The student-athlete has the responsibility of reporting injuries and illnesses to the coach, athletic trainer, or athletic director. Early recognition of pain can help the management of inflammation and musculoskeletal health for the athlete as they participate in sport.
Acute injuries and illnesses: types of injuries that are usually the result of a specific impact or traumatic event to the body. In the event of an acute injury or illness, the athletic trainer will make an assessment or diagnosis and will decide whether it is safe for the athlete to return to play. If the athletic trainer decides the injury or illness is of a serious nature he will inform the coach, athletic director, and parents. The student athlete will then be referred to a physician for further evaluation. Once a student visits a physician for an injury or illness, they must obtain a physician’s note clearing them for a return to participation.
Chronic injuries and illnesses: illness or disease that develops slowly and is persistent and long lasting. Many chronic injuries have mild symptoms that are often ignored or simply overlooked. Student -athletes are encouraged to have the athletic trainer assess any pains or discomforts that they may have. The athletic trainer will inform the coach, athletic director, and parents of what the condition is and what can be done. The athletic trainer will create a rehabilitative or maintenance program to help improve or manage the condition. Included in musculoskeletal rehabilitation are active-isolated stretching, myofascial release techniques, stability, strengthening, and mobility exercises. It is understood that participation in physical activity puts stress on the body and can cause physical discomfort. It is the goal of the athletic trainer to communicate the severity of the discomfort and the implications of further activity to the athlete and the parents. If it is agreed between the student-athlete, athletic trainer, parent, coach, and athletic director that the student athlete cannot perform at 80% of their capability then the student will not be cleared to play and will be referred to a physician or specialist for further evaluation. Let it be stressed that a student- athlete is never encouraged to “play through pain.” when doing so may cause further injury.