In the light of medical evidence of the health risks associated with boxing, a watchful agnostic position among sport physicians is no longer justifiable. The normal activity in a boxing match places the athletes at risk of head injury, some of which may be difficult to detect and impossible to repair. This suggests that sport physicians and others expert in the prevention and diagnosis of such injuries should take a public stand against boxing, as other medical associations have. Although there is a need for continuing research into the health risks, doctors can in the interim take steps to increase public awareness of these risks. Sport physicians in particular can make a strong public statement by also ending their professional involvement with boxing. This need not be interpreted as paternalism; doctors are qualified neither to make laws nor to restrict private behaviour. Sport physicians are, however, well equipped to advise those who do make laws and those who choose to engage in boxing. In the end, because this stance against boxing will probably reduce the number of brain injuries in certain athletes, autonomy will be preserved, rather than restricted. (+info)
Effects of massage on physiological restoration, perceived recovery, and repeated sports performance.
BACKGROUND: Despite massage being widely used by athletes, little scientific evidence exists to confirm the efficacy of massage for promoting both physiological and psychological recovery after exercise and massage effects on performance. AIM: To investigate the effect of massage on perceived recovery and blood lactate removal, and also to examine massage effects on repeated boxing performance. METHODS: Eight amateur boxers completed two performances on a boxing ergometer on two occasions in a counterbalanced design. Boxers initially completed performance 1, after which they received a massage or passive rest intervention. Each boxer then gave perceived recovery ratings before completing a second performance, which was a repeated simulation of the first. Heart rates and blood lactate and glucose levels were also assessed before, during, and after all performances. RESULTS: A repeated measures analysis of variance showed no significant group differences for either performance, although a main effect was found showing a decrement in punching force from performance 1 to performance 2 (p<0.05). A Wilcoxon matched pairs test showed that the massage intervention significantly increased perceptions of recovery (p<0.01) compared with the passive rest intervention. A doubly multivariate multiple analysis of variance showed no differences in blood lactate or glucose following massage or passive rest interventions, although the blood lactate concentration after the second performance was significantly higher following massage (p<0.05). CONCLUSIONS: These findings provide some support for the psychological benefits of massage, but raise questions about the benefit of massage for physiological restoration and repeated sports performance. (+info)
Effects of rapid weight loss on mood and performance among amateur boxers.
AIMS: To examine the effects of rapid weight loss on mood and performance among amateur boxers. METHODS: Participants were 16 experienced amateur boxers. In stage 1, structured interviews were used to assess the type of strategies that boxers used to reduce weight and the value of performing at their desired weight in terms of performance. In stage 2, boxers completed a 4 x 2 minute (1 minute recovery) circuit training session. Boxers completed the circuit training session on three different occasions with a week between each. The first test was used to familiarise the boxers with the circuit training task; the second and third tasks were at their training weight and championship weight, respectively. Participants were given one week to reduce their body weight to their championship weight using their preferred weight making strategies; boxers reduced their body weight by an average of 5.16% of body weight. RESULTS: Boxers typically lost weight by restricting fluid and food intake in the week leading to competition. Repeated measures multivariate analysis of variance results indicated that rapid weight loss among boxers was associated with poor performance, increased anger, fatigue, and tension, and reduced vigour. CONCLUSIONS: Strategies used to make weight by boxers are associated with poor performance and a negative mood profile. (+info)
Problems in health management of professional boxers in Japan.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether the incidence of boxing accidents is higher in Japan than in other countries. METHOD: A nationwide survey of boxers was conducted. RESULTS: A total of 632 boxers responded. Most Japanese boxers were relatively mature when they started boxing (mean starting age of 19.2 years). A high percentage of boxers was found three weight divisions higher than previously reported. Many boxers stated that losing weight was not a big problem. It was found that a punch that turns the head can cause serious physical damage, and it was clarified that only a simple punch, rather than accumulated damage from multiple punches, can cause cerebral concussion. Severe shock causing retrograde amnesia is very rare after a fight and disappears relatively quickly. Many additional symptoms are related to damage to the hearing organs, such as hearing difficulties, tinnitus, and vertigo, but these symptoms also resolve quickly. Many boxers experience memory disturbance, not just after a fight but in daily life. CONCLUSION: The approach to boxing has become more oriented towards the method of practice and scientific training, rather than psychological factors, which used to be emphasised. (+info)
