I published this 10/22… Since there has been higher volume as of late, I feel it is a good time to repost. There is also another article by John Doherty that supplements this, HERE.
In findings released today in New Orleans it is becoming more clear that athletic trainers play a vital role in secondary level athletics. Using reports from 2006-2009 in various injury reporting systems there has been significant findings about injuries and concussions;
Overall injury rates were 1.73 times higher among soccer players and 1.22 times higher among basketball players in schools without athletic trainers. Recurrent injury rates were 5.7 times higher in soccer and 2.97 times higher in basketball in schools without athletic trainers. In contrast, concussion injury rates were 8.05 times higher in soccer and 4.5 times higher in basketball in schools with athletic trainers.
Not having an athletic trainer predisposes the athletes to greater risks, not from the usual sporting activity, but playing with injuries that can develop into greater problems. Athletic Trainers also have the educational background and grasp of prevention of injury; either through (but not limited to) nutrition/hydration or conditioning of the body.
Athletic Trainers are also on the forefront for concussion awareness, education and assessment, often the first allied health care professional to see the problem and identify it. As much as I hammer home the need for athletic trainers in regards to concussions, we are also THE go to provider for musculoskeletal injuries as well; look at the re-injury rates without an athletic trainer.
While less than 50 percent of U.S. high schools have athletic trainers, “this data shows the valuable role that they can play in preventing, diagnosing and managing concussions and other injuries,” said Cynthia LaBella, MD, FAAP. “Athletic trainers have a skill set that is very valuable, especially now when there is such a focus on concussions and related treatment and care. Concussed athletes are more likely to be identified in schools with athletic trainers and thus more likely to receive proper treatment.
“Athletic trainers facilitate treatment of injuries and monitor recovery so that athletes are not returned to play prematurely. This likely explains the lower rates of recurrent injuries in schools with athletic trainers,” said Dr. LaBella.