South African Journal of Sports Medicine
The South African Journal of Sports Medicine is a quarterly journal which publishes research articles, reviews, commentaries, letters, case studies on topics related to the disciplines represented by the South African Sports Medicine Association.
|Publisher||Health and Medical Publishing Group (HMPG)|
|Coverage||Vol 16 Issue 1 Apr 2004 - current|
Background : Concussion is a complex pathophysiological process affecting the brain, induced by traumatic biomechanical forces. Immediately following a concussion, an athlete is usually advised physical and cognitive rest until post-concussion symptoms abate. The athlete then enters a stepwise return-to-play protocol. Premature return to play risks a second concussion, second impact syndrome, exacerbation and persistence of post-concussive symptoms. Various sports governing organisations such as the National Football League have developed post-concussion return to play protocols.
Discussion : Professional boxing is a popular contact sport in which concussions are common. Professional boxing currently lacks a standardised post-concussion return to boxing protocol. Professional boxers are arbitrarily suspended for periods ranging from 30 to 90 days after suffering a technical knockout (TKO) due to multiple head and body shots or after a knockout (KO). For some boxers a neurology clearance is requested prior to their return to boxing.
Conclusion : Developing and implementing a post-concussion return to the boxing protocol will standardise a return to boxing decision-making process and help to protect a boxer's health. This paper proposes a post-concussion return to boxing protocol with the recommendation that the proposed protocol be debated vigorously by the scientific community and evidence-based guidelines be developed by the medical community in conjunction with the professional boxing governing bodies.
The Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon (OMTOM) and Comrades Marathon were challenged by wheelchair participants to enter their ultramarathon races in 2016, despite the ultramarathon being physically challenging over 56 km and 90 km respectively. The terrain for both is mountainous, exacerbating the physical challenge of the distance. Initially both events declined entry to two wheelchair participants, based on procedural, logistical and safety grounds, prompting social media protests and debate. This commentary focuses in brief on the two sides of the same coin: the rights of disabled and specifically wheelchair athletes to be included in ultramarathons in South Africa; and the management and regulatory responsibilities of event organisers in these complex events.
The prevalence of work-related musculoskeletal disorders in long-distance bus drivers : original research
Background : Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMSDs) contribute to poor posture and prolonged stress and strain due to work demands and the environment.
Objective : The objective of the study was to determine the prevalence of WRMSDs in long-distance bus drivers.
Methods : A cross-sectional survey study was conducted to determine the prevalence of WRMSDs among male long-distance bus drivers. Eighty-nine participants were selected from a reputable bus company in Pretoria to participate in the study. The Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire (NMQ) was used to determine self-reported WRMSDs.
Results : The average age of the participants was 45 years, with a mean height and weight of 1.69 m and 85.4 kg respectively. Participants in the study had a mean body mass index of 29.9 kg.m-2, categorising them as overweight. From the bus drivers who reported WRMSDs due to driving (22%), most of the pain was noted in the upper back (44%), followed by lower back (42%), neck (42%), shoulder (37%), and wrist/hand (31%). A strong, positive association existed between ankle and knee pain using Kendall's tau-b correlation (tb = .71, p = .0001). A moderate and positive association was further noted between pain in the neck/shoulder (tb = .59, p = .0001) and upper back/shoulder (tb = .59, p = .0001).
Conclusion : The greatest proportion of pain was experienced along the axial skeleton in long-distance bus drivers. Upper back pain was the most prevalent of the WRMSDs reported in these drivers.
The relationships between rugby ground pass accuracy and kinematic variables resulting from two different pelvic orientations : original research
Introduction : Despite having been largely understudied, one of the crucial components of a team's success in rugby is accurate passing. This study identified biomechanical correlates of the rugby ground pass and accuracy performance.
Methods : Sixteen club players (height 1.77±0.04 m; mass 86.8±16.8 kg) undertook a combined total of 96 passes and their respective body kinematics were analysed concurrent with measurements of pass accuracy at 10 m. Two distinct types of body orientations were found to be utilised by the players: a side-on orientation (pelvic rotation >80 °) and a front-on orientation (pelvic rotation <80 °).
Results : Side-on body orientation passes were more accurate than front-on body orientation passes (p<0.0001). Fair relationships were present between the pass accuracy and upper body and hip kinematics for the two distinct body orientations individually. However, no common relationships were observed between the different orientations.
Conclusion : Therefore different strategies exist within players to perform the ground pass with varying grades of accuracy.
Mindfulness and mental toughness among provincial adolescent female hockey players : original research
Introduction : Mental toughness is highly valued within competitive sport. However, scant attention has been paid to the psychological processes that underpin mental toughness.
Objectives : To explore the relationship between mindfulness and mental toughness among provincial adolescent female hockey players.
Methods : Provincial adolescent female hockey players (N=484) completed measures of mindfulness and mental toughness. Correlation coefficients were calculated with respect to mindfulness and mental toughness. A one-way between-groups analysis of variance (ANOVA) was conducted to determine whether athletes assigned to four levels of mindfulness (high, moderate, medium and low) differed significantly with regard to mental toughness.
Results : Mindfulness exhibited significant positive correlations with confidence, constancy and control, as well as with total mental toughness. The results of the ANOVA and the relevant post hoc analyses indicated that athletes in the high mindfulness group reported significantly higher levels of control and general mental toughness than those in the other three groups. The high mindfulness participants also reported significantly higher levels of constancy than those in the medium and low mindfulness groups.
Conclusion : Mindfulness was positively correlated with all aspects of mental toughness investigated in this study. In addition, individuals with high levels of mindfulness reported higher control, constancy and general mental toughness than those with lower levels of mindfulness. Based on the current findings, the role of mindfulness in the development and maintenance of mental toughness among adolescent athletes warrants further investigation.
Concussion return-to-play behaviour of South African Rugby Union (SA Rugby) Youth Week players : a pilot study : original research
Introduction : BokSmart has disseminated Graduated Return-to-Play (GRTP) guidelines for concussions management to all, but specifically coaches, in South Africa. Medical clearance before returning to play (RTP) is poorly adhered to in the GRTP steps. This study explored barriers to compliance with medical clearance prior to RTP.
Methods : Players who suffered a concussion during the 2014/2015 South African Rugby Youth Week Tournaments were followed-up telephonically until RTP. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to explore enablers/barriers to seeking/not seeking medical clearance before RTP.
Results : Of those who did not seek medical clearance (47%), 80% indicated that the player/parent or coach felt this was unnecessary. Of those who did seek medical clearance, 65% reported they were instructed to do so either by the tournament doctor who diagnosed the injury or by the school coach.
Conclusion : Besides coaches, parents and medical doctors have an important influence on players' RTP behaviour. The findings of this pilot study need to be repeated in a larger cohort.