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When push comes to shove, the glove wins

A common injury among football players, especially offensive and defensive linemen, is finger hyperextension. When blocking or tackling an opponent, fingers may be bent backward, resulting in injuries or dislocations of the joint. A new type of athletic glove, called the Reinforcer, attempts to address this problem.

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The Reinforcer: The synthetic leather gloves have polyurethane reinforcements behind the fingers, allowing the fingers to bend forward, while protecting them from being pushed backward. Although he had not seen the gloves, Dr. Jonathan Chang, clinical assistant professor of orthopedics at USC’s Keck School of Medicine , said that if they work, they are an improvement over not wearing anything. The finger joints are especially vulnerable to injury at the point where they meet the palm, he said, so “any device that can aid in preventing injuries can be beneficial.”

Price: $80, available at Sport Chalet stores and at www.eastbay.com.

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-- Jeannine Stein


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