March is National Athletic Training Month. It’s held every March to spread awareness about the important work of athletic trainers. This year’s slogan is “Compassion care for all” because what you may not realize is the work an athletic trainer does stretches beyond the playing field. This is especially true if you’ve ever had to do some athletic training to rehabilitate an injury.
An athletic trainer is a certified and licensed healthcare professional who practices in the field of sports medicine. The American Medical Association recognizes athletic training as an allied healthcare profession. Athletic trainers work in hospitals, clinics, sports medicine offices, or schools. They work with physicians and care for athletes, but work with multiple clients through outreach training programs.
So, here are a few reasons to celebrate National Athletic Training Month and how an athletic trainer may be able to help you.
Athletic Trainers Provide Medical Services
An athletic trainer is trained to assess injuries as soon as they happen, but they also specialize in things like:
- Emergency care
- Clinical diagnosis
- Injury Prevention
- Treatment of injuries
- Rehabilitation of Injuries and Illnesses
Athletic trainers can be confused with personal trainers. But the National Athletic Trainers’ Association points out that the athletic training academic curriculum and clinical training follows the medical model. Athletic trainers must graduate from an accredited baccalaureate or master’s program, and 70% of ATs have a master’s degree.
Athletic Trainers Have Multiple Duties
An athletic trainer has patients that range from professional athletes to industrial workers.
In many schools the athletic trainer will work with the school nurse, coaches and parents to look after the entire student body—not just athletes. Physical therapists and athletic trainers can also work together to help you recover from an injury.
They are a big part of the successful and safe return to play after someone gets hurt. From elementary school athletes to professionals, and everyone in-between.
If you’re hurt on the job, you could be treated by a physician, go to a physical therapist for rehabilitation, and then do athletic training to strengthen your muscles so it doesn’t happen again.
Athletic Training Reduces Injuries
Research suggests schools with athletic trainers have lower injury rates than those without an athletic trainer.
The study found lower injury rates among soccer and basketball players. It also found recurrent injury rates were higher for schools who did not have an athletic trainer.
Athletic training is often used to strengthen muscles to decrease injury risk. The exercises can even be specific to your sport or activity.
Athletic Trainers Manage Medical Records
An athletic trainer can also help deal with the management of medical records, including:
- Pre-participation exams
- Concussion management programs
- HIPPA/FERPA compliance
- Substance abuse education programs
- Health and liability insurance
Proper documentation is an important way for an athletic trainer to improve the care their providing and prove the value of their care.
Athletic trainers prevent, diagnose, treat and rehabilitate injuries and illnesses for thousands of people each year. The injuries they treat range from minor to life-threatening and are not confined to the playing field.
If you’re a competitive athlete, need help rehabilitating an injury, or a weekend warrior preparing for your next season; click here to make an appointment with one of our sports medicine physicians.