March is National Athletic Training Month and this year, we’re celebrating the only healthcare profession that works in all three domains of preventative care, on-site emergent care, and the rehabilitation process.
Did you know? Athletic Training has only been recognized as a profession since the early 1990s. And in such a short period of time, athletic trainers are the primary reason athletes are better protected from chronic ailments. These unique, highly skilled individuals specialize in the prevention, evaluation, management, and recovery of injured athletes. As such, athletes are more likely to live fuller and healthier lives, far beyond their years in sports.
In the past two decades, the practice of athletic training has grown and evolved, resulting in changes in practice settings beyond intercollegiate athletics and professional sports. Athletic trainers have expanded their work in schools, sports medicine clinics, physician offices, occupational settings, the military, and the performing arts.
Related: Explore Athletic Training continuing education
Athletic training practice and skills
Athletic trainers provide treatment in collaboration with a physician and other healthcare team members such as physical therapists, certified strength and conditioning specialists, or dietitians. They provide vital communication between the athletes, coaches, the medical team, and families to determine when it’s right to return to play. In most instances, they are the primary referral point due to daily interaction and their level of knowledge with the athlete.
As a part of the healthcare team, athletic trainers perform a variety of services:
- Injury prevention programs
- Wellness promotion and education
- First aid and emergent care
- Examination of injuries
- Assessment and diagnoses
- Therapeutic interventions
- Rehabilitation and follow up care
- Organizational health and well-being
Some of the most popular recovery techniques athletic trainers utilize include stretching, compression (taping, bandaging, etc.), corrective exercises, and the use of modalities such as hydrotherapy, cryotherapy, instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization, and more.
Working to prevent, treat, and rehabilitate musculoskeletal injuries, concussions, and other sports-related illnesses, athletic trainers offer a continuum of care that is unparalleled in healthcare.
National Athletic Training Month
Every March, the National Athletic Training Association celebrates National Athletic Training Month. The 2022 slogan is “Providing Healthcare Everywhere.”
This year, we want to give a BIG “thank you!” to all the Athletic Trainers who humbly make their way on the scene after an orthopedic injury occurs and who go above and beyond to provide wellness prevention and recovery.
The athletic trainer doesn’t become one for glory or recognition, as they rarely receive the honors they should. Rather, they make the decision to become one by sheer passion for helping athletes return to optimal performance and even possibly become stronger than before.
The bottom line is that athletic trainers can — and do — save lives! From local schools to professional sports, athletic trainers give us all a sense of assurance that even during inevitable injuries, full recovery is possible. Join us this month in recognizing all athletic trainers for being the unsung heroes for the athletes and sports we love.