Every week, Dr. Joe Congeni, the director of Sports Medicine at Akron Children's Hospital, discusses timely topics for a sports medicine segment on WAKR 1590 AM’s Ray Horner Morning Show.

Controversial debate: When should soccer players begin to head the ball?

New research came out recently that’s stirring the pot as to when kids should start heading the ball in soccer. The fierce debate has cut the medical field right down the middle.

Concussion diagnosis still not foolproof

With the recent news of Browns’ quarterback Josh McCown suffering a concussion in the season-opener against the New York Jets, I wanted to discuss the difficulty in diagnosing concussions. It’s especially a challenge in the college and high school settings where staffs and budgets are significantly smaller.

Can supplements really help prevent concussions?

There are many supplements and other products on the market today claiming to help prevent or heal players’ head injuries.

One such product, Reliant Recovery Water, recently popped up in major media outlets after its investor, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, claimed it helped prevent a concussion after he took a hard blow to the head in last winter’s NFC Championship game.

Staph infections on the field require immediate attention to keep players safe

With the recent news of chickenpox invading the Kansas City Royals’ clubhouse, I’m reminded of the serious nature of staph infections inside high-school locker rooms. Staph infections begin with signs of redness and swelling, and then they’ll start to ooze and weep. A player may even become feverish if it’s left untreated.

It’s important to get the infection treated immediately because not only can it quickly escalate into something serious, but also other players are at risk for contracting the infection on and off the field.

Is overtraining the cause of many sports-related injuries?

With so many players stuck on the sidelines with hamstring, shoulder, elbow or other injuries, I can’t help but wonder if it’s due to overtraining.

Players are training the same muscles hard year-round, instead of taking the recommended full season off (3 months), and are incurring more wear and tear. The race to be the biggest, fastest, strongest athlete may come at a cost.

Recent EpiPen legislation is saving lives on and off the field

I’m happy to hear schools are taking the initiative after the Ohio House Bill 296 passed last year. The bill calls for schools to stock EpiPens and allows trainers, coaches and other sideline personnel to administer it on somebody who wasn’t actually prescribed epinephrine.
Not only is it saving lives with greater access to the injectors, but also more people are being trained on how to administer the medication.