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Picks and Pans Review: The Sportsmedicine Book

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by Gabe Mirkin and Marshall Hoffman

Sometime between now and the time when joggomania will seem as bizarre to us as marathon dancing most of the nation’s 25 million runners—not to mention skaters, skiers and tennis players—can expect to suffer some sort of incapacitating injury. The perfect bedside reading at that time will be this clearly and expertly written layman’s guide to athletic medicine. Mirkin, an M.D. and a marathoner, and Hoffman, a journalist, diagnose and prescribe remedial exercises for everything from tennis elbow to runner’s knee. Along the way are lucid discussions of such vagues as carbohydrate packing, blood doping and use of anabolic steroids. A silly chapter, “Sex and Sport,” is more than compensated for by another on ” 15 sports-medicine myths.” It turns out those high school coaches who dished out salt tablets and pregame steaks were as foolish as the people who now say you’ll freeze your lungs if you run in cold weather. (Little, Brown, $12.50)