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In a rare bit of good news tied to the coronavirus pandemic, researchers say pediatric fractures plummeted by nearly 60% this past spring.

Investigators say the finding likely reflects the sudden evaporation of organized sports and curtailed playground use due to the threat of COVID-19.

"We compared fracture incidence in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic -- March...

Girls who played after-school sports in elementary school seem to have fewer symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) once they reach middle school, a new study suggests.

The research included both boys and girls, but the effect of sports on attention and behavior symptoms was only significant in girls.

"Girls, in particular, benefit from participation i...

Young athletes who've had moderate COVID-19 symptoms should be symptom-free for 14 days and get their doctor's OK before returning to practices or games, according to a leading group of U.S. pediatricians.

An electrocardiogram (EKG) is also recommended for those who've had moderate COVID-19 symptoms, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) said in updated guidance.

"Exercis...

If your knees crack when you walk or run, don't be too worried, an expert says.

"Knee cracking could mean lots of things," said Harshvardhan Singh, assistant professor in the department of physical therapy at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. "If it is painful, then you should see a health care provider."

The cause can be a large kneecap that doesn't fit well into t...

Dance-related injuries treated at U.S. emergency departments increased by nearly one-quarter in recent years, a new study reveals.

Between 2014 and 2018, there was a 22.5% rise in such injuries, with more than 4,150 cases seen in ERs nationwide during that time.

Strains and sprains accounted for almost half of the injuries, according to the National Athletic Trainers' As...

If you're thinking about letting your child resume sports while the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage, a leading pediatricians' group says there are a few things you should consider.

To help families make informed decisions, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently released guidance based on the most current research.

"We recommend that parents talk to their pe...

With opioid addiction soaring in the United States, it should come as good news that an opioid painkiller may not be needed after a sports-injury repair.

A mix of non-addictive medicines may be safer and equally successful in managing pain after shoulder or knee surgery, a study from Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit indicates.

Concerned about the opioid abuse epidemic, doctors...

Athletes who play contact sports may develop subtle brain changes -- even if they don't suffer a concussion, researchers say.

Their study involved 101 female college athletes -- 70 who played rugby and 31 who either rowed or swam. All were concussion-free six months before and during the study.

Some rugby players had suffered a concussion before that time, while the rowers a...

When bike-sharing services open in cities, more people start to commute by bicycle and take public transit, new research shows.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, bike commuting had increased by 20% in cities where bike-share systems were introduced, according to study author Dafeng Xu, assistant professor of public policy and governance at the University of Washington in Seattle.

If the coronavirus pandemic slows down and schools reopen this fall, student athletes will need sports physicals and their primary care doctor is the best person to do it, according to guidelines from leading U.S. medical experts.

"Whenever possible, the sports physical should be performed in the primary care physician's office, the same place where the child receives immunizations a...

Middle-aged men and women who develop high blood pressure while performing even moderate exercise may be at higher risk for heart disease, a new study suggests.

"The way our blood pressure changes during and after exercise provides important information on whether we will develop disease in the future," researcher Vanessa Xanthakis, assistant professor of medicine at Boston University...

Screening to detect potentially deadly heart problems in U.S. college athletes saves lives, researchers say.

And it's also cost-effective. "It can be implemented for much less than the cost of a pair of athletic shoes," said study leader Dr. Kimberly Harmon, of the University of Washington School of Medicine, in Seattle.

Sudden cardiac death is the leading cause of death amo...

The brain damage that may occur in football players has received a lot of attention in recent years. But a new study suggests that former players who get a diagnosis of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) when they're still alive may well be getting the wrong diagnosis.

CTE can only be diagnosed with an autopsy, the researchers explained. Other conditions could cause the symptoms ...

Less than half of patients with a sports-related mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) recover within two weeks, new research shows.

"This study challenges current perceptions that most people with a sports-related mTBI recover within 10 to 14 days," said lead author Dr. Stephen Kara, from Axis Sports Medicine in Auckland, New Zealand.

He and his colleagues analyzed recovery ...

A spirited game of ping pong may be more than just fun: New research suggests it could quell symptoms in Parkinson's patients.

The small study found that patients with the movement disorder had significant improvements in a wide range of symptoms after taking part in a six-month ping pong exercise program.

"Ping pong, which is also called table tennis, is a form of aerobic e...

A gene mutation implicated in the risk for Alzheimer's disease might also impair memory in soccer players who head the ball a lot, a new study suggests.

The finding could have implications for young athletes in contact sports where the head can take hits during play.

Among soccer players who headed the ball the most, those with the gene mutation called the apolipoprotein E ...

Cold, wet winter weather doesn't have to put the kibosh on your running. Just follow some basic advice to help you maintain your exercise program safely.

Before you head outside, check the forecast for temperature, wind and moisture. This is key in planning a safe winter workout, said Julie Ruane, a nurse practitioner in the sports medicine division at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical C...

