“I know preseason games are boring, but fans should treat them like training camp and get their arms in shape gradually,” team doctor says

PITTSBURGH --- With the first game of the Tomlin era approaching, Steelers’ medical personnel are asking fans not to overdo it on waving their Terrible Towels. “In the last few years, we’ve seen an increase in carpal tunnel syndrome and snapped wrists among fans,” Dr. Noah Swayne, chief physician for the team, said today. “It’s clear that after a long summer layoff, fans are putting too much stress on their arms all at once. These injuries can be avoided.”

Swayne advises fans to loosen up their hands, wrists and arms before the start of the game. "Then hold the Terrible Towel by two corners and gently shake it to get warmed up. After that, vary the speed of your twirling, change directions, and change hands periodically. Be ‘thoughtfully non-rhythmic,’ as Coach Tomlin likes to say.”

Dr. Swayne said fans shouldn’t be embarrassed to start with gentle stretching and slow movements. “Even the players gradually work themselves into shape,” he said. “Well, maybe not this year so much since Mike is working them really hard, but more like when Bill Cowher was coaching.”

The Steelers’ medical staff knows many fans will ignore their advice, but they are ready to help the injured. “We’re on hand primarily to treat players during the games, but we keep an eye on the stands, too. Once we hear that telltale ‘snap’ of a broken wrist, we jump right in. We’ll do what we can, but now that Dr. Radzye is no longer on the medical staff, fans should keep in mind that they won’t be able to get any growth hormone or testosterone from us this year. Warming up and training might be the better way to go.”