KUSI Segment Features FEMA-funded Firefighter Wellness Initiative with Charity Lane and John Mayer

On Wednesday February 12, 2020, KUSI hosted a live television segment featuring our FEMA-funded firefighter wellness initiative with Charity Lane and John Mayer. A link to the segment is found here:

 

https://www.kusi.com/fema-funded-firefighter-wellness-initiative-in-san-diego/

 

 

January 22, 2019, San Diego, CA: Charity Lane and John Mayer invited to present at the North American Spine Society – Evidence & Technology Spine Summit, 2019

January 22, 2019, San Diego, CA: 

Charity Lane and John Mayer invited to present at the North American Spine Society – Evidence & Technology Spine Summit, 2019

Charity L. Lane, MS, MA, CPT, FNS and John M. Mayer, DC, PhD, FACSM have been invited to present at the North American Spine Society’s 15th Annual Evidence & Technology Spine Summit, February 13-16, 2019 in Park City, Utah during two novel sessions: 1) Exercise Committee Session: Exercise Recommendations/Guidelines for LBP Consensus or Conflict, and 2) Nutritional Considerations in Spine Care.

During the presentations, they will discuss their experiences and evidence-based practices on nutritional approaches and exercise applications for back pain management and injury prevention in tactical athletes and the general population. The sessions are hosted by the NASS Exercise Committee, which Dr. Mayer serves on.

The Evidence & Technology Summit “provides both surgical and medical interventional perspectives on spine care. Expert faculty moderate this highly interactive meeting that provides spine specialists with a forum to discuss and debate new technologies, techniques and treatments as well as collaborate with peers on how best to improve patient outcomes.” For more information, see: https://www.spine.org/etss

January 9, 2019: Position Openings: INTERNSHIPS – EXERCISE & FITNESS IN TACTICAL ATHLETES

Position Opening: INTERNSHIPS – EXERCISE & FITNESS IN TACTICAL ATHLETES

SUMMARY:

U.S. Spine & Sport Foundation – a non-profit 501c3 organization – has Exercise & Fitness Internships available in the field of wellness, fitness, and injury prevention in tactical athletes and high-risk occupations.

Intern Roles and Responsibilities: The primary responsibilities of the Intern will be to assist the Project Leaders with a wide variety of tasks related to the field-based project – Implementation of a Regional Firefighter Wellness Initiative, such as: Exercise/wellness/fitness testing and prescription for high risk occupations and tactical athletes; data collection and management; and other duties as assigned.

Through this internship, the Intern will gain experience with learning to perform clinical tests and exercise/wellness prescription procedures for musculoskeletal injury prevention and management in high risk occupations and tactical athletes within a unique field-based wellness program and research setting.

Minimum Qualifications: Current college student (senior undergraduate to graduate level desired) working on a degree in kinesiology, exercise & sports science, physiology, or public health. Internships for credit must be coordinated through an academic department, supervised by a faculty member, and student must be in enrolled in a formal university course; BLS / CPR certification required; Certification in a related field or certified/licensed healthcare provider (preferably CPT from ACSM or NSCA) desired; Experience with MS Office Suite (e.g. Excel, Word, Outlook); Excellent verbal and written communication skills; Keen attention to detail in task planning, organization, and execution, and time management; Experience with exercise and fitness testing and prescription; and Reliable transportation. Research experience is preferred.

Time commitment: Interns will be expected to commit to 12+ hours per week (depending upon the hour requirement for academic course credit, as applicable). Distribution of hours must be comprised of no less than 4-hour time blocks.

Compensation and Academic Credit: Compensation (paid or unpaid) and for academic credit opportunities are contingent upon the policies of the academic

To apply – Send resume / CV and cover letter via email to: Charity Lane, MS. MA, CPT, FNS; Director of Program Development, U.S. Spine & Sport Foundation; email: charitylane@usssf.com; phone: 813-503-7109

January 9, 2019: Position Opening: TACTICAL FITNESS SPECIALIST

Position Opening: TACTICAL FITNESS SPECIALIST

SUMMARY:

U.S. Spine & Sport Foundation – a non-profit 501c3 organization – is seeking to hire a Tactical Fitness Specialist for a federally-funded grant – Implementation of a Regional Firefighter Wellness Initiative.

