Research Focuses On Treatment, Prevention Of Sports Injuries

Armen Hareyan's picture
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As the weather grows warmer, baseball and softball leagues swing into action, soccer and tennis matches start up and cyclists and runners hit the road. The health benefits are substantial for those who regularly participate in sports and physical activity. But unfortunately, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 10,000 emergency room visits per day are the result of participation in sports, recreation or exercise. That's 3.65 million ER trips per year. How can those injuries be reduced?

The Datalys Center, a new national non-profit research center formed by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), BioCrossroads, and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), will answer that question by conducting research and providing surveillance expertise to support the sports injury information needs of academic researchers, sports governing organizations, and the broader sports medicine community. The Datalys Center also will serve the general public, media, policy-makers, and all those interested in promoting safe and injury-free participation in sports and physical activity for millions of Americans of all ages. Through the analysis of sports participation, injury and treatment data, the Datalys Center's mission is to produce and enable significant progress toward better prevention, public health and sports medicine outcomes.

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"The goal of the Datalys Center is to create the leading sports injury research, data collection and translation center in the world," said Troy Hege, President of the Datalys Center. "The data and its translation are the foundation for the development of programs, policies, rules and education aimed at preventing, mitigating and treating sports injuries more effectively. In addition, the Center will be an educational vehicle for sports and exercise medicine and health promotion."

The Datalys Center will build on and evolve from the NCAA's Injury Surveillance System (ISS). The NCAA will continue its involvement with sports injury surveillance as the Center's first collaborative partner. The NCAA has been collecting injury and exposure data from a sample of NCAA institutions in a variety of sports for 25 years. This effort, which has resulted in the creation of the largest ongoing collegiate sports injury database in the world, has established the NCAA as a leader in student-athlete injury surveillance and prevention, and the Datalys Center will continue the NCAA's prominence in this area. The NCAA sport and policy committees have used the data as the underpinning for evidence-based decision making on health and safety issues.

For example, the NCAA has used its injury surveillance data in policy discussions related to:

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