Learn more about Athletic Trainers
An athletic trainer specializes in preventing and treating acute and chronic muscle, bone and joint injuries under a doctor’s direction. Athletic trainers help people of all ages increase their physical performance in work or sports, prevent and minimize pain and loss of function, and avoid surgery. They often consult and collaborate with a patient’s entire medical and rehabilitation team.
An athletic trainer typically:
- Reviews and evaluates a patient’s medical and injury history, and current musculoskeletal functioning
- Helps determine the severity of an injury
- Provides emergency treatment for acute injuries, such as concussion, sprain, or bone fracture, resulting from physical activity
- Tests and measures strength, range of motion, balance, coordination, posture, and muscle performance
- Works with patients to develop an individualized treatment and physical conditioning plan based on their medical history, lifestyle, personal needs, and fitness goals
- Provides therapeutic treatments to treat bone, muscle and joint injury and disease
- Evaluates treatment progress and adjusts plans as necessary
- Selects and fits protective equipment and rehabilitative equipment
- Educates patients about home techniques to optimize mobility, strength, and overall fitness
An athletic trainer may also be known by the following names: AT; athletic trainer, certified athletic trainer (ATC); sports trainer; rehabilitation specialist; physician extender; and wellness manager.
Athletic trainers are sometimes incorrectly called personal trainers. However, personal training is a distinct field that requires different education, certification and expertise.
There are 515 specialists practicing Athletic Training in the United States with an overall average rating of 4.7 stars. There are 80 hospitals in the United States with affiliated Athletic Training specialists, including Hospital For Special Surgery, Adventist Health Simi Valley and Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center.