Athletic trainers (ATC) are mid-level certified healthcare providers who
practice in the sports medicine field. Many times ATs will collaborate
with physicians, physical therapists, and coaches to optimize the performance
and rehabilitation of athletes.
Athletic trainers are educated in various aspects of healthcare. Risk management
and injury prevention are crucial in avoiding athlete injury. This can
range from preventative taping and proper helmet fitting to acknowledging
an environmental concern. Unfortunately not all injuries can be avoided.
When these injuries occur, athletic trainers are well versed in recognition,
evaluation, and acute care. With a wide variety of assessment skills for
both orthopedic and general medical conditions, athletic trainers are
a valuable resource for athletes and their parents when determining if
they need to seek further medical attention or when they can return to
competition. If further medical attention is necessary, it is commonplace
for the physician to have the athletic trainer continue to monitor signs
and symptoms over the next several days. An example of this could be monitoring
concussion symptoms, or restoring range of motion and strengthening an
Injury is not the only reason to seek out an athletic trainer. ATs have
a background in strength and conditioning. Off season programs can be
designed or enhanced by an athletic trainer keeping in mind the physical
demands and the biomechanics of the sport. For example, an AT may recommend
that a baseball pitcher not only strengthen their shoulder muscles but
include core strengthening and flexibility. Sport specific exercise can
deliver a desirable increase in performance. Performance enhancement is
not necessarily limited to strength and conditioning, but can also incorporate
nutrition and psychology.
Don’t be afraid to ask your school’s athletic trainer for help.
They are very valuable assets to the world of sports.
IVCH athletic trainers Kayla Olson, Connor Armstrong, and Jake Washkowiak
provide athletic training services to LaSalle-Peru High School, Mendota
High School, Putnam County High School, Illinois Valley Community College,
and the LP Youth Football League. Performance Enhancement sessions and
Concussion Management Clinic are offered at IVCH Center for Physical Rehabilitation
and Aquatics; call 815-780-3509 to schedule an appointment.