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
This information is being updated and will be available shortly.
INJURY, ILLNESS AND REHABILITATIVE CARE
The athletic trainer serves as the initial contact person for student-athletes with medical or musculoskeletal problems. The student-athlete first reports their medical problem or injury to the athletic trainer who, in turn, will determine if continued activity is permissible and arrange for any necessary follow-up medical consultation with the team physician or other UHS provider. The plan of care is developed by the athletic trainer in cooperation with the team and consulting physicians and is modified, as indicated, by sequential reevaluation. The athlete is responsible for scheduling regular treatment visits as directed by the athletic trainer or team physician. Athletes will be allowed to return to activity only after adequate resolution of the problem and determination that the athlete is capable of meeting the demands of the activity and able to protect himself/herself from further injury.
The modalities and equipment in treatment rooms are used by the athletic trainer in developing treatment programs to optimize the rehabilitation program and return the athlete to full participation safely and quickly. This equipment is utilized only under the direction of the athletic trainer, however there are several areas on the campus for routine off-season, or in-season conditioning programs.
TRAINING ROOM PROCEDURES
The athletic training staff will provide their teams or team members with information regarding treatment room conduct, scheduling of appointments for treatment visits, and other training room procedures.
For emergency or after hours care, student-athletes should contact University Health Services, where 24-hour care and The Infirmary is available. Students should leave a message for their athletic trainer at (609) 258-3527 and/or the director of Athletic Medicine at (609) 258-8471 to let them know that they have received emergency after hours care. Additional emergency medical procedure information is also available for athletes and coaches.
EMERGENCY MEDICAL PROCEDURES
I. Injuries or Other Medical Problems that Occur On the Road (Pertains to Athletes and Coaches)
Those that require a trip to the emergency room or hospital:
- Contact Athletic Trainers at (609) 258-3527 or 258-3518 immediately (i.e., from athletic site or emergency room). If unable to reach athletic trainers, contact the director of Athletic Medicine by contacting University Health Services at (609) 258-3139 immediately.
Those that require help from medical personnel (rescue squad, host doctors or athletic trainers), but not a trip to the emergency room or hospitalization:
- The medical decision on athlete's playing status is made by the host school's medical personnel (i.e., athletic trainer or physician) and in the absence of clearance, the athlete should not participate.
- Contact Princeton University athletic trainers or the director of Athletic Medicine if the athletic trainers are not available, by phone if there are concerns or questions.
- Contact Princeton University athletic trainers or the director of Athletic Medicine if the athletic trainers are not available upon returning from trip.
Those that do not require host school medical attention:
- Contact Princeton University athletic trainers upon returning.
NOTE: For all of the above, the clearance to return to play or practice, once the athlete returns to campus, must come from Princeton University physicians or athletic trainers.
II. Injuries or Other Medical Problems Occuring On Campus (Pertains to Athletes and Coaches)
During training room operation, all athletic injuries should be reported to the Princeton University athletic training staff.
For non-covered events and those that require a trip to the emergency room or hospitalization:
- Contact the Department of Public Safety at (609) 258-3333 or 911 to access ambulance.
- Contact Princeton University athletic trainers at (609) 258-3527 or 258-3518 immediately (i.e. from athletic site or emergency room). If unable to reach athletic trainers, contact the director of Athletic Medicine by contacting University Health Services at 258-3141 or 8-3139 immediately.
NOTE: For any injury or medical problem that requires medical attention, the clearance to return to play must come from Princeton University physicians or athletic trainers.
III. Injuries or Major Medical Problems that Occur While Not Participating in Varsity or University Athletics (Pertains to Athletes)
During the pre-season, every athlete must complete a recertification form that allows the medical staff to be updated on illness/injury occurring in the off-season and over the summer. However, if a significant illness (i.e., cardiac condition, diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure, or asthma) or injury occurs in the off-season, while the athlete is still in school, whether on- or off-campus, the athletic trainer and the sports medicine physician should be notified at that time.
Concussions are a significant injury for the student athlete, and the Princeton University Athletic Medicine Concussion Program has been developed to optimize the care and management of this injury. A concussion is an injury to the brain caused by a direct or indirect blow to the head or body or caused by the head striking something else such as the ground. A concussion typically causes the rapid onset of short lived impairment of brain function that resolves spontaneously with time. However, occasionally there can be a more significant problem, and it is important that the symptoms from every concussion be monitored by your athletic trainers and team physicians. Common signs and symptoms of concussion include confusion, memory problems, headache, balance problems, feeling “foggy”, nausea, and vision difficulties. Concussions usually do not cause structural damage to the brain, and therefore advanced imaging (CT or MRI scans) are usually not indicated unless concern for a more serious injury (e.g. skull fracture or intracranial bleeding) is present. More information about concussion can be found at the NCAA website and specific athlete education is provided by this Concussion Fact Sheet for Athletes.
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.