Of all sports, football sends the most U.S. males to the emergency room, while cheerleading and gymnastics most often do the same for women and girls, a new report finds.

And, overall, U.S. emergency departments see about 2.7 million patients between the ages of 5 and 24 for sports-related injuries each year, according to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prev...

Teen girls who play several sports have a lower injury risk than those who focus on just one, a new study finds.

It included more than 1,100 girls who play basketball, soccer and volleyball. Most were middle and high school students; some were in college.

Girls who specialize too early in sports such as basketball, soccer and volleyball could find that a single-minded focus ...

It's called swimmer's shoulder, and it's an overuse injury that three-quarters of teen swimmers suffer from, new research shows.

The study authors also found that many young swimmers with shoulder pain believe it's just part of being competitive and successful.

For the study, researchers surveyed 150 high school and youth club competitive swimmers, aged 13 to 18, and found ...

Former professional soccer players have a significantly increased risk of death from brain diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, a new study finds.

Former soccer players were about 3.5 times more likely to die of neurodegenerative diseases than people in the general population, according to a study in Scotland.

"This analysis revealed that risk ranged from a fivefold...

New research on concussions reports mixed news for kids playing high school sports.

The good news? Concussions are down during football practices. And the number of recurrent concussions is down in all sports.

The bad news? Concussions are on the rise during high school football games, and football continues to have the highest concussion rates in high school sports.

...

Girls who suffer a concussion while playing school sports are more likely than boys to delay seeking specialty medical care, which can worsen their symptoms and prolong recovery, researchers warn.

That's the upshot from a study of 192 athletes between the ages of 7 and 18.

Senior author Dr. Christina Master said researchers have speculated that teen girls with concussions h...

The length of time that NFL players are sidelined after a concussion has tripled in the past two decades, a new study finds.

Researchers analyzed data from the 2012-2015 pro football seasons. They found that the players who suffered a concussion returned to play an average of 19 days later, which means they missed about 1.5 games.

Data collected between 1996 and 2001 showed ...

It is an annual rite of summer: sending young men out on football fields across America in the sweltering August heat for grueling practice sessions designed to prepare them for the coming season.

But a new study shows the ritual can be costly if players are pushed too hard. It is the most common way players die of non-traumatic injuries in high school and college football.

...

If you've made a financial commitment to athletic shoes, no doubt you want your money's worth. But it's important to replace them when you see specific signs of wear. Doing so will help prevent injury and allow you to work out at peak performance.

According to the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine, there are four main shoe components that can break down or wear out. When a...

Ever wonder what top trainers tell their best clients? Personal trainers excel in mapping out individualized exercise programs. And they also offer insights that can help fitness buffs stay motivated.

Here are some of their best tips:

  • Remember the cliche "Rome wasn't built in a day" and take a long-term view of your goals. Just as you can't lose 10 pounds overnight, it ...

Just how dangerous is American football?

Pretty dangerous, a new analysis claims.

Repeated exposure to head trauma during play often causes significant brain damage, researchers report. That damage then gives rise to neurological disease, which then boosts the risk for dementia by the time players reach middle-age and beyond.

The conclusion follows autopsies perfor...

Exercise has many health benefits for boys, ranging from a lower chance of obesity to improved self-esteem. It may also reduce risk-taking behaviors. However, some sports come with cautions, especially those with weight classes that could lead to excessive dieting or even anorexia.

Sometimes boys may simply not eat enough calories to make up for all they burn. Intended or not, inadequ...

Former pro football players typically have healthier hearts than the average Joe -- except when it comes to a type of heart rhythm disturbance, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that former NFL players had a nearly six times higher rate of atrial fibrillation (a-fib), versus other men their age. The condition was present in 5% of 460 former players, versus 0.5% of nonath...

Brian Duncan doesn't know why his brain still works as well as it does.

Duncan, 67, got his bell rung more than once during his life -- as a professional football player, an amateur boxer and a bull rider at Texas rodeos.

He remembers one time he got slammed into the ground by L.C. Greenwood, a 6-foot, 6-inch defensive end for the Pittsburgh Steelers, so hard that he halluci...

Do you pump your arms while walking?

Keeping your arms straight while walking is much more energy-efficient than walking with bent arms, but arm position doesn't make much difference when running, a new, small study finds.

The study included eight university students -- ranging from casual runners to marathoners -- who were filmed while they walked and ran with bent and str...

Certain high school and college athletes require a longer-than-normal recovery period after a concussion. Researchers say blood tests can predict which ones.

"With so many people sustaining concussions and a sizable number of them having prolonged symptoms and recovery, any tools we can develop to help determine who would be at greater risk of problems would be very beneficial, so the...

Getting a young child involved in organized sports may have a mental health payoff down the line, according to a new study.

