Phoenix Mercury athletic trainer Tamara Poole describes how she treats a sprain.
A lot of people think about sprains in one category. Actually sprains can diversify. There can be a grade-1, a grade-2 or grade-3 or even a grade-4.
Grade-1 is your typical sprain that’s a little bit uncomfortable. There’s a little swelling and you are okay.
A lot of times with professional athletes we actually get a much higher grade of sprain. For instance, when Tana sprained her knee it was quite bad and in that instance, immediately she saw her doctor, X-rays are taken, any other kind of test that may need to be done is taken and sometimes when it’s that bad I will actually care for the athlete 24/7.
So sometimes when the sprain is not that bad I send them on their way and tell them what to do with a bucket of ice and some ice-bags.
Sometimes it’s bad enough that I feel that the care in the beginning is so important to the endpoint, I will go and be with the athlete 24/7 so that I make sure that they are icing every hour on the hour.
I’ll make sure that maybe passive motion is done. Make sure that it’s propped up; make sure that they are comfortable because if I can control that time I might be able to knock days, may be even weeks off their recovery time.
A veteran of athletic training and sports medicine in women’s professional sports, Tamara Poole is the Phoenix Mercury’s Head Athletic Trainer. Just the second head trainer in Mercury history, Poole acts as a medical liaison with the team’s medical and organizational staff, focusing on injury prevention and management.