Through continuous improvement of diagnostic accuracy of ECG criteria for athletes sensitivity as well as specificity have grown so much that foregoing this screening tool is not feasible anymore. The most updated guidelines, the so-called “International (Seattle) Criteria” globally exhibit the most important reference publication, currently. The criteria were created with the purpose that particularly “non-cardiologists” should be able to use them before clearly pathological findings lead to further follow-up examinations at a specialist. On the other hand, physiologic ECG findings should not prompt expensive further evaluations, as it used to happen quite frequently.
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Traditionally, cardiovascular screening has been recommended mostly for competitive athletes younger than 35 years. The perception that only young competitive athletes at top level are at increased risk, has changed in the last years. Theoretically, we advocate a voluntary cardiovascular screening for all athletes who exercise vigorously, independent of their competitive status, and age. Although, this should be based on an individual estimation of the athlete’s risk. Physical examination, medical history and an ECG should be the baseline investigations for all athletes.
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Objective: To determine differences between male and female subjects in the thigh muscles characteristics, separated into architectural (pennation, thickness, and/or fascicle length), mechanical (mass, strength, power, and/or stiffness), neuromuscular (activity) and fatigue aspects, in order to better understand the sex-related differences in the risk of muscle injuries. Methods: A systematic literature search on Pubmed was performed with different keywords: skeletal muscle AND sex characteristics AND muscle contraction, with the following limits: humans and adults (19–44 years old).
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Back pain is common among elite cyclists. Experiences of athletes and observations of coaches show that it may influence training quality and sometimes even limit performance during competition. Therefore the following study questions were investigated: 1) How many athletes of the Swiss cycling national teams suffer back pain during training or competition? 2) How good is athletes’ core strength? 3) What correlation exists between back pain and core strength? 4) Does an intensified core strength training reduce back pain? A total of 111 elite cyclists, 45 athletes (38 m, 7f; 19.6 ± 3.5y) of technical disciplines (BMX, Trial, Downhill, 4X) and 66 athletes (39 m, 27f; 19.5 ± 5.8y) of endurance disciplines (road, MTB, Cyclo-cross) all members of Swiss cycling national teams, took part in in the study.
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In cardiopulmonary exercise testing with children and adolescents, age specific protocols are used together with tools adjustable to their body dimension and development. Assessing weight, height und pubertal stage is a prerequisite for the interpretation of every test. Indications for exercise testing are airway symptoms and findings limited performance, chronic diseases, planning of trainings and scientific studies. The more tests are standardized and used on a large scale, the more normal values are available to compare individual results. However, the interindividual variability of measured values is high, depending as much from the developmental stage of the individual as from protocols, tools and the performing laboratory.
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Background: Research to date clearly shows that injuries to the cruciate ligaments are a frequent occurrence in alpine ski racing. The hamstrings play an important role in protecting the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Here eccentric muscle activity, in particular, is of great significance as it plays a more important role in terms of duration and intensity than concentric muscle activity in alpine ski racing. The aim of this study was to establish whether the hamstrings of alpine ski racers show eccentric strength deficits following surgery on the anterior cruciate ligament.
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Leisure-time and elite athletes often seek sports medical advice for inadequate exertional dyspnea and loss of performance. The work-up has to rule-out underlying cardiac pathologies that are associated with sudden cardiac death, although commonly the symptoms are training- and not disease-related. Cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) helps to differentiate between cardiac and pulmonary causes and guides further diagnostic and therapy. This article illustrates the potential of CPET in three clinical cases.
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Endurance testing has a long tradition in the Swiss Orienteering Federation. It has become an important tool in monitoring effectiveness of training and in assessing endurance performance. The vast majority of athletes and coaches indicate that sport science is meaningful and endurance testing is of high informative value for them. Endurance testing is regularly done in the lab, but also field tests are carried out each year. They particularly empower and support athletes in their specific preparation for important competitions. Also in the future new competition formats can be prepared and training may be monitored by a new format of specific tests. In various endurance sports physiological demands may be similar.
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Exercise testing in athletes and patients is an important and valuable diagnostic tool in the hand of the physician and sport scientist. A close collaboration between sport scientist and sport physician creates a win-win-win-situation for athletes and patients and professionals equally. According to the demands of the sport an incremental lactate threshold test (determination of the anaerobic threshold), testing of ­VO2max and performance at VO2max, and a testing of aerobic capacity (performance at competitional level) are the tests of choice. All tests need to be valid, reliable and sport specific. Sport specificity in testing is for practical purposes the most important.
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The regular consumption of acidic drinks can erode dental enamel and promote caries. As many sports drinks on the market feature critically low pH values, it is possible that athletes with regular sports drink consumption harm their oral health. As neither pH nor osmolality values must be labeled on products, it is difficult for athletes to make informed choices. We screened the Swiss market for sports drinks and gels for domestic and international brands and products and analyzed products for their pH, titratable acidity, and osmolality.
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The restorative qualities of sleep are fundamentally the basis of the individual athlete’s ability to recover and perform, and to optimally be able to challenge and control the effects of exercise regimes in high performance sport. Research consistently shows that a large percentage of the population fails to obtain the recommended 7–9 hours of sleep per night [17]. Moreover, recent years’ research has found that athletes have a high prevalence of poor sleep quality [6]. Given its implications on the recovery process, sleep affects the quality of the athlete’s training and outcome of competitions.
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Recovery from intense efforts and matches demands special consideration, and recent years have seen the development of multiple new modalities which promise faster and better recovery. The world of professional football has taken notice, especially due to the repetition of matches and reduction of number of days in between for the best teams playing in the Champions League. Abd-Elbasset Abaïdia presented at the #SportSuisse2018 conference for Grégory Dupont, who was on duty with the World Cup winner French National team.
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