The Saint Louis University Athletic Training Program in the Doisy College of Health Sciences is a graduate professional program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education.
St. Louis Rams Head Athletic Trainer Jim Anderson and his staff rolled out the red carpet for our students today at Rams Park. Not only did our students get an extensive tour of their facilities, but the Athletic Training Staff gave our students a good idea of what NFL Athletic Trainers do every week and the kind of equipment and supplies they use. It is great to have colleagues such as Jim and his staff in our community.
For 16-year-old Jaquan Waller, his passion for football ended in tragedy last month. After just two carries in a high school football game, the junior running back from Greenville, North Carolina collapsed on the sideline and was declared brain dead the following morning. This after being cleared to play following a head injury in practice two days prior. Waller died from complications of second impact syndrome (SIS), when a second concussion occurs before the first one has completely healed. Sunday on Outside the Lines, David Amber examines the need for Certified Athletic Trainers to protect high school football players.
The "no pain, no gain" mindset for the athletes who make it into the big show isn't a healthy mantra for prep athletes or weekend warriors. Olympians and professional athletes take a calculated risk, pushing themselves to the limit — and beyond — for the glory and the gold.
"The biggest mistake people make is (to compare) what they do to an Olympic athlete or a professional football player," says Tony Breitbach, director of athletic training at St. Louis University. "For an NFL player, the difference in playing hurt could be an extra million dollars, so that's a risk he takes."
Athletes — from young people who fantasize about themselves as their favorite athletes, to older people trying to recapture their high school or college glory days — often overdo it, Breitbach says.
When professionals get hurt, they have coaches, (athletic) trainers, doctors, physical therapists and their own knowledge of their bodies' strengths and weaknesses to help them determine whether they can play hurt or it's time to go on the disabled list. Athletes struggle through an injury knowing they're going to have months to recuperate, Breitbach said. They tend to know what their bodies can and can't do and how to compensate for injuries. Professionals can turn up their focus to compensate for an injury, something that separates them from weekend warriors.
Breitbach says he's glad to see that more schools have athletic trainers on the sidelines, watching for signs of injury. "We look at the athletic trainer as the athlete's advocate, someone trained to know (the extent) of an injury," Breitbach said. "Only a person with a medical background should say whether a child can play after an injury."
Even on high school sidelines, playing hurt can be a calculated risk. If an injury happens early in the season, sitting out a game or two may prevent problems later in the season. However, an athlete may play on a lesser injury in a championship game because he has months to recuperate. Still, says Breitbach, younger players need to gain a more realistic attitude about injuries, he said. As the fortunes of Olympians in all sports clearly showed in Beijing, "setbacks happen — at all stages of life," Breitbach said.
For older players who think they can play a pickup game with a bunch of 20-somethings, "The key is how much money could you stand to lose," Breitbach said. "If you work in an office and you (break an ankle), that's not going to be a big problem. But if you work construction and you break an ankle, you can't work."
We would like to welcome Jason Bennett MPT, ATC as an adjunct faculty member. He is teaching at the laboratory sessions in MAT 524 Musculoskeletal Assessment and Management I this fall and MAT 525 Musculoskeletal Assessment and Management II this spring.
A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Clarke College in Dubuque, Iowa, Jason has significant and varied experiences as both an athletic trainer and a physical therapist. He continues to be active in athletic training in the area and in physical therapy at ProRehab's Florissant clinic.
The first meeting of SLU's Athletic Training Education Program Advisory Board took place on September 24, 2008. The purpose of the board is to provide external feedback to the program with regard to mission, objectives, curriculum and clinical education.
The members of the Advisory Board are:
Dr. Tricia Austin, Saint Louis University Program in Physical Therapy
Jonathan Burch, Saint Louis University Athletics
Randy Craig, ProRehab Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine
Julie Davitz, Rehab One Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine
Dr. Lyndon Gross, The Orthopedic Center of St. Louis Dr. Scott Kaar, Saint Louis University Orthopedics
Rick Larsen, Washington University Athletics Aaron McBride, Pioneer Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Dr. Paul Nativi, Saint Louis University Team Dentist Laura O’Connor, Heritage Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Fred Shinn, Monroe County Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Dr. Tyler Wadsworth, SLU Primary Care Physician
Also attending were the following representatives from the Doisy College of Health Sciences:
Dr. Charlotte Royeen, Dean
Dr. Mark Reinking, Department Chair Dr. Mike Cannon, ATEP Medical Director
Dr. Tony Breitbach, ATEP Director Darcy Downey, ATEP Clinical Coordinator