Ophthalmological findings in elite amateur Turkish boxers.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the nature and incidence of pathological ocular conditions in boxing. METHODS: A group of 20 active, elite, amateur, asymptomatic Turkish boxers were examined and compared with a control group composed of 20 age matched sportsmen who were not boxers. The boxers had been actively boxing for 5-20 years (mean 9.65), were aged 16-34 (mean 22.25), and weighed 51-91 kg (mean 73.07). They had been involved in 67-500 fights (mean 143.8), with 5-40 losses (mean 17.75). All were championship title holders at the national, European, Olympic, or World level. RESULTS: An atrophic retinal hole was found in one boxer, which was treated with laser prophylaxis. In this series, the incidence of traumatic eye injuries was much lower than in the literature. Possible reasons are their young age, their division being mainly lightweight or middleweight, few fight losses, being elite boxers, their fighting distance being near or distant, protective methods, and racial factors. CONCLUSION: Boxing does not appear to be as hazardous to the eyes as previously reported, but prospective, longitudinal studies need to be carried out, including boxers of all divisions, ages, boxing experience, and level, and using various methods of fighting and protection. It should be made mandatory for all boxers to have a complete ophthalmological examination at the beginning of their careers and periodically thereafter. (+info)
Increased diffusion in the brain of professional boxers: a preclinical sign of traumatic brain injury?
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Professional boxing is associated with chronic, repetitive head blows that may cause brain injuries. Diffusion-weighted imaging is sensitive to microscopic changes and may be a useful tool to quantify the microstructural integrity of the brain. In this study, we sought to quantify microscopic alterations associated with chronic traumatic brain injury in professional boxers. METHODS: MR and diffusion-weighted imaging were performed in 24 boxers and in 14 age- and sex-matched control subjects with no history of head trauma. Using distribution analysis, the average diffusion constant of the entire brain (BD(av)) and diffusion distribution width (sigma) were calculated for each subject; findings in professional boxers were compared with those of control subjects. In the boxer group, correlations between diffusion changes and boxing history and diffusion changes and MR imaging findings were assessed. RESULTS: The measured diffusion values in the boxer group were significantly higher than those measured in the control group (BD(av), P <.0001; sigma, P <.01). In the boxer group, a robust correlation was found between increased BD(av) and frequency of hospitalization for boxing injuries (r = 0.654, P <.05). The most common MR finding in the boxer group was volume loss inappropriate to age followed by cavum septum pellucidum, subcortical white matter disease, and periventricular white matter disease. CONCLUSION: Boxers had higher diffusion constants than those in control subjects. Our data suggest that microstructural damage of the brain associated with chronic traumatic brain injury may elevate whole-brain diffusion. This global elevation can exist even when routine MR findings are normal. (+info)
A 16 year study of injuries to professional boxers in the state of Victoria, Australia.
OBJECTIVES: Concerns about the significant injury risks in boxers have been well documented. To inform the continuing debate, updated information about the risk of injury for participants, and suitable means of modifying or preventing these risks, need to be identified. METHODS: Data describing all professional boxing fight outcomes and injuries sustained during competition, from August 1985 to August 2001, were obtained from the Victorian Professional Boxing and Combat Sports Board. RESULTS: A total of 107 injuries were recorded from 427 fight participations, corresponding to an injury rate of 250.6 injuries per 1000 fight participations. The most commonly injured body region was the head/neck/face (89.8%), followed by the upper extremities (7.4%). Specifically, injuries to the eye region (45.8%) and concussion (15.9%) were the most common. About three quarters of all injuries were lacerations/open wounds or superficial. No information was available on the mechanism of injury. CONCLUSIONS: Future research should collect information on the mechanism of injury, as this is crucial for the development and implementation of effective injury prevention strategies. A suggested boxing injury report form is provided to facilitate this. (+info)
Fatal head injury from boxing: a case report from Greece.
The case is described of a fatal injury to a young amateur boxer. The number of deaths from boxing have decreased in recent years. However, new rules devised to promote safety, such as limitation of the number of rounds, mandatory use of safety head guards, and better medical control during the match, seem to be of limited value in preventing severe head injuries from boxing. (+info)