Posts Tagged ‘healthcare professionals’

The Role of an Athletic Trainer in Managing Diabetes

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

Posted December 15, 2016

By Mackenzie Simmons, ATC

The theme for National Diabetes Month in November this year was “Managing Diabetes—It’s Not Easy, but it’s Worth it.” There are 2 important aspects to this theme that impacts the work of healthcare providers.

1. It serves as a reminder to all persons diagnosed with diabetes that they are not alone.

2. It serves to educate the population on the importance of managing diabetes correctly to prevent secondary complications including heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, vision loss and amputation.

It is important for healthcare professionals, along with members of the community, to be educated on the risk factors of diabetes as well as any issue that may arise due to improper management. As healthcare providers, Athletic Trainers (AT) have several important roles and responsibilities with diabetes management.

First and foremost, ATs need to educate patients, parents and coaches on what to look out for with hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia. Also, having a treatment plan readily available, along with the patient’s emergency medical forms,  is essential incase an emergency arises. Establishing good rapport with the patient and their family is imperative to gain trust in the relationship.

There are also several tips ATs should provide to your patients with diabetes:

- Know your ABC’s including the following:

* A1C or blood test that measures the average blood sugar level over the past 3 months

* Blood pressure

* Cholesterol

- Get into a routine schedule with your eating habits and physical activity

- Know your blood sugar levels and what to do when they become too high or too low

- Establish a team of healthcare professionals who are able to provide support and answer questions

For more information on this topic, visit the following webpages:

http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/?loc=db-slabnav

http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/myths/?loc=db-slabnav

http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/?loc=lwd-slabnav

https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-communication-programs/ndep/partnership-community-outreach/national-diabetes-month/Pages/default.aspx

 

 

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Consensus Statement on Injury Prevention

Thursday, August 11th, 2016

Posted August 11, 2016

Tim Koba, MS, ATC
Twitter: @timkoba
Blog: www.timkoba.blogspot.com.

By Tim Koba, MS, ATC

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recently released a consensus statement on injury prevention geared to the team physician. Their conclusions, however, are beneficial for coaches, athletes, parents, Athletic Trainers (ATs) and other healthcare professionals.

In the statement, the authors focus on ankle, patella femoral syndrome, ACL, shoulder, elbow, head and neck injuries in high school and college athletes. They also touch upon sudden cardiac death, heat illness and skin infections. The article systematically addresses the mechanisms of injury and injury reduction strategies of each injury. I will include a brief summary with action items of the statement and refer those interested to the complete article.

Ankle: Ankle sprains have a high risk of repeat injury and are the most commonly suffered injury in athletics. Key prevention strategies include balance training; neuromuscular training to include jumping, landing and cutting exercises; and technical training. Once an ankle is injured, bracing is an effective way to provide support while the athlete is performing rehabilitation.

ACL: Although not a very common injury, it does account for significant time lost from activity and long term joint health. In high school, the sport with greatest risk of injury is football. In college, it is women’s soccer, with female athletes being at increased risk of injury in general over their male counterparts. Adopting an injury prevention program that addresses strength, core strength, neuromuscular control, cutting, jumping and landing can effectively reduce the risk of injury. Bracing is not an effective means of reducing injury risk.

Patellofemoral pain: Patellofemoral pain is characterized as pain around the front of the knee. Contributing factors include muscle weakness, previous injury, training error and improper movement patterns. Injury prevention techniques include assessing and training for proper jumping and landing form and implementing a structured training program to minimize muscle imbalances with an emphasis on quadriceps, hamstring and hip abductor strengthening.

Shoulder pain: The disabled throwing shoulder is a term to describe pain and dysfunction with overhead sports. Risk factors are muscle imbalances, previous injury and training error. Prevention is focused on following recommended pitch counts, optimizing form for throwing and serving, balancing activity with rest and strengthening the upper body to correct any imbalances in the shoulder, arm and scapula.

Elbow injury: There are no injury prevention programs developed for reducing elbow injury in throwing athletes. The main focus currently is on monitoring fatigue, incorporating adequate rest periods, monitoring total throwing volume to reduce overload, not throwing too many months out of the year and undertaking a general strength program to improve strength and reduce any imbalances.

Sudden cardiac death: Luckily, sudden cardiac death is a rare phenomenon and occurs for several reasons, including genetics. From a prevention standpoint it is important that all athletes have a physical to determine their risk factors and follow-up testing as indicated by their doctors. All athletic sites and sports should have a written and communicated emergency action plan in the event of a catastrophic injury. Access to an AED is essential, and one should be close by to provide care to a fallen individual within 3 minutes of collapse. Chest protectors do not prevent death from sudden impact, also known as commotio cordis, but using a softer ball in youth sports might. It is also not recommended that athletes step in front of a shot due to risk of having a commotio cordis event.

Exertional heat illness: The main risk factors for exertional heat illness are environment, previous injury and some heritable traits such as sickle cell. The main prevention strategy is acclimatization. Ideally, athletes prepare for the environmental conditions that they will be playing in. Coaches can monitor and modify practice and equipment needs depending on the weather. In preparation for weather, athletes can pre-hydrate, stay hydrated during activity and monitor weight loss between practice sessions. Having an emergency action plan in place in case of emergency is essential to management of heat illness.

Skin infections: College wrestling has the greatest incidence of skin infections. Other risk factors include previous skin infection, reduced immune function, body shaving, facility cleanliness and sharing personal care items. Some general rules are important for reducing risk of skin infections and include good hygiene, immediately laundering of uniforms and practice garments, facility cleaning, not sharing equipment or care items and promptly reporting any wounds or lesion to the team AT or your physician.

Conclusion:

While this statement is geared for the team physician, the information is very valuable for those working in athletics to understand and implement.

- Pre-participation physical exams to identify risk factors and assess health history prior to participation.

- Instituting a school wide or at least team wide training program to improve strength, neuromuscular control, balance and technique is an effective means to reduce risk of injury.

- Monitoring athletes to provide adequate recovery and early intervention can delay time lost from competition for musculoskeletal injuries and heat illness.

- Crafting an emergency action plan that is easy to understand and implement, in conjunction with quick access to an AED, can provide the best chances for survival in the event of a catastrophic injury.

Resources

Special Communications. (2016). Selected issues in injury and illness prevention and the team physician: a consensus statement. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 48 (1). http://journals.lww.com/acsm-msse/Fulltext/2016/01000/Selected_Issues_in_Injury_and_Illness_Prevention.21.aspx

About the Author

Tim Koba is an Athletic Trainer, strength coach and sport business professional based in Ithaca, New York. He is passionate about helping others reach their personal and professional potential by researching topics of interest and sharing it with others. He contributes articles on injury prevention, management, rehabilitation, athletic development and leadership.

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