Kids who had participated in athletic programs between ages 6 and 10 had less emotional distress, anxiety and shyness by age 12. They were also less likely to suffer from social withdrawal, researchers found.

"The elementary school years are a critical ti...

Athletes are supposed to be strong and self-assured, so many don't seek help for mental health issues, a new study finds.

It's not just the stigma of mental illness that prompts many to tough it out alone, but also busy schedules, gender stereotyping and lack of understanding about mental health issues.

That's the consensus of researchers from Brazil, the Netherlands and t...

Playing team sports is a great way to teach kids life lessons about leadership, teamwork and how to socialize with peers. Sports are also a great way to build self-esteem and gain physical skills. Most important, they're fun.

But too many -- nearly three-quarters of young athletes -- are specializing in just one activity as early as 7 years old, even playing on numerous league...

When NFL legend Frank Gifford died in 2015 at the age of 84, his family revealed that for years he'd suffered from mental issues caused by chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), tied to head trauma experienced during his years of play.

CTE was also thought to contribute to the suicide of retired NFL great Junior Seau at the age of 43.

But there's long been one tough issue w...

With concern over concussion dangers rising, most U.S. parents now say that they would support bans on tackling in youth football, a new survey shows.

Researchers found that of more than 1,000 parents in a national sample, 60 percent were in favor of age restrictions on tackling. Another quarter were in the "maybe" camp.

The study, published online April 1 in the journal

For young athletes, focusing on only one sport at an early age ups their odds for injury, a new study warns.

Sixty million kids play organized sports. By age 14, a growing number of them specialize in one sport with the goal of a college scholarship or professional career.

Researchers analyzed surveys completed by 202 athletes at one institution.

The surveys showe...

A lower dose of a medication to prevent acute mountain sickness is as effective as the standard, higher dose, a new study finds.

Acute mountain sickness (AMS) can cause headaches, gastrointestinal upset, fatigue, weakness, vertigo and sleep problems.

Many hikers and climbers use a drug called acetazolamide (Diamox) to prevent AMS. The standard adult dose is 125 milligrams (m...

There's good news and bad news from a new study of children visiting U.S. emergency departments for head injuries: The rate of these potentially serious events has fallen among boys, but risen for girls.

In recent years, the danger of concussion from contact sports -- most notably football -- has garnered much media attention. So the authors of the new report theorized that new "safet...

Though coaches and parents are more alert to the need for emergency attention after young athletes suffer a concussion, many may not realize how long symptoms and other effects can linger.

A study in JAMA Pediatrics found that 31 percent of concussion victims had persistent symptoms after four weeks, as well as lower quality-of-life scores than kids whose symptoms had resolved....

As American kids pack on the pounds, the number of those with back pain is on the rise.

One in three between the ages of 10 and 18 said they had backaches in the past year, according to a survey of about 3,700 youngsters. The incidence rose along with kids' age and weight and was higher among those who play competitive sports.

Though many people probably associate back pain ...

"Athlete's heart" -- an enlarged heart created by intense physical training -- is a common and often brushed-off condition within elite and professional sports.

But a new study of National Football League players is raising concern about the long-term consequences of athlete's heart when it comes to retirees who have long left the field.

These retirees are as likely to have ...

Crippling brain injury from football can start early, even among high school players, a new study suggests.

And its effects can last over time, even without additional head impacts, researchers report.

Football players can develop chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) after playing high school football, although higher rates of CTE are tied to college and pro football, the res...

Agility, or the ability to react quickly to change without losing your balance, is an important skill not only for playing sports, but also for everyday living.

Strength training helps improve agility, but so do balance and coordination exercises. Simple moves include standing on one foot, standing on tiptoe and walking heel to toe.

Specific activities that boost agility:

New research on 12 high school football players tracked for a season found that repeat head impacts affected the boys' vision -- even if those hits didn't result in concussion.

The Indiana University researchers stressed that the changes in vision did seem temporary.

But since vision tests are part of certain testing protocols for brain damage, the fact that eyes may be aff...

There's more evidence that football may be changing the brains of adolescent players, and not in a good way.

In a new study, researchers looked at MRI scans of 26 football-playing boys averaging 12 years of age.

Comparing MRIs taken just before the football season and then three months after, the scans revealed that the boys had changes in an important area of the brain cal...

Late-night tweeting leads to poorer next-day performance by professional basketball players, according to a new study that highlights how social media can affect sleep.

For the study, researchers examined statistics for games played between 2009 and 2016 by 112 National Basketball Association players who were verified Twitter users.

After sending tweets during typical sleepi...

The long-term effects of head injuries in football players begin at a young age, a new study finds.

Researchers tested college football players' blood for concussion markers and found that they had elevated levels of these markers before the season even started.

"It was quite shocking to learn that the biomarkers were high before they were even involved in one hit or tackle ...