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Students report on sports injuries
Brenau University annual research symposium presents findings
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Brenau University students Mayra Mendez-Schiaffino, left, and Doha Alhashmi read their schedule Friday afternoon as they search for their next session to attend during the University’s Fourth Annual Research and Symposium at Brenau East Campus.

Despite their absence for a softball game, three Brenau softball players had their research on performance-related injuries presented to students Friday at the Brenau University research symposium.

The symposium brought students from a wide array of academic emphases to present research at the Brenau Downtown Center and the Brenau East Campus in Gainesville.

Brenau professor Jessi Shrout presented on the behalf of softball players Taylor Causey, Kathrine Cole and Elizabeth Schneider on a comparison of softball-related shoulder injuries at Brenau compared to national statistics.

The major cause of injuries at 51 percent was contact with anything other than a player, often a ball, base or a bat.

Another 27 percent came from non-contact overuse that can often lead to chronic injuries.

“If a player is suffering from a chronic injury, overuse injury, they may not know during the game. The adrenaline kicks in,” Shrout said. “They’re really not aware of it at the time, but later when they get home, it’s going to be really painful.”

The players’ research focused on Brenau’s injuries compared to the national statistics found in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Injury Surveillance System.

From 2007 to this year, Brenau had 13 shoulder injuries, with the plurality being rotator cuff injuries.

During a season, 8 percent of active team members had a shoulder-related injury, according to the presentation.

The national norm was 10 percent between 1988 and 2004, which ran counter to the original hypothesis.

“They seemed to suffer a lot of shoulder injuries and they don’t see other team members from other teams suffering the same level of injuries,” Shrout said.

The study was limited in its small sample size and that the years for the research didn’t match. Brenau and its softball team continue to look for ways to use the data to assess injury prevention.

“Even at a rate of 8 percent, that’s fairly high. The team would really like to get that number down,” Shrout said.

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