Einstein's own sports medicine expert Rosemarie Boehm, MD, joins Ike Reese on Sportsradio 94WIP this week to discuss the most important injuries of interest to Philadelphia football fans. Going into week ten of the season, Dr. Boehm weighs in on recovery time for Allen Barbre's hamstring strain and what additional steps, if any, the NFL might take to reduce the impact of cocussion on its players.
Is it more likely that an offensive lineman who doesn't have to run fast – like Allen Barbre – can come back earlier from a strained hamstring than a wide receiver or running back?
As we know, offensive lineman Allen Barbre hasn’t practiced since he sustained a left hamstring strain against the Cowboys two weeks ago. He was forced out of that game and missed the Giants game this past Sunday.
We certainly don’t see as many hamstring strains in lineman as we do in skill position players, like receivers and running backs. Theoretically offensive lineman may be able to come back a little bit earlier from a hamstring strain because they don’t do as much explosive running, cutting and jumping.
But linemen still depend on their lower extremities to squat, forcibly push off from the squatting position, and use force to push and block. The force that they need to generate depends on good strength and equal flexibility of the large muscles in the lower leg – mainly the hamstrings and quads.
Being that lineman are usually larger than some of the other players, they may be less flexible, which could cause them to struggle to return once injured. As we have talked about previously, hamstring strains all need to be rested and rehabbed to avoid recurrence or the injury becoming chronic, no matter which player sustains the injury.
Players all may heal and rehab at different speeds and times depending on many factors. We just hope they come back as soon as possibly but safely.
We've talked a lot about concussions in football over the last few years. In your opinion, can the league do enough to lessen the impact of concussions on its players. If so, what additional steps could they take?
Concussions continue to be a big part of football and many other sports. As long as we have football players who are getting bigger, faster and stronger, and they continue to hit each other with high rates of speed and force, I don’t believe that we can stop concussions.
I do believe, and hope, that we can lessen the impact on athletes. The NFL has made many changes over the past few years on how concussions are diagnosed and by who, how they are treated and when players can return. They have implemented a system of checks and balances in order to not miss concussion symptoms and to ensure that players are cleared and safe before returning to play. Rules have been implemented and changed to decrease helmet-to-helmet contact and the league continues to look at ways to decrease the numbers of concussions, as well as the severity of concussions and head injuries.
The NFL needs to continue to stand firm on encouraging players to disclose symptoms of concussions and not return to play with concussion symptoms. They need to continue to educate teams, owners, coaches, staff and players on signs and symptoms of concussions, how to lessen the chances of an injury, and the potential implications and long-term effects of concussions.
Lastly, but most importantly, the NFL needs to set an example for all young athletes and reinforce the importance of understanding, reporting and treating head injuries and concussions. They need to continue to educate athletes, parents, coaches, referees and the communities about concussions.It’s never too early in an athlete’s career to begin that education.
Listen to this week's podcast:
Be sure to check back soon for next week's report. Have questions about your favorite NFL player's recovery? Post them here and our sports injury experts may be able to answer them on next week's show.