Jason P. Mihalik, PhD, CAT(C), ATC
Injury Prevention in Youth Athletics
Head impact severity can be decreased in youth ice hockey players when the player anticipates an impending body collision, especially in moderate impacts. In the study, “Collision Type and Player Anticipation Affect Head Impact Severity Among Youth Ice Hockey Players,” published in the June print issue of Pediatrics (published online May 17), 16 youth ice hockey players wore helmets capable of measuring biomechanical variables including linear or rotational acceleration and severity profile. Study authors determined that out of 666 body collisions, 421 took place along the playing boards, and the remaining 245 hits occurred on the open ice. Open-ice collisions resulted in greater head linear and rotational accelerations, compared to collisions along the boards. Anticipated collisions tended to result in less-severe head impacts than unanticipated hits, especially in medium-intensity impacts. Hockey coaches are encouraged to spend time during practice educating players on how to deliver and receive body collisions safely in all areas of the ice, keeping safety of the players at the forefront.
Jason P. Mihalik, PhD, CAT(C), ATC, from the Matthew A. Gfeller Sport-Related Traumatic Brain Injury Research Center, comes on the show to discuss the severity of impact during ice Hockey and how to prevent serious injury.
Jason Mihalik joined the Department of Exercise and Sport Science as a visiting assistant professor in the fall of 2009 and has recently accepted a position within the Department as an Assistant Professor (effective July 1, 2010). He currently serves as the director of the Cadaver Anatomy Laboratory, and will teach courses in Neuromuscular Control and Leanring (EXSS 380) and Graduate Laboratory Techniques in Sports Medicine, and assists with the Graduate Statistics and Research Methods courses in EXSS. Dr. Mihalik completed his undergraduate degree in Exercise Science with a specialization in Athletic Therapy at Concordia University (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) in 2001. He completed his graduate work in Sports Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA), earning his Master's Degree in December 2004. He was a recipient of the Dr. Thomas S. and Mrs. Caroline H. Royster, Jr. fellowship, allowing him to complete his doctoral work at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the summer of 2009. Jason’s primary research interests include studying the biomechanics related to head trauma and studying the common pathways to managing head trauma from the sideline through the emergency department. His secondary research interests include the neurocognitive and postural deficits associated with sports related mild traumatic brain injury, analyzing postural control strategies, investigating the sequellae associated with MTBI in athletes (i.e. postconcussion syndrome, posttraumatic migraine, etc.), and exploring the potential for concussion rehabilitation in virtual reality environments.
Melanie Cole, M.S.
Prom Safety! PSA
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