My dad used to say this all the time and is probably the one to blame for why I’m so crazy about the things we can do better.
When it comes to Sports Medicine however, this concept of prevention seems to be somewhat fuzzy.
Most athletic trainers do an unbelievable job at promoting the prevention of dehydration, cramping, heat exhaustion and ultimately death during the hot fall pre-season, yet when it comes to prevention in the winter or spring seasons the concept is almost completely forgotten about. Sure we continue to do a great job at preventing the spread of skin infections, the flu and blood borne pathogens, but how many hours of your day are spent addressing these concerns after they’ve happened?
How come we are never as passionate about preventing ACL tears, ankle sprains, low back pain or stress fractures as we are dehydration? Isn’t the majority of our day spent dealing with these musculoskeletal injuries?
Even the BOC website places PREVENTION as the first of the five practice domains of Athletic Training and describes Athletic Training as encompassing the PREVENTION, diagnosis and intervention of emergency, acute and chronic medical conditions involving impairment, functional limitations and disabilities.
Yet how many Sports Medicine programs actually have a system in place to evaluate and address for these injuries and illnesses that take up so much of our time? How many programs place athletes with a previous injury on a “pre-hab” program to address this concern? Doesn’t pain alter mechanics?
Isn’t time that Sports Medicine embrace prevention and intervention of musculoskeletal injuries with the same zealous of other prevention strategies?
My dad also used to tell me to measure twice and cut once.
Sorry dad, but in the case of sports medicine and prevention, I’d rather measure three, four or five times if it means our athletes never have to get cut once.
Art Horne is the Coordinator of Care and Strength & Conditioning Coach for the Men’s Basketball Team at Northeastern University, Boston MA. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.