The Lion's Tale

Student athletes’ path to injury recovery

CESJDS+graduate+Dani+Offer+sits+on+a+table+in+the+training+room%2C+where+Matula+often+tapes+students%E2%80%99+injuries%2C+using+a+NormaTec+recovery+system.
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Student athletes’ path to injury recovery

CESJDS graduate Dani Offer sits on a table in the training room, where Matula often tapes students’ injuries, using a NormaTec recovery system.

CESJDS graduate Dani Offer sits on a table in the training room, where Matula often tapes students’ injuries, using a NormaTec recovery system.

photo by Sophia Miller

CESJDS graduate Dani Offer sits on a table in the training room, where Matula often tapes students’ injuries, using a NormaTec recovery system.

photo by Sophia Miller

photo by Sophia Miller

CESJDS graduate Dani Offer sits on a table in the training room, where Matula often tapes students’ injuries, using a NormaTec recovery system.

Sophia Miller, Sports Editor

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The crowd cheers as the runners blaze by, but many cannot help but notice that a familiar face is missing in the lead pack. Sophomore Adam Alter stands on the side cheering on his fellow teammates, rather than running, due to a groin injury. Alter has not been able to participate in the cross country season for two months due to a micro-tear in his groin.

Injuries are a common occurrence among student athletes , and must be dealt with properly. According to athletic trainer Jessica Matula, many injuries occur because of improper warm-up or technique, poor conditioning, as well as overuse and accident/impact-related ones.

The most common injuries vary by sport, but lack of conditioning, in particular, can lead to injuries in all types of sports. For example, the most common injuries in running are knee-related, while in basketball, back and ankle injuries are the most frequent injuries.

Matula works with injured athletes to assist them with the healing and return process through strength exercises and cross-training. Additionally, in certain cases, Matula tapes students’ injuries for support and teaches a class on kinesiology, emergency care and sports safety to inform the student body on how to support fellow injured athletes.

Alter’s groin injury affected his training because in running, consistency is critical to maintaining speed, endurance and a strong routine. When he stopped his normal running routine, Alter lost a lot of strength and endurance that he had been building up throughout the season.

When Alter first got injured, he went to an orthopedist. The doctor gave him different stretches and exercises to practice to help heal his injury and to help him return as a stronger runner.

“[Transitioning back into running] took a lot of time and it was hard. It made running hard at first, but getting back into it made me feel really good,” Alter said.

Junior Varsity basketball coach Brian Westerman has dealt with many injured players on his team. When one of his players gets injured, he typically has them ice their injuries and see Matula. Westerman tries to help his athletes recover from injuries by giving them drills that work around their injury so that they can improve other skills while injured.

“As far as the healing process is concerned I tend to err on the side of caution, so I want to hold them [athletes] out for longer than possible, depending upon what the scenario is,” Westerman said.

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