We were excited to partner with Tates Creek Middle School to create a field trip experience for 6th-8th grade girls that highlighted topics related to physical activity, athletics, science, and research. Twenty-three girls from Tates Creek Middle School, their athletic director, and counselor visited the SMRI to learn about sports medicine research.
The Operator is the foundation of Special Operations Forces and optimal physical readiness will promote tactical performance and reduce the risk of musculoskeletal injuries. The objectives of this initiative were to measure the effectiveness of Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command’s human performance program to improve injury mitigating and performance characteristics and to reduce musculoskeletal injury. Marines were recruited to coincide with three distinct time points during the MARSOC school pipeline.
The University of Kentucky Sports Medicine Research Institute (SMRI) received a $3.6 million research contract from the United States Department of Defense (DOD) and Office of Naval Research to expand research focused on determining optimal physical and mental fitness among elite U.S. military members.
The most common injury among military and civilian populations is the ankle sprain. While often dismissed as inconsequential, more than half will experience repetitive ankle injuries, often within a year of the first injury. The associated long term pain, disability, time loss and substantial financial burden suggests the standard of care for treating ankle sprains is insufficient. Dr.
Insufficient sleep, known as sleep restriction, increases the risk of injury in athletes, military personnel, and the general population. Yet, the physical mechanisms by which sleep restriction increases injury risk are unknown. Potential mechanisms include strength imbalances and landing or running techniques during dynamic tasks. The goal of this project was to examine the effect of reduced sleep on strength and biomechanical risk factors for injury.
The SMRI has been active in outreach working toward improving the health and wellness of veterans. This past August the SMRI hosted a Team Red, White, Blue (RWB) regional leadership camp for TRWB chapter leaders. We led a weekend seminar on planning and executing group-based fitness and training events in community. The camp attendees came from a variety of fitness backgrounds and locations including, Kentucky, Indiana, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Florida.
In November 2017, the SMRI organized a collaborative event with Team RWB, the Kentucky Army National Guard, and the Lexington Fire Department as a part of Lexington’s week of valor, leading up to Veteran’s day, called Operation Wildcat. Operation Wildcat was a military themed community engagement event centered around a fitness challenge at Kroger Field. Over 100 participants were divided into groups and required to work together through fitness and team challenges.
Up to 85% of Veterans using the US Department of Veteran Affairs health care system are classified as overweight or obese. Excessive body weight and body fat have been associated with higher mortality rate and concomitant risk for many chronic diseases. We are initiating a pilot study to identify social determinants, physical, physiological, psychosocial, and behavioral characteristics that contribute to overweightness and obesity in Veterans.
Since 2015, SMRI has collaborated with the UK Army and Air Force ROTC programs to share over a decade’s worth of research and provide consultation on fitness improvement and injury prevention.
In March 2018, Dr. Heebner presented to regional Army ROTC cadre regarding the lessons learned from our research in performance and injury research in the military. The presentation encouraged ROTC leaders to discuss the future fitness requirement of Army recruits.