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This interview was conducted by Dr Boris Gojanovic after the Lausanne 2020 Youth Olympic Games. Richard, can you please introduce yourself, as a medical doctor and an athlete. I am the medical and scientific director for the IOC and I started off in life as a rower. As an athlete, I had the privilege to compete in the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, and I won a gold medal there.
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The Youth Olympic Games were introduced in 2010 with the aim to bring young athletes not only an experience of competition on the world stage, but also to help them learn about the Olympic values, explore other cultures and develop the skills to become true ambassadors. The Lausanne 2020 Games provided an excellent opportunity to develop innovative concepts for health promotion and sports-related prevention. The enthusiasm across various sectors of society (political, academic and economy) empowered us to bring together multiple skills to materialize the IOC’s pledge.
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Physical inactivity is a known risk factor for stroke. The interaction between exercise and risk of stroke is complex. Physical activity has a beneficial effect on most risk factors for stroke, which may show reciprocal potentiation (e.g. obesity, sleep apnea, atrial fibrillation). Advice on physical activity is of importance in primary prevention of stroke. Hereby, type, amount and intensity of physical activity may be distinguished and adjusted according to comorbidities (e.g. in case of heart failure).
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After having a stroke the main challenges are reducing the risk of recurrent stroke, improving impaired brain function, quality of life, independence in activities of daily living and reintegration into the community. [1] Lesion-induced impairment of brain function also has, besides its effects on e.g. motor, sensory, visual and speech function, an influence on e.g. cognition and mood, all of which are determinants of post-stroke physical activity. The evidence for a benefit of physical activity in secondary stroke prevention is increasing and treatment strategies aimed at factors which are limiting physical activity are more and more recognized.
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Background: Diffusion of information regarding ‘protecting athletes’ health’ and the ‘promotion of sport for health of the general population’ is a mission of National Sports Federations. Internet is a commonly used source of health-related information. The Olympic Games (OG) are an opportunity for a nation to promote the health benefits of sport.
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This article aims to summarize the literature on the role of physical activity in cancer patients and to propose exercise programs based on studies and recommendations. Medical advances with improved early diagnosis and treatment have increased the number of cancer survivors. At the same time, the quality of life of these patients must also be improved. In the different stages of the disease physical activity has an important role to play with its beneficial effects on fatigue, physical condition, mood etc. Collaboration between health system actors and patient education are the key to success in this multi-disciplinary care.
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Ideally, the musculosceletal system and it’s components maintain a biologic balance during growth in order to compensate and/or adapt to intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Otherwise, the risk of acute or overuse injuries is increasing. The growth cartilage at the level of the growth plates or apophyses as well as the spine is highly vulnerable to overuse injuries, especially during the pubertal growth spurt. The diagnosis of an overuse injury is often delayed due to the undulant clinical manifestation and the treatment can be extensive and long-lasting, sometimes leading to an early cessation of sports activities.
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There is incontrovertible evidence of the benefits of regular physical activity in the primary and secondary prevention of several chronic diseases, on contrary a sedentary lifestyle can progress into a Sedentary Death Syndrome (SeDS), which is a major Public Health burden due to its causing multiple chronic diseases and a large amount of premature deaths each year. In Italy, Sports Medicine represents a fundamental reference for those practicing physical activity at competitive or non-competitive level; its purposes include: health care of the athletes practicing all kind of sports, through the pre-participation screening for elegibility (such screening constitutes an established medical programme that has been implemented for more than 30 years), and the promotion of diagnostic and therapeutic protocols to guarantee the state of health of individual at high risk or carrying a specific diagnosed disease.
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Injury prevention is a priority in the field of sports medicine and in physical activity promotion, in particular for youth. Injuries can lead to long term handicaps and disengagement from physical activity. The follow up of young sportsmen in the canton of Geneva over the last 35 years has permitted to get an idea of the prevalence of injuries in young sportsmen and allows a comparison with the general population. It has also permitted to get an idea of the influence prevention has had on injuries.
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