Ask the Athletic Trainer

Nagging pain or injury? Or have a question about staying healthy and injury free?  The ATI Athletic Trainers are here to answer your questions. Submit a question.

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My 13-year-old son has been complaining of pain in the center of his knees while playing sports, but he hasn’t really injured either knee.  What could be wrong?

It sounds like your son may have an overuse type of injury such as a tendonitis or bursitis which is due repetitive use versus trauma to the joint.  He may also have pain secondary to his natural growing process called Osgood-Schlatter’s.   This is an irritation to the growth plate in the front of the knee.  Either way, a follow up assessment with a medical professional will help determine the plan of care.

I keep getting shin splints while running.  What is the best way to treat them and prevent them?

“Shin splints" is a generalized term used when identifying low leg pain with activity. The most important thing to determine with this is what’s causing the leg to hurt.  Your athletic trainer will look at a few common causes such as shoe type/wear, foot and arch posture, low leg strength imbalances and training factors. Once the cause of the pain is determined, the correct course of action can be started.  This is often getting new or appropriate shoes for the sport, low leg and arch strengthening, and adjusting the training .  Orthotics or arch taping can also be helpful.  As always you can use the R.I.C.E. (Rice - Ice - Compression - Elevation) treatment to help with the symptoms as the cause is addressed.

My daughter collided with her teammate at soccer last night and bumped her head pretty hard.  She felt fine during the rest of the game and last night.  However, today she’s been complaining of a headache and nausea.  Could she have a concussion?  How come the symptoms didn't start last night?

It is possible that your daughter does have a concussion. The most common symptom of a concussion is a headache after the injury.  Because she has multiple symptoms, your daughter should be evaluated by her athletic trainer or team physician before returning to activity or sport.  Symptoms of concussion can be delayed as post injury swelling increases at rest.

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