Swipe to the right

The First Aider

Will You Be Ready?

October 1, 2018

The professional degree in athletic training will be at the master’s level as of July 1, 2020. Do you still have questions on how this will impact you or your organization? Read More

First Aider - June Issue

June 4, 2018

Welcome to this special 100th anniversary commemorative issue! While Cramer Chemicals started in 1918, the First Aider inaugural issue premiered in 1932. Since then, we’ve seen a lot of changes in the athletic trainer profession…from treatments to products to athletes’ expectations. We recognize that change is constant but some change is good and some not so good. In this issue, we’re tackling some of the changes that are being debated today, i.e., to ice or not to ice. In a few of the articles, we’re referencing a recent survey that was e-mailed to our First Aider subscribers in late April. We had over 450 participants (thank you!) who shared their input on the icing question as well as ankle bracing, modalities and kinesiology taping.

Please share this e-newsletter with your students and encourage them to subscribe by visiting http://www.cramersportsmed.com and click on the newsletter signup at the bottom of the home page. Read More

The Party Has Started!

June 4, 2018

Since Chuck and Frank Cramer helped establish the NATA in 1950, we thought it only fitting this year to play a big part in this year’s NATA Annual Clinical Symposium and Athletic Trainer Expo! It’s in New Orleans this year, June 26-29.

We’re sponsoring the NATA Welcome Reception that will be held at Mardi World Tuesday, June 26, 2018, from 6:30pm-8:00pm. All NATA registered attendees are invited to join us to kick off the week and celebrate with Cramer. And that’s not all! Read More

Cramer’s Advisory Council Shares Their Views

June 1, 2018

We asked several members of the 2017-18 Advisory Council for their perspective on where our profession is heading. Not surprisingly, their answers underscore the need for the profession to be nimble and responsive to the ever-changing needs of the athlete, the organizations they serve and the general public. Read More

To Ice or Not to Ice: That is the question

June 1, 2018

Ice has gotten a bad rap recently. Anti-ice proponents have stated that “icing doesn’t work,” and ice has “never been proven effective.” Such statements are biased, inaccurate, and just plain wrong. Unfortunately, these claims have done nothing but create confusion and even anger. It’s easy to make these statements by looking at a few selected studies that support the anti-ice position while ignoring the hundreds of other studies on the benefits of cryotherapy.

The good thing about the anti-ice movement is that it makes us take a step back and re-evaluate the clinical decisions we make—and why we make them. Are they based on “tradition” or evidence? This article will help you understand the facts about ice to help YOU make the decision whether to use ice or not. Read More

To Brace or Not to Brace: That is the Question!

June 1, 2018

According to a 2017 study [1], lateral ankle sprains were the most common injury in US college student athletes, with men’s and women’s basketball having the highest rates. In addition, the authors reported that athletes were 3 times more likely to sprain their ankle in competition compared to practice, although most ankle sprains occurred during practice. Researchers [2, 3] have also reported that athletes were 2 to 3 times more likely to sprain their ankle when not wearing an ankle brace. Several systematic reviews confirm that ankle braces can prevent recurrent ankle sprains [4-6].

Despite these facts, ankle bracing remains a controversial topic. Some believe that ankle bracing may impair performance or even increase injuries! There is so much information out there. Athletes, coaches, parents, and athletic trainers often want to know, “Should we wear ankle braces?” And if the answer is “yes,” the daunting task of choosing the appropriate brace begins.

First, we need to address some myths about ankle bracing. Let’s start with the facts: Read More

The Therapeutic Modality Controversy: Does Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES) Have a Role in Treating Post-operative Quadriceps Inhibition and Weakness?

June 1, 2018

In recent years, therapeutic modalities have become a controversial topic. Some of the criticisms are valid and have caused us to rethink how we use these interventions, while others are examples of generalizations that are not evidence-based. The largest criticism of therapeutic modalities is when they are used as passive stand-alone treatments. Clinical experience and the research have indeed demonstrated limited value when therapeutic modalities are not appropriately integrated into a comprehensive treatment plan. The focus of this article is to demonstrate an evidence-based approach to neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) as an addition to standard care for post-operative quadriceps inhibition and weakness.
Read More

Does Kinesiology Tape Really Work?

June 1, 2018

In a survey of about 450 First Aider readers, just over half said they used kinesiology tape, primarily for pain relief, while 12% used it for performance enhancement. Kinesiology tape has been popularized by high profile athletes wearing tape on TV and in photos throughout the internet. Unfortunately, some athletes simply wear the tape just to advertise a specific brand, which ultimately adds to questions of its efficacy.

Does kinesiology tape work? YES. It has been shown effective at reducing chronic musculoskeletal pain lasting longer than 4 weeks [1] when compared to minimal interventions (ice, education, etc). As with any treatment, it doesn’t work on everyone, and is only part of the overall treatment plan. Kinesiology tape should be an adjunct to other evidence-based treatments such as therapeutic exercise. Read More

Let's Get This 100-Year Anniversary Party Started!

March 13, 2018

When Frank and Chuck Cramer started the Cramer Chemical Co. in 1918, they couldn’t have imagined that the liniment whipped up in their mother’s kitchen would ultimately launch the profession of athletic training and the sports medicine industry—but that’s just what it did.

For a full century, Cramer has been taping, wrapping, splinting, hydrating, icing, warming up, and treating athletes. We’ve been educating, too, with The First Aider newsletter. It’s been published since 1933 and has given many athletic trainers of a certain age their start in the profession. It continues to be a helpful resource today. Our hands-on involvement began with the legendary Cramer summer workshops for high school students and that spirit lives on through our sponsorship of the Colonial Sports Medicine Summer Camp at William & Mary.

