What Makes Athletic Training Different Than Physical Therapy?
Hello everyone! Liz Gerdin here, the athletic trainer at North High School. Recently we have had a ton of awesome blog posts with great advice and interesting information. In honor of National Athletic Training Month, I thought you all would love a picture of what makes athletic training a little different than physical therapy.
Lovely huh? In athletic training we get to see some pretty cool (aka gross) stuff. Normally when we share injury pictures it is from some gruesome hits in football or some cut open chins and eyes needing stitches from hockey. Part of the education of an athletic trainer is trauma and wound care and believe me that education has come in handy the past few years along the sidelines. There have been plenty of split open chins and ripped up skin from the turf but sometimes we have to be ready for wound care that happens below the surface.
Now this picture is a much improved version of what it used to be, but you can still see that it is a swollen, red, and in just plain ishy. This is the foot of a high school basketball player. He was lifting weights and while putting a 45lb weight away he dropped it on his foot. Now he didn’t come see me right away but checked in with me the next day AFTER his basketball game, talk about a tough kid. Unfortunately, due to the wait of him coming to me, we were already way behind on the care that I would have chosen for him. Being able to take care of an injury the moment it happens is one of the things that helps make athletic trainers successful in treatment. We ruled out any fractures of the foot and worked on decreasing the swelling. To decrease swelling he put his foot in an ice bucket, did ankle pumps and other exercise, elevated his ankle whenever possible, cryocompression, kinesio tape to help lift up the skin, massage, and we drained it! It was slowly getting better when he got stepped on in a game. After that it went downhill. Did you know that sitting blood can become infected? Well, it can! I noticed after a weekend that his foot was a lot worse. The swelling had increased again; it was super red, a little more painful, and pretty warm to the touch. All of these are classic signs of inflammation, but I could tell just by the looks of it that it was infected. He went to the hospital and got antibiotics and drained the old blood out again. The picture shown above is after he got antibiotics and his foot drained for the second time. He is now back to normal and enjoying being able to tie his shoe laces J
Just a reminder, if you get injured and notice any swelling go see your athletic trainer right away or follow the RICE method (Rest Ice Compress and Elevate) until you can check in.