What You Should Know About Sports Medicine

Athletic Training

Athletic trainers (ATs) are highly qualified, multi-skilled health professional who collaborate with physicians to provide preventative services, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic interventions and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions. ATs work under the direction of a physician as prescribed by Colorado state law. AT’s have extensive experience with musculoskeletal injuries and concussion management.

As the BHS athletic trainer, I provide medical coverage to in-season practices, all scheduled home games, as well as away varsity football games. During games I am responsible for all medical decisions.

Injuries

Communication is key in keeping your student athlete healthy and returning them to play as safely and as quickly as possible. If your student athlete returns home hurt, please encourage them to see me before their next practice. After evaluating an injury, I will determine if an injury needs to be referred to a physician. We are very fortunate to have services from Premiere Pediatrics here at BHS. Our team doctor, Dr. Ray, comes to the school for referrals once a week as needed. In order to see her, your student athlete must come see me first. This ensures all relevant parties are aware of the injury. It also ensures we have a precise diagnosis, treatment plan and participation status from the physician. This allows me to provide optimum care before, during and after the physician visit.

Regardless if I refer your student athlete to a doctor, or if you took them, I will need written consent from the doctor with the following information:
• What the injury is
• Any and all limitations to activity
• A specific return to activity date

Concussions

A concussion is a traumatic injury to the brain that alters mental status or causes other symptoms. Most concussions do not result in a loss of consciousness. The severity of the injury depends on many factors and is unknown until the symptoms resolve and brain function is back to normal. Concussions can result from a direct trauma or a violent jerking/shaking of the head. Please note coaches are trained to recognize and report concussions, but it is also the responsibility of your student athlete to seek help if they are having any symptoms.

Signs and Symptoms:
• Physical: headache, dizziness, sensitivity to light/noise, nausea, vomiting, poor balance, blurred vision, loss of energy, tired
• Cognitive: memory problems, difficulty concentrating, easily distracted, feeling slowed down
• Behavioral: irritability, nervousness, sadness, more emotional
• Sleeping: trouble sleeping, trouble staying asleep, sleeping too little/too much

When diagnosed with a concussion, the student is not able to participate in ANY physical activity. They will check-in with me daily to monitor their symptoms. In addition, I will work with the school psychologist to create classroom accommodations to help them while they are still symptomatic. Once they no longer have symptoms, they MUST be cleared by a licensed practitioner to begin the 5-day gradual return to play protocol. Due to CHSAA by-law 170.21 and Senate Bill 11-040, this process must be followed exactly.

Rehabilitation

Injuries are an inevitable part of sports. Most injuries can be rehabilitated here at BHS in the athletic training room with me. Specialized Physical Therapy also offers their services by coming to the athletic training room if requested and creating the best rehabilitation program for each injury.