More than anything, though, we’ve been dedicated to the athletic trainers we serve. It’s your dedication to the health and well-being of athletes that inspires us every day. You challenge us and teach us, and we’re so grateful for that!

For our centennial birthday, we’re throwing a surprise party—and the surprises are for you! So, consider 2018 a year-long party with you, our athletic training partners, as our invited guests. Look for launches, visits, giveaways, and events throughout the year. It’s all designed to thank you for giving us an amazing century, and since we feel like we’re just getting started, to help us prepare for the next 100 years of success!

So let’s get the party started! Since Chuck and Frank Cramer helped found the NATA in 1950, we think it’s only fitting this year to pay the registration fee for some athletic trainers who would like to attend the NATA 69th annual Clinical Symposium and Athletic Trainer Expo! It’s in New Orleans this year, from June 26-29. We’ll randomly select multiple names every month through June 10—so act now! Click here for details and to enter.

Whether or not you win a paid registration, trust us: you don’t want to miss this year’s NATA meeting.

Finally, make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Throughout the year, we’ll announce contests and giveaways in honor of our 100th year. You’ll only find out about these fun opportunities to get free Cramer stuff through these social media platforms. Don’t miss out!

The Cramer name is synonymous with athletic training, and we’re excited to be turning 100. We’re proud of our heritage and the profession it helped found, and it’s nice to take a moment and reflect on the remarkable evolution of athletic training since those early days when Frank and Chuck sold that liniment. Looking ahead feels great though, too. Our commitment to providing leadership and promoting the profession has never been stronger. Our dedication to helping every athletic trainer succeed is as fervent as ever. In fact, we’re just getting started. So here’s to the next 100 years! Read More

Lessons Learned, Lessons Shared

March 13, 2018

Experience, as we all know, is a great teacher. And those who have learned from experience are great teachers as well! With that in mind, we asked the elite athletic trainers on Cramer’s Advisory Committee to share valuable lessons learned from experience. Their wisdom is timely for students getting ready to graduate and equally as helpful to athletic trainers at any point in their career.

Chris Crawford, MS, ATC

It’s a tough profession when you get into it right off the bat. You’re exposed to a lot, you’re asked to do a lot, and some of it might be a little bit out of your comfort zone. But sticking with it, asking questions, and doing your best to work your way through the situations is what’s going to help you in the future. You’ll figure things out, you’ll say okay I’ve been through this before, this is what I did and this is how I can make it through. That perseverance is a big key.

Collin Francis, MS, ATC, LAT

Always be the hardest worker in the room. I grew up with athletic trainers who grinded for 30-plus years, not missing a day of work, not missing a game, and just working hard and being a tireless advocate for our profession. I’ve learned, especially this year, don’t sweat the small stuff. You have to be able to differentiate what’s important and what’s not. Sacrifice a little argument in the athletic training room for the greater good.

Jim Spooner ATC, LAT, CSCS

Do a really good job of using your mentors, people that have been around awhile. The profession is changing so much right now in terms of what we do, the educational component, what students are taught. They’re coming out with so much more information than when I graduated 15 years ago. But I don’t know if they have a good grasp into the profession’s past and some of the work that’s been done to get where we’re at. They need to get that education from the mentors or people who have been in the profession for a while to continue on those traditional components of athletic training.

Jose Fonseca MS, LAT, ATC

Open your ears before you open your mouth. Listen to what people are telling you. Observe and watch, before you act. I think it goes a long way. It’s sort of a lost art form these days. People want to talk a lot and they don’t want to listen, they don’t want to see what’s going on around them. Learn from your mentors.

Kelly Quinlin, ATC, CSCS, LAT

The advice I would give to new grads would be to know that your hard work will pay off. I remember telling myself that multiple times when I was younger: All this hard work, all this time, all this effort will pay off. And it did. Another thing is not to be complacent in what you know. Always want to learn more; always want to know what’s the newest rehab technique, treatment, modality that works really well.

Mike Harrison, ATC, LAT

You don’t learn everything in your curriculum program. It’s just not possible. Your first year out on the job by yourself is going to be a huge, huge learning curve. You’re going to get the most experience by being hands-on. So the biggest thing is to communicate. Communication is key. You’re going to have to learn to communicate with coaches, parents, and athletes, and you have to do it on their terms. But if you have a position on something, you need to be firm about it. It’s okay to agree to disagree and disagree to agree. You’ll work it out. But communication is probably, by far, the biggest thing in our industry.

Paul Silvestri, MS, LAT, ATC

Listen. Listen to the people that have been through and walked the path that you’re about to start on. Don’t think you have all the answers. The first thing the young ATCs need to learn is to be humble and check their ego at the door. I always tell our kids if you don’t have the passion for this profession, you need to get out now and figure out a new major because the hours that you work, and the demands that are put on you, and the stress of getting an athlete back on the field and dealing with coaches and parents and everything…it’s not for everybody. You’ve got to decide that early on, that you’re going to be passionate about it and love it.

Tandi Hawkey, MA, ATC

To new athletic trainers I would say address the life balance issue, and that you just need to have good boundaries when you start your position. Make clear expectations with the student athletes about their communication with you. Younger people these days have different feelings about when it’s appropriate to text and communicate with you, contacting you on social media, things like that. If you enter your position with clear expectations for your relationship with your student athletes, you’re going to be a lot better off because you can feel like you have that time away from your student athletes when they know that it’s not okay for them to contact you all hours of the day. Read More