Have you ever wondered what exactly athletic trainers do on a daily basis? Well, for beginners, athletic trainers are now employed in so many different settings that each ATC will have a different day-to-day. Over the last decade or so, there has been a significant increase in the scope of an athletic trainer’s practice. Traditional athletic trainers only worked in athletics – that could include secondary schools, colleges, universities, and with professional teams. Currently, athletic trainers are employed in all different settings, such as hospitals, sports medicine clinics, corporate and industrial health care programs, and even military bases. One of the amazing things about being an athletic trainer is every day brings something new! We, as athletic trainers, have our consistent daily tasks, but our day-to-day always look different no matter what setting you work in!
“Go get your arm warmed up!” This is a phrase I hear all the time for overhead athlete sports, whether it’s the relief pitcher in baseball, the center fielder in softball, the ACE server in volleyball, or the star QB. This is solid advice; it’s never a good idea to go into aggressive overhead activity without a proper warm-up, but what makes a good warm-up? That can be a very loaded question! Fortunately, by understanding the anatomy of the shoulder and the requirement by its muscles to work optimally overhead, it can be simple to get an athlete ready for action and, more importantly, lower their risk for injury.
With winter in full effect, it is time to shift the focus of training for our throwers toward preparation for the spring. As the demand for increased pitch speed increases, it is important that throwing athletes make the most of the winter to reduce their risk of injury before ramping up their throwing in preseason training. Although most throwing injuries occur in the arm, athletes can minimize injury risk and increase pitch count by focusing on leg strength and core stability in addition to mechanics.
Cardiovascular disease has been the leading cause of death over the last century. Cardio exercise, also called aerobic exercise, has become popular due to its benefits for the cardiovascular system. However, aerobic exercise is not the only form of exercise. Anaerobic exercise is another form that people of all ages need to participate in to achieve optimal health.
Anaerobic exercise is defined as exercise of high intensity and short duration where oxygen is not the primary energy source. Anaerobic means “without oxygen,” and instead of using oxygen as the energy source, the body uses stored energy in the muscles and fat.
It’s time to go back to school! Back to school also means back to sports after potentially a longer break. Just 2-4 weeks off from training can lead to a state of “de-training” in terms of fitness and strength loss. There is an increased risk of acute injuries if the athlete tries to progress too quickly. As well as an increased risk of developing overuse injuries if training load is not properly regulated. Anytime you return to exercise after an extended time off, there are important things to keep in mind.
Have you ever been walking, looking at the world around you, followed by a quick moment when you feel your foot catch the edge of the sidewalk and roll your ankle? It’s a pretty common injury and has the potential to cause some pain and swelling with varying degrees of injury. An inversion ankle sprain is the most common way to roll your ankle. This type of sprain involves inward movement of your foot, resulting in a sprain to the ligaments on the outside portion of your ankle.
Ankle sprains are one of the most common orthopedic injuries. Common ways to end up with a painful, swollen ankle include:
- A misstep off a curb or stair
- A poor landing from a jump in an athletic activity
- A stumble while wearing high heels
- A slip on a patch of ice
The American Physical Therapy Association describes Physical Therapists as “movement experts who improve quality of life through prescribed exercise, hands-on care, and patient education.” As physical therapists, with our patient’s help, we shape their goals around what improves their specific quality of life. Often, we picture athletes returning to sports or patients relearning how to walk. Less commonly, we think about the importance of injured workers returning to their jobs without limitations. It’s easy to understand why the rehabilitation process for return to sport is so intense and personalized for a patient. The rehabilitation process for return to work should be just as intense and personalized to assist the employee in reaching their goals.