Healthcare Provider’s Perspectives Regarding The Usefulness Of Orthopedic Tests
Authors: W.J. Moreau, DC, DACBSP, USOC Director of Sports Medicine Clinics, Colorado Springs CO, K.L. Conway, DPT, AT, Staff, USOC Sports Medicine Clinics, Colorado Springs CO, J.M. Street, AT, Fellow, USOC Sports Medicine Clinics, Colorado Springs CO, D.C. Nabhan, DC, CCSP, CSCS, Fellow, USOC Sports Medicine Clinics, Colorado Springs CO.
OBJECTIVE: To identify the rate and type of sports medicine services utilized by athletes at the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) Olympic Training Centers (OTC) Sports Medicine departments.
METHODS: An invitation to participate in an anonymous web based survey was made available at three OTC sports medicine clinics in Colorado Springs CO, Chula Vista CA and Lake Placid NY. The survey included twenty-five total questions. One-hundred and two (N=102) athletes participated in the overall survey. Seventy-nine (N=79) 79 athletes answering the following question – “What sports medicine services did you utilize in your most recent course of care?” Twenty-eight possible services were identified for the athletes to pick from. These services were comprised of eight active and 20 passive care options.
RESULTS: A total of one-hundred and two (N=102) athletes participated in the overall survey. Seventy-nine (N=79) athletes provided one or more responses to this clinical care question. Three-hundred and eighty-eight (N=388) total services were provided for an average of nearly five (4.9) services per athlete visit. Cryotherapy was the single most common selected modality, through the application of ice packs. Ice packs were utilized by 50.6% (N=40) of the survey population. Additional commonly utilized cooling modalities included cold whirlpool 40.5% (N=32), and cold plunge 26.6% (N=21). Cryotherapy cares totaled ninety-three encounters (N=93) indicating that some athletes received more than one form of cryotherapy. The most common active care modality was supervised exercise with 49% (N=39) utilization rate. When the eight forms of active care were totaled together 92.4% (N=73) of the athletes received active care as part of their sports medicine services. Three forms of soft tissue procedures, or techniques, were applied totaling a utilization rate of 84% (N=67). Electrical stimulation was provided to 27.8% (N=22) of the athletes. Compression, with Normatech® compression garments, represented 24.1% (N=19) of the care. Spinal manipulation, hot packs and ultrasound were each provided to 22.8% (N=18) of the athletes. The least common modality of care was the stair stepper with a utilization rate of 0% (N=0).
CONCLUSION: The responses represent a very small sampling of athletes regarding the cares provided at the USOC OTC sports medicine departments. Passive services were more commonly utilized that active care services. Cooling modalities, when grouped together, represented the single greatest group of service provided. Active cares as a group were the second most common modality of care. Soft tissue cares comprised as a group were the third most common form of care.