DUTIES:

  • Conducts fitness testing and related wellness procedures in firefighters.
  • Conducts fitness training sessions and related educational components in firefighters.
  • Assists key personnel with a wide range of clinical research and program implementation activities, such as data management.

QUALIFICATIONS:

Minimum Qualifications: 1) Bachelor’s degree in a related field and 2 years experience in fitness testing and prescription, OR Masters degree with research thesis or internship in a related field; 2) Fitness certification from a recognized organization (e.g. ACSM, NSCA) (preferably CSCS), OR certification in a related field, OR certified/licensed healthcare provider.

Preferred Qualifications: 1) Post-graduate experience with designing and conducting exercise prescriptions for fitness training programs; 2) Experience working with first responders and tactical athletes; 3) Formal experience in clinical research.

Other skills and certifications: BLS / CPR certification; Human subjects’ research training (employer will provide research training upon hire).

GENERAL:

Salary: Commensurate with qualifications and experience.

Hours: up to 40 hours/week (full-time or part-time appointments will be considered). Weekend hours may be required.

Number of positions open: up to 2.00 FTE.

Earliest potential start date: March 1, 2019.

Term: Up to 24 months (grant-funded).

Application End Date: Open until filled.

Location: San Diego, California.

 

To apply – Send resume / CV and cover letter via email to: John M. Mayer, DC, PhD, FACSM; Scientific Officer, U.S. Spine & Sport Foundation; phone: 858-583-4494; email: johnmayer@usssf.com

January 2, 2019, San Diego, CA: Dr. Mayer publishes article on management of back pain in persons with lower extremity amputation

January 2, 2019, San Diego, CA: Dr. Mayer publishes article on management of back pain in persons with lower extremity amputation

John M. Mayer, DC, PhD, FACSM recently published an article in The Spine Journal, titled “Low back pain in persons with lower extremity amputation: a systematic review of the literature” (1). The article – for which Dr. Mayer is senior author – reports on a systematic review of the literature to determine the strength of evidence related the occurrence and severity of low back pain secondary to lower extremity amputation.

The literature search uncovered 17 published articles of various quality, which indicates a significant knowledge gap on this topic. The search findings led to the development of 8 empirical evidence statements. The empirical evidence statements will be used to help develop strategic objectives for future research, knowledge translation, and clinical implementation efforts for the management of low back pain in persons with lower extremity amputation.

1) Highsmith MJ, Goff LM, Lewandowski AL, Farrokhi S, Hendershot BD, Hill OT, Rabago CA, Russell-Esposito E, Orriola JJ, Mayer JM. Low back pain in persons with lower extremity amputation: a systematic review of the literature. The Spine Journal, 2018 Aug 24. pii: S1529-9430(18)31099-4. doi: 10.1016/j.spinee.2018.08.011 (Epub ahead of print).

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30149083

December 26, 2018, San Diego, CA: Global Spine Care Initiative publishes special issue in the European Spine Journal

December 26, 2018, San Diego, CA: Global Spine Care Initiative publishes special issue in the European Spine Journal

The Global Spine Care Initiative recently published its initial findings in a special issue of the European Spine Journal. The Global Spine Care Initiative was created by World Spine Care “to reduce the global burden of disease and disability by bringing together leading healthcare providers, scientists, specialists, government agencies, and other stakeholders to transform the delivery of spine care. The goal is to determine what approaches are most likely to help people who have spinal disorders and to develop a model for prevention and care that could be reasonably be instituted in communities with different levels of resources.” For more information, see www.globalspinecareinitiative.org

John M. Mayer, DC, PhD, FACSM – who serves on the Scientific Secretariat for the Global Spine Care Initiative and Clinical and Scientific Advisory Board for World Spine Care – is co-author on 6 articles in the special issue (1,2,3,4,5,6).

