Athletic Trainers are recognized by the American Medical Association as health professionals who help physicians to evaluate and treat athletes and help athletes maintain peak physical fitness as well as prevent and treat injuries. They are often one of the first health care providers on the scene when the injury occurs and therefore must be able to recognize, evaluate and assess injuries and provide immediate care when necessary. They know how to prevent an injury from occurring initially, prevent further injury from occurring and prevent the recurrence of an injury.
Athletic Trainers specialize in the prevention, assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal injuries. They are also involved in the rehabilitation and reconditioning of injured athletes. They educate athletes about how to avoid placing themselves at risk for injury. They help make sport and recreation safer. Athletic Trainers advise athletes as to the proper use of athletic equipment and using protective products such as tape, bandages, ice and braces and help manage an injury.
The work of an Athletic Trainer requires frequent interaction with others, including consulting with physicians, athletes and patients to discuss and administer treatments, rehabilitation programs, injury-preventive practices and other health related issues.
Jose Bonilla, Certified Athletic Trainer at City College of San Francisco, is a familiar face at CCSF Judo tournaments and at CCSF athletic activities. He writes, “In recent years, increasing numbers of people of all ages have been heeding their health professionals; advice to get active for all the health benefits that exercise has to offer. But for some, particularly those who over do or who don’t properly train or warm up—these benefits can come at a price: sports injuries. Fortunately, most injuries can be treated effectively, and most people who suffer injuries can return to a satisfying level of physical activity after an injury. Even better, many sports injuries can be prevented if people take the proper precautions”.
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services publishes a Sports Injuries brochure that states that “The term sports injury, in the broadest sense, refers to the kinds of injuries that most commonly occur during sports or exercise. Some sports injuries result from accident; others are due to poor training practices, improper equipment, lack of conditioning, or insufficient warmup or stretching.
Although virtually any part of your body can be injured during sports or exercise, the term is usually reserved for injuries that involve the musculoskeletal system, which includes the muscles, bones, and associated tissues like cartilage.”
Excerpt from City College of San Francisco Judo Club 2008 USJF Junior National Championships Program.