As the use of texting grows, so do its applications. Communication that just a few years ago would have demanded an office visit to an orthopedic or sports medicine specialist, can now take place within seconds or minutes via text.
It has been documented that 90 percent of text messages are read in fewer than three minutes. Remote rural areas have little access to medical specialists or advanced medical technology, so physicians and sports organizations are now looking at using texts to help them respond to situations that could prove serious if not immediately addressed.
STOP helps young athletes in real time
Texting can cut through the confusion about what constitutes a serious injury and what can be done. The organization STOP Sports Injuries has been at the forefront of using texting in amateur sports. STOP Sports Injuries is a partnership among the foremost American medical and sports organizations.
Their innovative text program provides outreach to remote and rural areas of the country. STOP Sports Injuries sponsors three programs that use texts to help young athletes stay strong and healthy.
Concussion Education. Neurologists now state that there is no such thing as a “little bit” of concussion. A concussion can occur whether or not an athlete has lost consciousness. Each time a player suffers this neurological insult, he or she must stop playing immediately and stay away from any activity which taxes the brain until it is healed. This is a serious injury that can have lifelong effects if not properly treated. Complete brain rest means that there will be no school work, computer use, or even, somewhat ironically, sending texts. STOP has a program that addresses concussions caused by football injuries, called “Be UnStoppable.” Without the STOP text program, parents and coaches would have had far few resources for making smart decisions.
Injury Prevention. Parents and coaches now have the resources they need to prevent overuse injuries in their players. Written for every individual and team sport, the specific needs for each sport are available, by text, from STOP.
Performance and Motivational Tips. Players can receive motivational and performance tips each Friday afternoon from the STOP program, just before their weekend meets or games.
Australian study shows texting helps recreational athletes
AnAustralian study has shown that text messaging is an effective tool for recreational athletes to report injuries. Recreational athletes have different requirements, types of injuries, and levels of conditioning from elite athletes.
The study gathered a lot of data from these particular kinds of players in order to understand their requirements. It enrolled Australian football players and had a response rate of 90 to 98 percent over the 18-week season.
The players texted the study authors immediately when they received injuries so that specialists could have adequate data applicable to the recreational sports community. Text messaging was found to be an ideal way to gather large amounts of relevant information in what effectively amounted to real time.