  1. Haldeman S, Nordin M. Chou R, …, Mayer JM, …, Yu H (20+ authors). The Global Spine Care Initiative: World Spine Care executive summary on reducing spine-related disability in low- and middle-income communities. European Spine Journal, 2018;27(6):S776-85.
  2. Johnson C, Haldeman S, Nordin M, …, Mayer JM, …, Yüksel S (20+ authors). The Global Spine Care Initiative: methodology, contributors, and disclosures. European Spine Journal, 2018; 2018;27(6):S786-95.
  3. Haldeman S, Johnson C, Chou R, …, Mayer JM, …, Yu H (20+ authors). The Global Spine Care Initiative: classification system for spine-related concerns. European Spine Journal, 2018;27(6):S889-900.
  4. Haldeman S, Johnson C, Chou R, …, Mayer JM, …, Yu H (20+ authors). The Global Spine Care Initiative: care pathway for people with spine-related concerns. European Spine Journal, 2018;27(6):S901-14.
  5. Kopansky-Giles, Johnson C, Haldeman S, …, Mayer JM, … , Wong CC (20+ authors). The Global Spine Care Initiative: resources to implement a spine care program. European Spine Journal, 2018;27(6):S915-44.
  6. Johnson C, Haldeman S, Chou R, …, Mayer JM, …, Yüksel S (20+ authors). The Global Spine Care Initiative: model of care and implementation. European Spine Journal, 2018;27(6):S925-45.

December 22, 2018, San Diego, CA: Dr. Mayer selected for Implementation Science Work Group of the NIH-DOD-VA Pain Management Collaboratory

December 22, 2018, San Diego, CA: Dr. Mayer selected for Implementation Science Work Group of the NIH-DOD-VA Pain Management Collaboratory

John M. Mayer, DC, PhD, FACSM was recently selected to join the Implementation Science Work Group of the NIH-DOD-VA Pain Management Collaboratory (PMC). Dr. Mayer will represent the RESOLVE Trial team (Shawn Farrokhi: PI), which is one of 11 pragmatic trials currently underway via the PMC.

The PMC’s goal “is to develop the capacity to implement cost-effective large-scale pragmatic clinical research in military and veteran health care delivery organizations focusing on non-pharmacological approaches to pain management and other comorbid conditions.”

The Implementation Science Work Group will assess implementation barriers and facilitators according the goals of the PMC, which will inform PMC trials currently underway and help guide future implementation strategies across military and veterans’ settings.

December 17, 2018, San Diego CA: $1.2M FEMA grant awarded to combat firefighter musculoskeletal injuries, sleep disorders, and obesity

December 17, 2018, San Diego CA: $1.2M FEMA grant awarded to combat firefighter musculoskeletal injuries, sleep disorders, and obesity

A $1.2M grant was recently awarded to implement a regional wellness program focused on combating firefighter musculoskeletal injuries, obesity, and sleep disorders. The project is funded through a FY2017 Fire Prevention & Safety grant, FEMA, Department of Homeland Security, and is one in a series of awards made to Dr. John Mayer for related firefighter research efforts. Most recently, Mayer and Lane completed a FEMA funded study titled, “Worksite exercise interventions for low back injury prevention in firefighters,” which demonstrated the effectiveness of a worksite exercise intervention relative to control on reducing lost work time related to low back injury and illness in firefighters.

Firefighting is a dangerous, physically-demanding, and psychologically-stressful occupation. Thus, firefighters are at high risk for developing low back injury and related musculoskeletal disorders, obesity, and sleep disorders. While researchers have made great strides to advance understanding of these disorders, specific guidance on implementing effective wellness and fitness programs to prevent injuries and improve health is largely unavailable. The new grant is expected to address this knowledge translation gap, resulting in improved firefighter health.

“The current grant is the latest project in our 15-year initiative to develop, test, and implement programs to improve first responder safety and health. We thank FEMA for its commitment to support our efforts, and the firefighters who risk their lives to protect us,” said John M. Mayer, DC, PhD, FACSM – Project Leader for this grant and Scientific Officer for the Foundation.

