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Athletic Training: Injury Care & Prevention

Injury Care and Athletic Training Services

Our prime focus is athletic injury and illness prevention, recognition, evaluation, treatment, and rehabilitation as deemed appropriate by the guidelines of the National Athletic Trainer’s Assoc and the State of New Hampshire as well as by written direction of a licensed healthcare providers including our team doctor. We provide extensive practice and competition coverage from mid August to mid June.

Rehabilitation plays an important part in returning to sports after injury. Properly designed treatment, stretching and strengthening programs help speed healing and reduce the risk of re-injury.

The Salem High School Athletic Training Program is well equipped to handle most of the post-injury rehabilitation needs of our student-athletes upon written order of their physician.

We use the following reconditioning and injury prevention equipment/modalities in our facility: 

BAPS and Airex Balance System Ice, ice bucket and ice massage
Airdyne (bicycle) ergometer Mulit axial ankle exerciser
Body bades Pro-stretch for Achilles
Cryo-Cuffs Tapes, wraps, braces, & pads
Elliptical Ergometer Stretch straps and massage sticks
Foam rollers Therabands and theraballs
Hand weights and medicine balls  

 

Athletes also have access to an assortment of weight machines and free weights in our Weight Room.

Care and Education is available on the following areas (by team or individually):

  • Nutrition
  • Weight gain and loss
  • Dietary supplementation and ergogenic aids
  • Stretching routines for injuries and increased flexibility
  • Sports specific strengthening
  • Other topics - just ask

When can an athlete return to competition?

When can an athlete return to competition following a severe prolonged injury or illness?

It depends on what the healthcare provider writes on the athlete’s note, but let’s make a best case assumption. Let’s say the athlete’s note clears him/her for full sports participation. In this case, we like to functionally test athletes to see what they can and cannot do athletically. Our functional test will be more comprehensive and sport specific than the doctor’s (if s/he did a functional test) because our facility allows us a full range of sport specific activity where the doctor’s facility does not. Secondly, doctors expect us as athletic trainers to judge from our functional test what limits may need to be set and maintained for recovering athletes to prevent reinjury or relapse.

Having said this, let’s make a second best case assumption and say the athlete’s functional test finds the following concerning his injured/heeled injury site;

s/he has full active and passive range of motion, full strength, no pain with any part of the manual eval, no pain with any part of his/her exertion (running, sprinting, jumping, back peddling, cutting, jump stopping, etc.), s/he appears athletic in her/his movement. If these 2 assumptions are true then we meet with Coach and reinforce the idea that this heeled athlete needs to be monitored closely as coach builds up his sport specific skills and conditioning looking out for signs of pain, weakness, “unathletic” movement, etc.

Athletes recovering from prolonged conditions like mono, the flu, post concussion syndrome, appendicitis, etc. are monitored closely by our AT’s. These athletes, when cleared to return to activity, many times need many days of gradually increasing practice to relearn plays/strategies, regain strength and timing as well as build sport specific aerobic and/or anaerobic conditioning.

Before any athlete competes following a prolonged injury or illness, s/he must be able to complete full, normal practice to make sure they can do/survive everything they might see in a competition. We generally expect kids like yours to practice for at least a week before they compete. We would then discuss and agree on a probably competition date and again reinforce the idea that this athlete needs to work back into competition slowly. We frequently start these kids back at 2 minutes on the game clock per quarter (8 minutes of play total per game) or 2 out of 7 innings or some other equivalent.