Since December, Washington Youth Soccer has provided ATI Physical Therapy athletic trainers at the State Cup tournament weekends. This is a big step in keeping athletes safe during competition and providing professional sports medicine support to keep minor injuries from turning into major ones. From sprains and strains, to concussion and emergency management, ATI’s athletic trainers are prepared to respond to any situation. Certified Athletic Trainers are experts in the prevention, assessment and rehabilitation of injuries as well as providing comprehensive management of concussions.
A key factor to staying in the game is injury prevention and early injury identification. Injury prevention is extremely important for athletes like soccer players who train and compete year- round. These athletes don’t have time to take weeks off to manage injuries and must find ways to recover without having an off-season. Athletic trainers understand that athletes have year-round demands and are focused on preventing overuse injuries in the first place. They are trained to look for strength and flexibility imbalances from side to side that may affect the body more during repetitive movements such as running. These imbalances contribute to the risk of overuse injuries because muscles and joints on the opposite side have to work harder to make up for limitations. Waiting to see if an injury resolves on its own can lead to a longer-lasting and more significant injury, and possibly a significant loss of playing time.
Once an injury is identified, the athletic trainer is knowledgeable about what to do next. Whether it’s icing, splinting, training in crutch use or other assistive devices, the athletic trainer can direct the athlete’s care. They also work closely with sports medicine physicians and therapists who focus on returning athletes to sport quickly, so they can make recommendations on who to see next. Making sure the athlete is taken care of immediately and set up for successful return to sport is their focus.
We interviewed one of ATI’s athletic trainers, Renee Romo, MA, LAT, ATC. She explained that all injuries are different and need to be examined.
“It could turn out to be something minor, and that’s great, but sometimes it needs to have another look. Continuing to play or practice can make things worse and potentially result in missing the entire season. When we see something that needs further evaluations we make the appropriate recommendation to seek imaging or further specialist evaluation.”
When asked about how athletic trainers most impact the coverage of tournaments Renee did not have to think long.
”Being here, whether it is for preventative measures, evaluating an injury or returning an athlete from injury, is what we do. The biggest thing is keeping the athletes on the field in a safe manner.”
For more information visit ATIPT.com.