There was a wide range of topics up for discussion by the panel of experts. Dr. Hugh Brady, President of University College Dublin attended the conference and performed the welcome address followed by Professor Michael Molloy (Medical Officer for the International Rugby Board).
Eddie O’Sullivan (pictured in training with the Irish Squad) also addressed the conference and provided an outline of the crucial role that the medical and physiotherapy staff provide in the management of elite rugby players and also referred to the importance of integration between the medical and fitness staff.
Dr. Mark Lovell, University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre, described the importance of neurocognitive testing in assisting with return to play decisions in concussed rugby players. The ImPact system is an online programme which is mandated for use in all of the NFL American Football teams in monitoring concussion.
The IRFU is introducing this system as part of the concussion management programme of professional rugby players for the coming season.
The future of treatment of sports injuries was the topic for Professor Richard Reilly, Vice Principal for Research and Engineering, College of Engineering, Mathematical and Physical Sciences, UCD who discussed the technology of “Virtual Rehabilitation”.
Dr. Eanna Falvey, Clinical/Research Fellow in Sports Medicine, Olympic Park Sports Medicine Centre, Centre for Health Exercise and Sports Medicine, University of Melbourne, reviewed the issue of groin pain in the athlete and had a number of practical suggestions in the diagnosis of an all too common problem.
Dr. Thomas Crisp, Sports and Orthopaedic Physician, Chelmsford provided an up to date lecture on the treatment of tendinopathy.
Professor Ron Maughan, School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, Loughborough University reviewed the topic of supplement use in athletes to include the potential benefits and dangers.
The monitoring of over training in elite athletes was the addressed by Professor Guiseppe Devito, Department of Human Movement and Sports Science, Rome.
A review of the affects of exercise on the heart from physiology to pathology was presented by Professor Greg Whyte, Director of Sports Science, Irish Institute of Sport.
Professor Craig Sharp, Emeritus Professor of Sports Science, Brunel University, West London discussed the future implication of athleticogenomics.