- Proper management of an injury is vital to the quick, safe return of an athlete to sport. The athletic trainers take a team approach to injury management including the athlete, parents, coaches, physicians and physical therapists into the plan of care. It is the athlete’s responsibility to report to the athletic trainer and coaches for all injuries, and illness, as soon as possible. The Pendleton Heights High School Athletic Trainer is available every school day during practices and home competitions. General athletic training room hours are 2:30pm to 6:30pm, Monday-Friday.
Acute injuries can be described as an injury that occurs due to a specific event. For example, an acute injury occurs when an athlete turns an ankle or is struck in the side of the knee by another player. These injuries often result in immediate severe pain, swelling and loss of motion, strength and function. The athletic trainer evaluates the injury to determine the structure(s) that have been affected and then works with the athlete, parent, coaches and physicians to establish their playing status and initial plan of care. Most injuries, such as contusions or mild/moderate sprains and strains, are treated with rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE). Other injuries, such as fractures, may be treated with splints to immobilize the affected area to prevent further injury. The majority of these injuries are handled within the athletic training room. However, some injuries that are more severe require evaluation by a physician. The athletic trainers have developed relationships with physicians in the area and are better able to access appointments with these physicians in specialty areas than the general population. It is recommended that the athlete and their family works with the athletic trainer to better facilitate prompt care by an appropriate physician.
Chronic injuries can be described as injuries that occur over time where the cause of it may not be immediately apparent. These injuries can be more complex and more difficult to treat. Examples of this are low back or knee pain for which the athlete cannot cite a specific reason that the pain initiated. The athletic trainer must then evaluate the injury to not just determine the structures affected by the injury, but what the root cause of the injury is so as to minimize the chances of a recurrence. This evaluation often includes a detailed history and assessment of global body movement to determine where a specific dysfunction may be occurring. Often time’s chronic knee or back pain is a direct result of a hip dysfunction or poor biomechanics of the foot. After determining the cause of the injury, the athletic trainer then works with the athlete, parents, coaches and physicians to treat the area of pain and the root cause.
IMPORTANT: Once an athlete is under the care of a physician written documentation must be provided to the athletic trainers allowing the athlete to return to play.
Rehabilitation of an injury can take on many forms. The majority of the injuries that occur during sports require minimal rehabilitation and treatment. This may consist of stretches recommended by the athletic trainers, tapings and/or ice after practices and games. Some injuries require more care and the athletic trainers will work with the athletes in the athletic training room if it is an injury that does not require extended care such as a mild ankle sprain. If the athletic trainers determine that the athlete does require extensive rehabilitation of an injury, such a ligament tear in the knee that required surgery, they will be recommended to go to an outpatient physical therapy provider. Due to the volume of athletes that are seen in season in the athletic training room, extended one-on-one care can be difficult to provide and the outpatient physical therapy setting may be the best provider of the care that is necessary. Many athletes will be given home exercise programs to independently rehabilitate their injury.
Injury protocols are guides that are established based on the most recent developments in evidence based medicine and standards of care. The athletic trainers have developed injury care protocols over a period of years that reflect these criteria. Many of these are simple guides to injury care, but others are school policy and mandated by state law. The PHHS Concussion Care Protocol is mandatory for all students who receive a concussion as required by the State of Indiana Concussion Law. Please reference the protocols on this page for your information.