“This grant will enable us to test novel interventions, using a regional approach, to determine whether this format can be a success for wellness and fitness in the fire service. We are elated about this project and grateful to FEMA for the opportunity to implement our approaches,” said Charity L. Lane, MS, MA, CPT, FNS – Project Leader for this grant and Director of Program Development for the Foundation.

About the Grant

The new grant (EMW-2017-FP-00711; US Spine & Sport Foundation) will implement a regional wellness program for approximately 1,000 firefighters from diverse departments in San Diego County, California targeting 3 critical issues that impact firefighter safety and health: low back injury and related musculoskeletal disorders, obesity, and sleep disorders. Interventions include physical fitness, nutrition, and behavioral education programs customized to the needs of each firefighter and department. The interventions are evidence-based and pragmatic, and will be delivered through innovative health service delivery systems over 18 months. The project will serve as a model to inform future national implementation of firefighter wellness and fitness programs.

For more information on our first responder initiatives, see: www.usspineandsportfoundation.com.

December 13, 2018, San Diego, CA: Charity Lane publishes innovative article on matching exercise programs to job demands in firefighters

December 13, 2018, San Diego, CA: Charity Lane publishes innovative article on matching exercise programs to job demands in firefighters

 A peer-reviewed article led by Charity L. Lane, MS, MA, CPT, FNS – Director of Program Development for US Spine & Sport Foundation – was recently accepted for publication in the journal WORK, titled “Comparison of the firefighter Candidate Physical Ability Test to weight lifting exercises using electromyography” (1). It will appear in a special section on firefighters in the March 2019 issue of the journal WORK.

About the article

Firefighters encounter very stressful, physically-demanding, and dangerous scenarios throughout their career, resulting in development of an array of musculoskeletal injuries and cardiovascular disorders. While muscular strength and endurance are important for firefighting, matching resistance exercises to firefighter job demands has not been well-studied and implementation practices are not ideal.

The article reports on a study comparing the surface electromyographic (EMG) activity of major muscles during the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) to weight lifting exercises in 13 career firefighters. The study design was novel and involved intricate procedures and analysis techniques carried out in a “real-world” setting. The weight lifting exercises completed were: back squat, Romanian deadlift (RDL), overhead press, bent-over row, banded RDL, glute hyperextension, and kneeling rotational throw The CPAT is a standardized firefighter occupational physical fitness test for firefighters comprised of 8 events: hose drag, equipment carry, ladder raise and extension, forcible entry, search, rescue, ceiling breach and pull, and stair climb.

The study’s results demonstrate that firefighting activities place a large demand on the posterior chain and core muscles, which is consistent with the team’s previous work (2). The selected weight lifting exercises (at the prescribed loads) are safe for firefighters and sufficient to activate the vast majority of muscles required during the CPAT. However, additional movements are required to activate the oblique abdominals. Clinicians and trainers can use this information to design resistance exercise programs to closely match firefighting activities.

Building upon this work and other efforts, Charity Lane and John Mayer, DC, PhD, FACSM – Scientific Officer for the Foundation – will incorporate individualized exercise approaches for firefighters in a $1.2 M FEMA grant – recently awarded to them – to implement a regional firefighter wellness program.

For more information on our first responder initiatives, see: www.usspineandsportfoundation.com.

(1) Lane CL, Mayer JM, et al. Comparison of the firefighter Candidate Physical Ability Test to weight lifting exercises using electromyography. Work (accepted for publication).

(2) Lane CL, Mayer JM. Medical report: Posterior chain exercises for prevention and treatment of low back pain. ACSM Health & Fitness Journal, 2017;Jul/Aug:46-8.

August 30, 2018, San Diego, CA: New study shows benefits of worksite exercise for prevention of lost work time related to low back pain and injury in firefighters

August 30, 2018, San Diego, CA:  New study shows benefits of worksite exercise for prevention of lost work time related to low back pain and injury in firefighters

Preliminary results of a new study suggest that a worksite exercise program targeting the back and core muscles can prevent lost work time related to low back pain and injury in firefighters. These results were presented at the FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grants Program, Fire Prevention & Safety, Research & Development Annual Meeting on August 9, 2018 in Dallas, TX.

