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How are Athletic Injuries Treated and Assessed?

Did you know that one-third of all pediatric injuries are related to sports? That number may seem high, but it’s not a surprise if you watch how intense some of the practices and games become! Assessing and treating sports injuries is a task that requires accuracy and speed to help the patient make a full recovery. We decided to take a closer look at that process to help you understand what to expect in the event of an athletic injury.

Field Assessment

If a coach or player suspects an injury has occurred, the first step should be a field assessment. That means a coach or trained medical professional going to the player where the injury occurred to assess the situation. If a head or neck injury has occurred, the player should not be moved until a medical team has arrived to ensure the safety of their neck and spine. For less athletic severe injuries, the coach will likely help the player get off the field to get a better look at the damage and begin a treatment plan. After the field assessment is complete and the status of the player is determined, the coach and team should take a minute to evaluate what caused the injury. Was the player not using the right form or safety gear? Was it an unavoidable accident? The damage should be used as a learning opportunity for the other players.

Treating the Injury

The most common types of athletic injuries are sprains, tears, and broken bones. In the event of an injury like this, the coach or medical team on-site will secure the affected area with a temporary brace before sending the player for further treatment. At the hospital, x-rays and other tests will be performed to determine what the specific injury is. Then, a treatment plan will be made. For some injuries that may include surgery or physical therapy, while others may just need rest and time to heal. There is no standard when it comes to the treatment of athletic injuries because each case varies so much.

The most important thing to remember during the treatment process is to stick to the plan. If the doctor orders physical therapy, be sure to attend every session. If you’re told to stay off the field for the rest of the season, keep off the field! Treating and recovering from an athletic injury can be a long and frustrating process for any athlete, but failure to abide by the treatment plan will likely lead to even worse damage in the future.