Stinger or Burner Injuries

    || 4-Apr-2019

    WE TEND TO LOOK FOR signs and symptoms of a concussion after a big hit in a football game. But as a sports neurologist, concussion is only one of the injuries I'm looking for as players pick themselves up and return to the huddle or sideline. Body language can tell you a lot. How players move, whether or not they're fluid and symmetric in their arm-swing and obvious or subtle evidence of a ...
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  • Are Doctors to Blame for Prescription Opioid Overuse in America?

    || 25-Mar-2019

    A RECENT JAMA NEWS release asked whether the marketing of opioids to physicians was associated with overdose deaths. The article pointed the finger at both the marketing tactics of pharmaceutical companies and at the physicians who are prescribing the medications. But the truth is, there are multiple stakeholders, individuals and entities contributing to the opioid epidemic. So, to cure it, we all ...
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  • Sleep Health: The Key to Total-Body Wellness and Peak Performance?

    || 14-Jan-2019

    WHEN IT COMES TO overall health and wellness, the tandem twosome most frequently discussed are diet and exercise. And with good reason – they are crucial contributors. What you consistently put into your body and how you move that body to build and maintain cardiovascular and musculoskeletal fitness are vital to your health across a lifetime. But did you know that some sleep researchers ...
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  • What the CDC's New Concussion Guidelines Mean for Kids

    || 2-Nov-2018

    What the CDC's New Concussion Guidelines Mean for Kids CONCUSSION AND traumatic brain injury are ever-present topics among American parents and coaches of young athletes today. So the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recent issuing of clinical concussion guidelines for pediatric professionals come at a crucial time in our collective conversation about how to protect kids from ...
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  • The Hierarchy of Headaches

    || 27-Sep-2018

    HEADACHES, LIKE BACK pain, are a universal human phenomenon that just about every adult has experienced at some point in time and can relate to. From the dull twinges to the nausea-inducing pounders, headaches can run the gamut. The Headache Society has cataloged and classified more than 150 primary and secondary headache disorder types. So how do you figure out what brings a headache on so that ...
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  • Brain Training: Classroom Edition

    || 6-Sep-2018

    WHEN MOST PEOPLE consider the concept of brain training to improve learning, they tend to think of those online game programs or puzzles that are purported to give the brain a "workout" by practicing memory and problem solving skills to sharpen the mind. Others consider more advanced techniques aimed at optimizing brainwave activity through neurofeedback or stimulation therapies. ...
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  • New Concussion Frontiers: Good News for Brain Injuries

    || 20-Aug-2018

    THE HUMAN BRAIN IS arguably the most complex and fascinating organ structure. About 3 pounds in weight, it contains approximately 100 billion neurons – which some say compares to the same number of stars in the Milky Way. As a sports neurologist, if I ask just about any athlete (or depending on their age, an athlete's parents) what their biggest concern is when it comes to their brain ...
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  • 3 Underappreciated Sports Concussion Causes

    || 9-Jul-2018

    If you asked the people you know what they've heard in the news about sports concussions, they'd likely cite reports about concussion concerns related to professional American football. They aren't wrong. There are a multitude of studies, reports, opinion editorials and feelings on this very subject. While concussion in football should absolutely be taken seriously, it certainly ...
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  • How the Brain Responds to What the Eyes See

    || 30-Apr-2018

    IN A FIELD THAT'S ever-expanding, sports neurologists are excited about emerging scientific evidence helping us understand how and why training an athlete's vision and brain are as important as musculoskeletal strengthening, cardiovascular fitness and flexibility when it comes to peak athletic performance. For example, baseball is one of the most visually intensive sports, and with the ...
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