MUSC Health’s Dr. DeCastro and Bobby Weisenberger, Head Athletic Trainer Charleston Battery, recently spoke to Charleston’s WCBD, Channel 2 about treating athletes affected by the heat. Learn how heat stroke and heart attacks differ in symptoms and treatment.
Guest Post by:
Bobby Weisenberger, ATC, PES
Head Athletic Trainer Charleston Battery
MUSC Sports Medicine
7:30am: Arrive at stadium about a half an hour before the players show up. Sidelines are prepped for the day’s practice. This consists of filling ice coolers and water bottles.
8:00am: First round of players show up at injury clinic for treatment and rehabilitation. This ranges from electric stimulation, ultrasound, and or hot/cold treatments.
8:30am: All non-injured players arrive for taping, stretching and mandatory weigh-ins.
9:00am: Warm-ups begin. I speak with the coaching staff about injured players’ status. Coach is advised who’s in or out of training. Training sessions typically last 1 ½ hours and during that time, I will be doing on-field rehabilitation with players who are close to returning to full play while keeping a close eye on the field, looking for and taking care of any new injuries that occur. In addition, I refill water bottles. HYDRATION, HYDRATION, HYDRATION. In the summertime heat and humidity where heat indexes easily reach 115, this cannot be stressed enough.
10:30am: As training wraps up I return to the training room where another round of treatments is performed on injured players. Recovery exercises and whirlpool treatments are also coordinated.
11:30am: When all of the players weigh out and leave for the day I will work on injury reports, and fill out treatment notes on injured players. I prepare and send out a daily injury report to our team physicians, team physical therapist, and coaching staff so that everyone is made aware of player’s statuses on a daily basis.
12:30pm: Leave for the day! Though, the job never ends. Players have my mobile number and are encouraged to call me for any medical concerns they may have. I coordinate their medical appointments and ancillary services throughout the MUSC network.
4:30pm: Arrive at Blackbaud Stadium, to set up the home and visiting locker rooms as well as both sides of the field with injury ice and water.
5:30pm: Injured players arrive. I work with them and our team physical therapist doing treatments and rehabilitations.
6:00pm: Players who are on the roster for the night’s game will arrive at and I will tape and assist with any types of warm-up exercises/treatments they may need.
7:30pm Kickoff! During the game I will keep a close eye on the game and take care of any injuries that may occur. After the game, I will work with our team physician to access and provide treatment for any injuries that have occurred during the game.
MUSC Health’s Dr. Alec DeCastro recently appeared on Channel 2 to discuss a disease that may affect athletes participating in CrossFit. Hot days with intense workouts may put participants at risk for a muscle disease called Rhabdomylosis.
- extreme muscle soreness, more than after usual workout, making it hard to walk or move
- dehydration and similar effects of dehydration: dizziness, fatigue
- dark or brown (Coca-Cola colored) urine from chemicals in the kidneys
Learn more about Rhabodomylosis or “Rhabdo” in this news story.
Guest Post by:
Stephanie Davey, ATC
Certified Athletic Trainer
MUSC Sports Medicine
In the past few years, concussions in sports have been a hot topic. The debate has ranged from how to prevent concussions to how to safely return an athlete to play after a concussion. As it is nearly impossible to prevent head injuries in sports, the focus on returning athletes to play after a concussion is high. We have multiple tools to do this, including cognitive assessment testing.
Cognitive testing evaluates the mental abilities of the brain. After a head injury, an athlete’s cognitive function can be diminished. Functions including but not limited to attention, memory, working memory and processing speed can all be affected by a concussion. In order to properly assess after injury cognitive function, a baseline cognitive assessment should be done on all contact sport and high-risk athletes. The most common way to attain a cognitive baseline assessment is through a computerized test. There are multiple computerized cognitive assessment tests on the market and they all have slightly different methods. However, all the tests should analyze learning and memory skills, ability to pay attention or concentrate, and how quickly the athlete is able to process and solve problems. Ideally, a baseline test should be done every year and prior to practice starting. The environment should be controlled and quiet so the athlete is able to focus while taking the test. Athletes should be well rested, hydrated, and not hungry prior to taking the test. Test results should be kept by the athletic trainer or the doctor administering the test.
There are some concerns with baseline cognitive testing. The most efficient way to test large teams is in a computer lab with multiple athletes testing at the same time. It can be difficult for some athletes to focus in a mass setting, which can lead to a skewed baseline. After injury tests are usually done one athlete at a time and in an office or clinic setting. The change in settings can lead to unreliable results. Athletes also have been known to purposely not try on the baseline, so that their scores will be lower. Lower scores make it easier to pass an after injury tests. Also, computerized baseline testing can be prohibitively expensive for some schools and organizations.
It is important to note that cognitive testing is just one part of the process to safely returning athletes to play. It should not be used as the only criteria to returning an athlete. When used correctly, computerized cognitive assessments are useful tool and should be part the return to play protocol.