Anne Slater 4As an athletic trainer, I find that a lot of my patients/student-athletes don’t fully understand human anatomy and terminology. It’s usually easier to recover from an injury when you understand the “why,” behind treatments, restrictions and recovery time. Today, I wanted to tackle some common misnomers/misconceptions with terminology in the medical field, specifically those that relate to sports injuries. There is a lot of basic first aid and even emergency medical techniques that could almost be considered common knowledge. For example, most laymen know what the Heimlich maneuver is, and even how to perform it. However, there are a lot of terms that are often misused or misapplied to certain injuries. I wanted to try to clear some of these up and provide the correct terminology to improve communication between patients and their healthcare providers.

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AlexSalinasThe internet contains an abundance of information about concussions.  This information ranges anywhere from educational and useful to sensationalized and misleading.  I am not writing this post to tell you about how to identify a concussion or what the signs and symptoms are.  The goal of today’s post is to provide some enlightenment on return-to-participation (RTP) protocols.  In my experience, there is less push back from parents, student-athletes, and coaches in the identification of concussions and more push back regarding the return date.  I believe this resistance is due in part to confusion given the number of changes and updates in policy over the past five years.

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Uncommon Injury and Treatment Process

Steve RetanHaving worked as an athletic trainer for the last 23 years, I have treated and rehabilitated countless injuries.  However there are times that athletes sustain injuries that I have not seen before.  One such injury occurred to a high school hockey player after colliding with an opponent during a game.  

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ATC Role in Strength & Conditioning

JaNae StartI have dual credentials as an Athletic Trainer and Strength Coach (ATC/CSCS). Having more than 7 years experience as an AT has helped develop my solid foundation of both assessing and correction of functional movements as a CSCS. Combining the knowledge I have in both of these fields has made me a stronger clinician and programmer. The building blocks of all great athletes include the perfect balance of mobility and functional stability. The main goal as both an AT & a strength coach is to reduce injury rates and increase athletic performance. In my current role, I am able to do both; watching my athletes both overcome injuries and succeed through hard work.

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Sudden Deaths In Athletes

While sudden cardiac death in athletes has become a popular topic in the news, it is not the only cause for sudden death in athletes.  Sudden cardiac deaths in NCAA athletes account for 16% of deaths, which is a small number in reality.  Due to the uncertainty and the nature of sudden cardiac deaths, we are left with a lot of unanswered questions.  This is why when a death caused by a sudden cardiac event occurs; the media tends to be quick to report about it.

The most common causes of sudden cardiac death include genetic/congenital anomaly, myocarditis, commotio cordis, and coronary artery disease.  The most prevalent cardiac condition in the United States is reported to be Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy.  Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) affects 1/500 people and is the thickening of the myocardium causing stiffness in the left ventricle, mitral valve changes and cellular disorganization.  Signs and symptoms of HCM include chest pain with activity, shortness of breath, fatigue with exertion, syncope (fainting), chest palpitations and sudden death.

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Athletic Training: A Unique Profession

From the late 70's, when I began participating in organized sports, and well before, there have been Certified Athletic Trainers working the sidelines, courts and fields.  These healthcare professionals are mostly 'behind the scenes' types of individuals, and are none too often recognized until tragedy strikes or emergency triage is needed. Most Certified Athletic Trainers can be recognized with their khaki pants and polo shirt with aJess Rix Concussion Catholic Central Athlete towel and medical kit draped over their shoulder. It is not an altogether understood profession, but has been growing tremendously over the past two decades. Most High Schools and Universities in the West Michigan area employ Certified Athletic Trainers. My goal with this blog is to introduce you to another side of Athletic Training that you may not know exists.

Many people believe that ATCs (Certified Athletic Trainers) are there to tape, stretch and ice athletes while participating in sports. Accurate as that is, there is so much more to their daily lives. Becoming an ATC requires a bachelor's degree and requires passing a demanding national board certification exam. Many ATCs hold master's degrees in Sports Medicine or Exercise Science. There are requirements for continuing education yearly, and ATCs stay abreast of the latest techniques and technologies in Sports Medicine.

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