trainer's tips

Sports Trainers’ Advice and Tips

Student athletes work hard at conditioning, practice and sporting events. That’s why it’s so important that they take good care of their bodies. We asked several professional athletic trainers for their best advice and compiled it here for you! Here is a collection of sports trainer’s advice and tips to help you stay on top of your game on and off the field!

If You Have Pain, Get It Fixed

Break free of the old mantra, “No pain, no gain.” You should not experience any type of pain or discomfort on a regular basis. If you are, the best advice I can give you is to seek out a medical professional, whether it’s an M.D., chiropractor or physical therapist. These professionals will be able to tell you what is the best route to helping/fixing your pain.

Don’t keep pushing through the pain; you will only make it worse. Getting your problem fixed early on will go a long way to getting you back in the game faster. Playing through pain can cause more pain and it can also damage your problem even more.

Dr.Matt Tanneberg
Stack & Arcadia Health and Wellness


Making sure the young athletes are getting enough rest is very important. 

Athletes of all ages need to rest between practices, games and events. A lack of sleep and muscle fatigue predispose an athlete to injury, according to Dr. Lee. In fact, the most common injuries seen in young athletes are overuse injuries— when a young athlete is involved in too many sports and is not getting enough rest. Along these same lines, parents should also plan an offseason for their athlete, giving him or her adequate time to recuperate before the next season. This rest will not only allow their body to rest, but also their minds and allow them to have some fun without thinking about what game, practice and/or event comes next.

Dr. Lee
John Hopkins Medicine 



Football players are very susceptible to concussions. A concussion is a change in mental state due to a traumatic impact. Not everyone who suffers a concussion will lose consciousness. Some other signs that a concussion has been sustained are headache, dizziness,blurry vision, loss of balance, drowsiness, , difficulty concentrating, numbness/tingling, and nausea.

*The athlete should return to play only when clearance is granted by a health care professional. Amount of time varies depending on the extent of the injury.

Wear properly fitted protective equipment, such as a helmet, pads, and mouthguard
 Tackle with the head up and do not lead with the helmet
 Speak with a sports medicine professional or athletic trainer if you have any concerns about football injuries or football injury prevention strategies

William N. Levine, MD & Brett D. Owens, MD &Sport Tips
Stop Sports Injuries 

Heat Injuries

Heat injuries are a major concern for youth football players, especially at the start of training camp. This usually occurs in August when some of the highest temperatures and humidity of the year occur. Intense physical activity can result in excessive sweating that depletes the body of salt and water. The earliest symptoms are painful cramping of  your major muscle groups. However, if not treated with body cooling and fluid replacement, this can progress to heat exhaustion and heat stroke — which can even result in death. It is VERY important for football players and other athletes to be aware of the need for fluid replacement and to inform medical staff of symptoms of heat injury as soon as they occur.

 Have a pre-season health and wellness evaluation
 Perform proper warm-up and cool-down routines everytime
 Hydrate adequately to maintain health and minimize cramping
 Stay active during the summer break to prepare for return to sports in the fall


ACL Strain

The ACL is a ligament that runs behind the knee between the femur (thighbone) and tibia (shin bone). According to Camp, most ACL strains can be attributed to when sudden deceleration happens, for example when you are trying to stop on a dime and cutting in another direction, or from hyperextension of the knee or when you pivot in place. Camp says your top priority needs to be strengthening your hamstrings. Also building your quads and glutes is very important. Building up your quads and glutes is also very importan. He says that active recovery should start with “heel slides with a weight, straight leg raises in various positions… side stepping with a resistance band and [various] hamstring exercises.” Dr. Michael Camp, M.D. Men’s Fitness

Sports Trainers’ Advice and Tips for Prevention

Stretching is very important! By elongating your muscle tissues before they are injured, you can actually help prevent injury. This means before you work out, you should get a good, slow warm-up followed by some stretching. Once you have completed your work out, then cool down and stretch more. When you stretch, you should stretch to where you feel it. NEVER stretch to where it hurts. Megan Haynes, MEd, MS, ATC, LAT San Marcos Academy

Sports Trainer’s Advice and Tips for Nutrition

Eating well is KEY! Times of intense competition and training are not the time to be on a diet or try to make major changes to your body. Be sure to eat a good combination of healthy fruits and vegetables, protein, etc. Getting enough sleep is very important. At this time in your life, you are growing and changing. Most of your recuperation from sports activities and the demands you place on your body every day occur while you sleep. Try to get 8+ hours of sleep a night. Megan Haynes, MEd, MS, ATC, LAT San Marcos Academy

Ankle Sprain

An ankle sprain refers to the “injury to the soft tissues, usually the ligaments, of the ankle” when it turns in during physical activity, according to Camp. Camp suggests the RICE method – rest, ice, compression and elevation – to effectively deal with ankle sprains. Once the pain reduces, start riding back on a stationary bike, then move on to static balancing exercises while also strengthening the glutes, quads, and hamstrings to increase  the ankle stability. He also suggests light plyometrics before making a return to regular activity. Returning to your regular activity early from an ankle sprain just puts you at greater risk of suffering from another one, which could be even more painful and damaging to your ankle ligaments. Dr. Michael Camp, M.D. Men’s Fitness

Knee Pain

One of the most common problems patients present with is knee pain. In young people, pain is usually the result of an injury. Minor sprains usually resolve within a few weeks. If there is major swelling, a significant ligament injury and/or meniscal tear may be present. A menicscal tear may be present without a history of injury as well. This can cause catching, locking and/or giving way. This may require surgery if medical treatment is not successful. Dr. William Ledbetter, M.D. TN Orthopaedic Alliance

Meniscus Tear

The meniscus is a “C” shaped cartilage between the thigh bone and the tibia bone in the knee. It helps provide cushion and share the load while weight bearing. There are two—the medial meniscus on the inner side of the knee and the lateral meniscus on the outside. They can be torn by an injury to the knee, frequently due to a twisting motion. A torn meniscus can cause pain along the joint line during squatting, kneeling, or walking on stairs. The best way to diagnose a meniscus tear is by MRI. The treatment depends on the location and type of tear. Dr. Russell McKissick, M.D. TN Orthopaedic Alliance

Rotator Cuff Injuries

One of the most common athletic injuries we see in the orthopedic office is related to the rotator cuff caused by repetitive use of the arm in the overhead or outstretched position. The rotator cuff lies between a portion of the shoulder blade and the tip of the arm bone. In some people the anatomy contributes to irritation of the rotator cuff by impingement when the arm is elevated. When the shoulder begins to hurt the first rule is to try to identify the activity that caused the pain and avoid it. Heat or ice may help relieve the pain. Gentle stretching should be started. If the pain does not improve in about two weeks an evaluation by your physician is indicated.

Different medications or physical therapy and home exercises will often be helpful. If the pain persists for several more weeks in spite of the above treatment then further diagnostic studies including x-rays or MRI will be obtained. These studies are useful to determine if the problem might benefit from surgical treatment. Should pain should not just be accepted. Treatment is successful in relieving pain and restoring function in the majority of patients. Dr. Richard Rogers, M.D. TN Orthopaedic Alliance

*Disclaimer: The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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