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Sports Medicine Australia (SMA) is excited to announce that our 2020 annual conference is returning to Melbourne, the home of Australian rules football (figure 1). Fittingly, we begin this SMA British Journal of Sports Medicine (BJSM) edition by highlighting the landmark paper by PhD student Daniel Hoffman, who analysed 20 years of injury data to link injury incidence to Australian rules football team performance ( See page 475 ) . While the injury–team performance link is established in elite soccer, this paper is the first to establish how important effective injury risk reduction strategies are to team success in Australian rules football.
As you walk around Melbourne’s Albert Park Lake to the 2020 SMA conference venue, contemplate the ever-increasing scientific evidence on the importance of physical activity to our personal and professional lives. SMA is proud to play a key leadership role in the healthy performance and participation of Australians in physical activity and sport. Want up-to-date information? Dr Melody Ding’s review paper ( See page 462 ) will provide you with a terrific summary of the Lancet series on embedding physical activity into public health policies. The authors recommend that physical activity research should be based on improved measurement and interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral collaboration, apply a global perspective and principles of inclusiveness and equity, and focus on research translation for real-world impact. The editorial by Sydney University’s Physical Activity group led by Professor Emmanuel (Manos) Stamatakis also outlines new directions in physical activity and sleep-related epidemiology which will help to open up horizons for guideline development and improvement ( See page 435 ) .
Specific populations require physical activity interventions to be tailored to their medical needs. Dr Belinda Parmenter’s group from the University of New South Wales completed a comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis to conclude that high-intensity lower body resistance training benefits older people who have peripheral artery disease ( See page 452 ) . Dr Pauline Mury and colleagues from France found that regular physical activity was associated with lower risk of carotid atherosclerotic plaques becoming unstable therefore protecting against cerebrovascular disease (stroke) and death ( See page 469 ) , even more compelling reasons for us to get our patients more active!
Physical activity should be encouraged in all communities, not just in those with medical illnesses. The infographic from the ‘2019 Canadian Guideline for Physical Activity Throughout Pregnancy’ provides evidence-based recommendations for pregnant women to optimise maternal/foetal health ( See page 360 ) . Whether active prior to pregnancy or not, the consensus group strongly recommended that all women without contraindication should be physically active throughout pregnancy. SMA has position statements discussing exercise in pregnancy and the postpartum period on our website (https://members.sma.org.au/2020-sma-conference/). It is free for all to access.
Chronic tendon pain
Unfortunately, chronic tendon pain can often create difficulties in maintaining physical activity levels for both elite athletes and the non-elite population trying to maintain a healthy fitness lifestyle. In this SMA issue of BJSM, we publish the important work conducted before, during and after the 2019 International Scientific Tendinopathy Symposium Consensus meeting. The consensus paper headed by University of Queensland’s Professor Bill Vicenzino ( See page 444 ) looks to tighten up tendon research by providing nine core domains to guide reporting of outcomes in all future tendon-related clinical trials. You can read further about the work that led up to this consensus meeting in Dr Johannes Zwerver’s editorial ( See page 442 ) and also get a sneak preview of the other consensus papers that you can find online first in BJSM already (and that will be published in future print issues).
The role of surgery is one of the most hotly debated topics in tendinopathy management. A fantastic editorial by Dr Millar ( See page 441 ) issues caution, which contrasts with the report of Dr Gassi that 82% of professional male soccer players return to play at their previous level 2 seasons after surgical repair for an acute Achilles tendon rupture ( See page 480 ) . The cohorts of players examined in this retrospective study were all playing in the league one or two of various countries prior to their injury. The findings of this study suggest that, while most players do return, 18% of these professional male soccer players do not return to this level following surgical repair of their Achilles tendon. Do these figures suggest that surgery is a successful management choice? What are your thoughts? BJSM would be keen to hear them via our various social media channels: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Top conference: Melbourne 2020!
We hope you enjoy reading the articles we SMA editors chose for this eighth issue of BJSM for the year (BJSM publishes twice monthly). We invite you to come to Melbourne for the SMA Conference on 14–17 October 2020! The conference will include key international and Australian speakers who represent the brightest minds in the fields of clinical sports medicine, sports and exercise science, physical activity and health promotion, and sports injury prevention, in addition to an array of social and networking opportunities.
Twitter @AndreaBMosler, @Liam_West
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.