Athletic Training and Sports Medicine
Athletic trainers support the varsity athletic programs at Princeton University, provide physical therapy and follow up treatment, and cover all intercollegiate sports practices and games. Students are encouraged to contact their team trainer directly for hours of availability.
SPORTS MEDICINE PHYSICIANS
Sports medicine physicians work with the varsity athletic programs at Princeton University by providing medical care and supervising the athletic training staff. These physicians provide event coverage for various sports and are available to all student athletes for medical care. Students may schedule a sports medicine appointment through their team athletic trainer or by calling University Health Services directly. Students may also be evaluated by a UHS consulting orthopedic surgeon as deemed appropriate by the sports medicine physician.
ATHLETIC PARTICIPATION INFORMATION
Pre-Participation Physical Examination Process
Concussion is a significant brain injury and one that can have a significant on the health and well being of student athletes. Defined as a transient neurologic dysfunction that occurs after trauma to the head or body, the symptoms can be immediate or take several minutes, hours or even days to fully manifest. Delay in diagnosis and management can be associated with persistent deficits and psychosocial consequences. The Athletic Medicine staff is trained to evaluate and manage this important injury.
- Standardized approach to concussive injury to protect the health and welfare of student athletes participating in “at risk” sports
- Comprehensive baseline and post-injury evaluations for concussive injury in the student athlete
- Provide educational information to athletes regarding concussion
- Emergency Action Plan for all venues including Concussion Plan for all high risk sports
- Coaching Education regarding EAP & concussion plan
- Education of student athletes regarding concussion, including signs & symptoms, importance of properly fitting equipment, and high risk sport activities (leading with the head
- Pre-participation Physical Examinations performed for all varsity athletes
- Signed Student Athlete (SA) agreement regarding reporting of all injuries & illness, including signs and symptoms of concussion, to PUAM staff. (Performed by compliance office)
- ATC’s on site/available for all at risk practices & games, physician on site/available for at risk home events
- Documentation of baseline testing (SCAT3), initial injury evaluation (SCAT3 & other) as well as daily symptom scoring. Documentation (ATC & Team physician) of initial & subsequent evaluations, change in status regarding activities and final clearance to return to play.
- Includes questions regarding modifiers: prior concussion history, learning disabilities requiring stimulant medications, migraines, seizure history
- Baseline Sports Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT 3) and computerized neuropsychological testing (e.g. “Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing” (ImPACT)) are performed for all at risk sport athletes (Football, Sprint Football, Men’s & Women’s Soccer, Field Hockey, Wrestling, Men’s & Women’s Ice Hockey, Men’s & Women’s Basketball, Men’s & Women’s Lacrosse, Men’s & Women’s Water Polo, Men’s & Women’s Pole Vaulting, Baseball, Softball)
- If an athlete has a significant history of prior concussion(s), or significant other modifiers, the team physician may request that neuropsychological testing include computerized neuropsychological testing (e.g. ImPACT) as well as additional paper & pencil (P & P) tests, and may request additional consultation and/or testing.
- When an athlete has signs/symptoms of concussion, they should be removed from play and not allowed to return to play until evaluated by a licensed health care provider.
- An athlete with worsening symptoms, especially worsening headache, nausea or vomiting, increased confusion, garbled speech, lethargy or extreme sleepiness, trouble using their arms or legs, convulsions or seizure activity should be transported emergently by public safety / ambulance to the emergency room. Any athlete with neck pain should be treated as if a cervical spine injury is present, and the emergency procedures (cervical spine immobilization, emergency room transfer) initiated.
- If no ATC or Team Physician available, and the athlete has minimal symptoms, contact the athletic trainer / team physician to determine a plan for evaluation of the athlete. If you are unable to contact the PUAM staff, contact UHS at 609-258-3139. Public safety should be called for transportation.
- If ATC on site and SA stable medically, Sports Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT 3) used for evaluation of injured athletes.
- If ATC on site and assessment is concussion, the athlete cannot return to play the same day.
