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Research Projects

Submitted by dldesros on Fri, 09/13/2013 - 12:05pm

Through our research, we aim to develop and implement new injury prevention strategies and improve our understanding of the best way to manage injuries when they do happen. Our team is currently working on a number of exciting projects that work toward these objectives.

Why is this research important?

Sustaining a sport or recreation-related injury can be a major event in a young athlete's life. What is it like living with post-concussion syndrome? Take at look at  Ash's video listen to a description from the perspective of a youth hockey player and how a concussion has impacted his life.

PrE-OA Knee Study

Consequences of knee joint injury in youth sport: Implications for osteoarthritis (OA) and other health outcomes. OA is a degenerative joint disease that affects approximately 4.6 million Canadians. This number, and the cost to society associated with caring for OA, are expected to double over the next generation. Joint injury suffered in youth is a risk factor for developing OA. In fact, 50% of individuals who experience a significant knee injury will develop OA.

The goal of this research project is to develop a better understanding of the interaction between the physical, structural, chemical and behavioural implications of joint injury and how these relate to developing OA later in life; as well as eventually helping to reduce the individual, societal, and economic burden of joint injury and OA. In particular, this study examines how young adults who sustained a sport-related, intra-articular knee injury 3-10 years prior, differ from age, sex, and sport-matched, non-injured controls in: physical activity participation, physical fitness, body composition, blood chemistry, ability to perform movement tests, muscle and joint structure, and healthcare use.  This study is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.  Click here for more information on this study.

Research Study Contacts

Basketball Study:  403-220-4230
Concussion Rehabilitation Study:
Hockey           403-220-6336
iSPRINT School Study:       403-220-8949
Knee Study:                  403-220-3394
Soccer Study:             403-220-4230

Concussion Rehabilitation Study

The majority of individuals who suffer a concussion will recover in the initial 7-10 days. However, some individuals are left with ongoing symptoms that have a considerable impact on their quality of life. Our previous work has found that individuals with ongoing neck pain, dizziness and headaches following a sport related concussion who were treated with a combination vestibular and cervical spine rehabilitation were 4 times more likely to be medically cleared to return to sport in an 8 week time period.  There is also some emerging literature that sub-symptom aerobic exercise may be of benefit.  Thus, we are comparing sub-symptom aerobic exercise, cervical and vestibular rehabilitation and a combination of these two forms of treatments to identify the effects that these treatments may have on clearance from a medical doctor to return to sport as well as quality of life.  Participants aged 10-18 years will be randomized into one of three groups and will perform their specified treatment for 8 weeks or until they are medically cleared to return to sport.  This will inform clinical practice and allow us to gain a better understanding into the effects of treatment and which treatment may be optimal for youth and adolescents following sport-related concussion. Click here for more information.

Alberta Program in Youth Sport & Recreational Injury Prevention

The  Alberta Program in Youth Sport & Recreational Injury Prevention  is a collaborative research program composed of interdisciplinary researchers, trainees, and community partners with a common goal – to reduce the burden of sport and recreational injuries in Alberta youth. The Program is funded by an Alberta Innovates Health Solutions Collaborative Research and Innovation Opportunity (CRIO) grant. The main objectives of the Program are to develop and evaluate programs and policies in injury prevention in youth sport and recreation, and to increase awareness about youth sport and recreational injury prevention.  The Alberta program highlights research projects examining sports that have high participation rates providing the greatest opportunity to reduce injury. The projects include injury prevention in youth ice hockey, ski and snowboard school programs, and the introduction of injury prevention training into junior high school physical education programs.  To learn more, click here.

School Study

iSPRINT (Implementing a School Program to Prevent Injuries through Neuromuscular Training):  One of the studies associated with The Alberta Program in Youth Sport & Recreational Injury Prevention is investigating the effectiveness of a neuromuscular training program as a warm-up to Physical Education classes in Calgary junior high schools. The main objectives of this study are to:

  • evaluate whether the program can decrease the risk of injuries associated with sport and recreation participation
  • determine whether the program is effective in improving healthy outcomes for students

Please click here for the study Consent Form.

Basketball Injury Study

Basketball is one of the most popular sports in Canada, with lower extremity injuries being the most common. These injuries, which include knee and ankle injuries, can be career ending. To date most research has been done with adults and professional players, which means we don’t really understand how these injuries can start, or their impact on pre-professional players. There is a critical need for research that will lead to injury prevention in youth basketball. The purpose of this study is to determine the burden and risk factors for injury in youth basketball. We will use this information to develop future injury prevention strategies.  For more information on this study, please click here.

Hockey Study

We are conducting a study looking at various aspects of concussion and injury in youth hockey players. The study will include over 1,000 hockey players in Bantam and Midget  from Alberta and British Columbia.  Alberta Innovates Health Solutions, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and Hotchkiss Brain Institute are supporting this study. For more information on participating, click here.

Soccer Study

Studies have shown that neuromuscular training programs can reduce the risk of injury in youth soccer, but the best way of implementing these programs in the community remains unclear. The purpose of this study is to explore the use of coach education workshops for delivering a specialized neuromuscular training warm-up program to soccer teams across Canada. Coaches and players of U14-U18 teams are participating in this multi-year trial, which is currently in the data collection phase. This project is supported by FIFA and the Canadian Soccer Association.  To view the 11+ injury prevention program developed by FIFA, please click here.  

Snow Sport Study

The first goal of this project is to determine what risk factors might be involved in ski and snowboard injury in children and youth. Using the results from this initial study we will develop a ski and snowboard injury prevention video aimed at empowering children and youth to take steps towards safer skiing and snowboarding practices. For more information on this study, click here

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