Why The NHL Lost Control Of Its Mumps Outbreak

This is the most baffling sports medicine story of the year: Thirteen NHL players and two referees have been diagnosed with mumps—a potentially severe and exceedingly viral infection that classically causes fever, body aches, malaise, and in about half of cases, parotitis (a painful swelling of the salivary glands). I » 12/15/14 10:25am 12/15/14 10:25am

Why Does The Flu Vaccine Suck This Year?

Did you get your flu shot? I didn't really want to (I hate needles) but as an infectious disease physician at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, it would be exceedingly poor form if I opted out. My job requires it, and I recommend the vaccine to just about every patient, every day. The shot doesn't actually hurt, and if… » 12/05/14 3:05pm 12/05/14 3:05pm

Why Do Tennis Players Grunt? Because It Works

Monica Seles gets the blame—at 93 decibels, her screams on the court were about as loud as a motorcycle, and started the run on grunting in tennis. It was frowned upon at first, but everyone's climbed on board—Djokovic, Nadal, Sharapova, Serena, and Venus, they all get their shriek on. A generation ago, nobody… » 8/26/14 1:02pm 8/26/14 1:02pm

No, Neymar Can't Come Back This World Cup. That Could Paralyze Him.

To the surprise of very many, when Neymar went down in the 86th minute against Colombia on Friday, the 22-year-old striker wasn't faking. After being kneed in the back by Colombia's Juan Zúñiga, Neymar was carried off the field and taken directly to a hospital, where doctors soon discovered that he'd suffered a… » 7/07/14 12:09pm 7/07/14 12:09pm

Is Fasting For Ramadan Dangerous At The World Cup?

It's bad enough that these guys have to play in the Amazon. The weather in Brazil is so preposterously hot and humid that FIFA instituted cooling breaks so players wouldn't keel over and die during games. But what are the World Cup's Muslim players supposed to do now that Ramadan is here? The month-long religious… » 7/02/14 2:26pm 7/02/14 2:26pm

The Gross Things Caused By Human Bite Wounds

I was sitting in my office yesterday, not watching the World Cup, when I came across a tweet by my friend: "It's kind of fun that the third-best player in the world is just definitely insane," it said. A moment later, I was watching Luis Suárez, Uruguay's star forward, take a bite out of Italian defender Giorgio… » 6/25/14 2:45pm 6/25/14 2:45pm

Did Chewing Tobacco Kill Tony Gwynn?

On Monday, Tony Gwynn died from complications related to salivary cancer, the same disease that claimed the life of Beastie Boy Adam Yauch two years ago. When Yauch died at the hospital where I work in Manhattan, I was shaken. A whole generation got a little older that day. The thing about Yauch's illness was that… » 6/20/14 11:11am 6/20/14 11:11am

The Scientific Case Against Vibram's FiveFinger Running Shoe

Last week's class-action settlement by Vibram, an Italian footwear manufacturer known for making silly-looking lightweight running shoes, recalls the recent case against Sketchers, a company that agreed to pay out $40 million after falsely claiming that walking in its product would give you Kim Kardashian's bootie.… » 5/15/14 1:21pm 5/15/14 1:21pm

Why Is Blood Donation Still Incredibly Homophobic?

When University of Missouri defensive end Michael Sam is selected in this week's NFL draft, it will be a soft milestone—the first time that an openly gay athlete is drafted into one of the major American sports—making discrimination based on sexuality seem that much more archaic. But you might not realize that there… » 5/08/14 3:22pm 5/08/14 3:22pm

How Serious Is Tony Parker's Back Injury?

Tonight, Tony Parker will likely miss his third straight game with a back injury, and more than a few assume that Parker's "injury" is really just a cover for Gregg Popovich to rest his star before the playoffs. The injury, tweeted April 7th from the Spurs' official account as "a sprained facet joint, left side,"… » 4/11/14 1:15pm 4/11/14 1:15pm

Just How Serious Is ​Joel Embiid's Injury?

The Kansas Jayhawks open up the Big 12 Tournament today against Oklahoma State, and they'll be without freshman center Joel Embiid. Embiid, who's spent much of this season somehow keeping pace with comparisons to Hakeem Olajuwon, has reportedly been diagnosed with a spinal stress fracture. The implications for NCAA… » 3/13/14 1:24pm 3/13/14 1:24pm

No, Fast Tempo Isn't Endangering College Football Players

The concerns over head trauma have been splashed across the front pages of newspapers and magazines for the past five years, and have led to a host of rule changes in college football. But one proposal for a new change—called the Tempo Rule—has caught the public's attention for, well, not making very much sense. » 2/21/14 3:36pm 2/21/14 3:36pm

​Mark Cuban Is Fighting To Make HGH Legal In The NBA

Mark Cuban is an ideas man, and he's got a hell of an idea. In late November, Cuban announced that he had asked the NBA Board of Governors to consider letting injured players use synthetic human growth hormone (HGH) while rehabbing and that he was willing to fund the necessary clinical studies to ensure player safety… » 2/12/14 4:00pm 2/12/14 4:00pm

How The Super Bowl Can Kill You

Do you care about the Super Bowl? I mean do you really care who wins or are you just watching for the commercials? If you are invested in the game, there are a few things you should know. The first is this: if your team loses, it could be bad for your health. Spectacularly bad. So bad that clinical investigators now… » 1/31/14 12:08am 1/31/14 12:08am