- If athlete evaluated by team physician and/or other clinician and diagnosis is concussion, the athlete cannot return to play the same day.
- Determine additional testing / consultation as indicated
- Educate SA regarding importance of reporting all / any symptoms
- Determine if any modifications to school or other demands necessary (e.g. refer to Office of Disabilities, communicate with deans, parents, others)
Follow up Care;
- Daily follow up of symptoms using symptom checklist.
- Post Injury NP Testing (e.g. ImPACT and paper/pencil tests) performed 24-48 hrs post injury (research design) or as determined by team physician.
- Post-injury NP testing interpreted by outside neuropsychologist
- Follow up with ATC/team physician once ready to progress activities as well as to return to full play (If not seen in follow up by team physician, must be discussed)
1. Individualized decision; made by the team physician. Consultation from the athletic trainer, athlete, neurocognitive / balance testing as well as additional outside consultation as appropriate.
a. Time athlete held out of activity, rate of progression, all individualized, with decision made by team physician
3. An athlete with signs/symptoms of concussion at rest or exertion should not continue to play
- SA Education regarding importance of reporting all symptoms as well as increased risk for concussion, and delay in recovery, with subsequent injury
- Repeat NP testing (computerized and Paper & Pencil testing) prior to following year to establish a new “baseline”
INJURY, ILLNESS & REHABILITATIVE CARE
ONLINE REHABILITATION PROGRAMS
The Athletic Medicine staff at UHS has developed a series of online rehabilitation programs that provide convenient access to comprehensive care for selected injuries. These programs can be used as self-directed or supervised guides to injury care at home, as interim care while waiting to begin physical therapy, or as handy supplements to supervised rehabilitation at Athletic Medicine Services. Students may select from the following rehabilitation programs:
- Ankle Sprain
- Cord Flexibility
- Dynamic Flexibilty
- Illiotibial Band Syndrome
- Lumbar/Core Strength and Stability
- Patello-Femoral Pain Syndrome
- Pelvic Stabilization, Lateral Hip and Gluteal Strengthening
- Pilates Flex and Stretch
- Rib Stress Injury Prevention
- Shoulder Rehabilitation
- Static Flexibility
- Yoga Series
LOWER BODY INJURY PREVENTION PROGRAM
Many lower body extremity injuries result from poor body mechanics, particularly poor control over the motion of your knee. When you are running, forces from the ground run up into your feet and travel along a kinetic chain throughout your leg. Injury may result if those forces add up to be too much, or in the wrong place, along that kinetic chain. The most common example of this is an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear at the knee.
The Lower Body Injury Prevention Exercise Program demonstrates the proper technique for dealing with these forces and making sure that your leg maintains the right alignment. When your knee moves in the wrong way, the ligaments that keep it from going too far may stretch or tear. These exercise demonstrate how to use your muscles in a way that helps to protect those ligaments.
It is important to focus on the cues provided in the exercise videos. Each cue instructs you how to stay in the proper injury prevention position. These exercises do not require a lot of equipment or heavy weights. Rather, the purpose of this program is to train your body how to move in new manner to reduce the risk of injuries. Too often athletes haven’t learned to move properly. Breaking old habits and reinforcing new ones takes time and repetition. It is important to commit to doing these exercises regularly.
Feel free to contact your athletic trainer if you have any questions regarding the program. Enjoy and work hard!
- Make sure you are sufficiently warmed up before you begin this program (e.g., a light 10-minute bike or jog).
- The Lower Body Injury Prevention Exercise Program is presented by level by difficulty. The exercise videos progress from easy to medium to difficult. Pay close attention to the feedback provided in each video. The number of repetitions for each exercise is determined by how many you can do accurately. Go back to the previous level of difficulty if your technique begins to falter.
- The number of repetitions listed for each exercise is only a recommendation. Depending on your progress and ability to master the technique, you may do more or less repetitions than suggested. Although we offer a variety of exercises in this program, you are not expected to complete every exercise in one session. For example, your athletic trainer may select five exercises for you to work on at a time.