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Bring on the ice, sports coaches to be told

Bring on the ice, sports coaches to be told

Five thousand coaches and sports managers are to be told to bring on the ice in ACC’s new Sideline Management of Strain and Sprains sports injury initiative, launched today in Wellington.

Soft tissue injuries, more commonly known as strains and sprains, account for more than half of all sports injuries which in total cost New Zealand around $90 million a year.

Strains and sprains respond best to the quick application of R.I.C.E.D. (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation, Diagnosis), and that’s the message ACC and 17 regional sports trusts will be giving to coaches and managers in the Sideline Management of Strains and Sprains (SMOSS) programme.

“Unfortunately, strains and sprains too often go untreated, converting what should be minor discomforts into longer duration injuries,” said ACC chief executive Garry Wilson.

“With the right treatment, players can get back into the game quicker with a much lower cost to the people concerned.”

This new initiative is part of ACC SportSmart –the 10 point action plan for sport injury prevention.

ACC has contracted Sportnet, the umbrella organisation for the 17 regional sports trusts, to deliver short, sharp training courses of an hour in duration to 5000 coaches and managers, primarily in the major injury producing codes: soccer, rugby, netball, league and touch.

Twenty minutes of the courses are devoted to putting theory into practice in the application R.I.C.E.D. methodology.

“Reaching for the liniment, a bit of massage or a sauna are great in the pre-game warm-up, but if they are used to treat a strain or sprain after the match, all they do is make the problem much worse,” Mr Wilson said.

The core elements involve getting ice onto the injury site as soon as it occurs while keeping swelling down by using compression bandages and ensuring the injury is elevated as much as possible.

A second part of the course – known as H.A.R.M. (Heat, Alcohol, Running and Massage) – describes the things that can aggravate the injury in the 72 hours afterwards.

“The courses train coaches in how to give the right treatment as soon as their players limp off the field,” Mr Wilson said.

“It’s a straight forward and practical programme because it has to be. People doing community coaching don’t have lots of time for training, but they do know the benefit of giving their players the right treatment.”

Coaches and managers wishing to receive training and free resources should contact their regional sports trust. Courses start in March.

Sideline Management of Strains and Sprains Some statistics

Between 63 percent and 74 percent of individuals in the touch, soccer, basketball, netball and hockey sports groups sustained a strain or sprain in the last year -- Key Generic Sports Injury Prevention: Knowledge, Attitudes & Behaviour: Touch 2002, Life in New Zealand Activity & Health Research Unit, University of Otago. This was a study of 1500 people.

Soft tissue injury entitlement claims to ACC in 2001/2002 that required more treatment than just a visit to the doctor( i.e. moderate to serious).

Soccer: 67 percent of new entitlement claims

Netball: 78 percent of new entitlement claims

Rugby: 54 percent of new entitlement claims

Touch: 65 percent of new entitlement claims

Total sport injuries in 2001/2002 cost ACC around $90 million. This includes 16,373 entitlement claims of which 12,228 were new (costing $37.5 million) and 4,415 were ongoing (costing $49 million).

Note: Entitlement claims involve more than simple medical treatment , possibly resulting in weekly compensation, independence allowance, social rehabilitation and other assistance.

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