Firefighting is a dangerous, physically-demanding, and psychologically-stressful occupation. Thus, firefighters are at high risk for developing low back pain and injury, a leading cause of disability in this group. Novel interventions are needed to prevent the adverse consequences of this disorder and its impact on firefighter safety and health. Previous research by this team demonstrated that in firefighters: 1) a relationship exists between poor back muscular endurance and increased prevalence of low back pain; and 2) a pragmatic worksite exercise program is safe and effective for improving back and core muscular endurance.

In the current study, among firefighters who lost work time related to low back pain or injury during the 12-month intervention period, those who performed an on-duty back and core exercise program – delivered via direct supervision or a web-based application – experienced less lost work time related to low back pain or injury compared to control.

“I’d like to thank the research team and fire service partners for successfully completing a large-scale clinical trial with a novel and complex research design. Back pain is problematic globally and disproportionately affects first responders who put their lives in danger to protect us. Preliminary findings suggest that an efficient exercise program for firefighters is beneficial to prevent lost work time related to low back pain and injury. Assuming confirmation of findings by the scientific peer-review process, the study provides evidence to support future research and program implementation initiatives for an important aspect of firefighter wellness, fitness, and quality of life,” said John M. Mayer, DC, PhD, FACSM – principal investigator of the current study and the team’s previous research.

 

About the study

The study was a full-scale injury prevention trial that was sponsored by FEMA through a Fire Prevention & Safety, Assistance to Firefighters Grant, and was conducted at the University of South Florida. Study participants consisted of 264 active duty career firefighters from 4 departments in Florida – St. Petersburg Fire Rescue, Tampa Fire Rescue, Hillsborough County Fire Rescue, and Temple Terrace Fire Department. Participants were randomized by fire station to one of three groups – supervised exercise, web-based exercise, or control. Exercise group participants performed a 10-minute series of back and core exercises at work each time they were on duty, 2X / week for 1 year, delivered via direct supervision by peer fitness trainers (supervised group) or a web-based application (web-based group). Control group participants received 1 hour of education on general health and wellness. All participants continued their usual physical fitness activities. The primary outcome for the study was lost work time due to low back pain or injury.

Comparison among the firefighters who lost work time related to low back pain or injury during the 12-month intervention period indicated that firefighters in both exercise groups experienced less lost work time than control. Furthermore, firefighters in the web-based exercise group experienced less loss work time than the supervised exercise group. For each hour of lost work time due to low back pain or injury experienced by the supervised exercise group, the control group experienced 1.15 hours of lost work time (95% CI: 1.04, 1.27; p = 0.008). For each hour of lost work time due to low back pain or injury experienced by the web-based exercise group, the control group experienced 5.51 hours of lost work time (95% CI: 4.53, 6.70; p < 0.0001) and the supervised group experienced 4.8 hours of lost work time (95% CI: 3.9, 5.9; p < 0.0001). Qualitative reports by firefighter participants made during focus groups and other self-report measures reinforce the positive impact of the exercise program.

Charity L. Lane, MS, MA, CPT, USAW, FNS – the study’s project leader – commented, “Participants who were adherent to the protocol reported very positive results throughout the study. Many stated that they felt more confident in putting on their gear and performing their job duties even after a few weeks of performing the exercises. In addition, participants noted that they felt more confident in their study peer’s ability to perform job tasks, thus they felt safer at work. Overall, participants were very receptive to these positive physical changes and stated that they would like to see this type of exercise program implemented in their department. I am happy to have been part of such an innovative and successful effort and look forward to seeing it through to implementation nationwide.”

 

About U.S. Spine & Sport Foundation

U.S. Spine & Sport Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization that was established in 1994. Its mission is to develop, test, and implement strategies to improve quality of life and physical function through research and related knowledge translation efforts. For more information, see: www.usspineandsportfoundation.com.