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The First Aider

Your Kit's Not Complete Without Skin-Lube®!

March 13, 2018

Since its founding 100 years ago, Cramer has remained steadfast in its commitment to provide high quality, effective athletic training products. That legacy is something we take quite seriously…starting at the most basic level.

Take Skin-Lube, for example--Cramer’s tried-and-true lubricating ointment. Since creating the product more than 60 years ago, we’ve stayed loyal to the original formula for one very good reason: it works. Skin-Lube both treats and prevents, and is a versatile, basic essential that’s a must for every kit.

Skin-Lube’s reputation was built on its remarkable ability to lubricate the skin, reduce chafing, and prevent blisters, chafing and burns. Use it on the feet, hands, thighs, shoulders, chest and other areas of the body that experience high friction. This protective ointment is heavier, thicker, and has a higher melting point than petroleum jelly. Skin-Lube stays on the skin during heavy use and stands up to heat and sweat like nothing else, making it long lasting and effective.

Skin-Lube is known for its ability to prevent blisters, but you’ll also want to make it your go-to product when a blister is already there. The ointment forms a thick, protective shield that stays put under socks. Your athletes will be back in the game, without the irritating pain. They’ll forget they have a blister!

There are even more uses for Skin-Lube. Depend on this basic kit essential…

  • To prevent/reduce wind burn
  • As a long-wearing lip balm
  • To protect the skin from the rain
  • For a perfect accompaniment to Cramer’s Heel and Lace Pads
  • To keep the skin moist during cold, dry weather—especially hands and feet that are prone to cracking
  • As protection against humidity-induced rubbing
  • For an effective massage ointment

Skin-Lube has legions of fans. It’s the ideal product for football, soccer, hockey and basketball players, as well as runners and cyclists. It’s perfect for endurance events such as marathons, triathlons and ultra running. Swimmers love Skin-Lube because it stays on in the water, and it’s also a favorite among hikers.

"Cramer is a company that I truly trust,” says Kelly Quinlin, ATC, LAT, CSCS. The products they make have withstood the test of time, and even the new ones they're coming up with are terrific. There's just a gamut of products that Cramer provides that I need as an athletic trainer. If I don't have my kit with those supplies in it, I can't perform as an athletic trainer so those are very vital."

Cramer’s Skin-Lube contains petrolatum, zinc stearate, silicone, propylene glycol, diazolidinyl urea, methyl paraben, and propyl paraben. It’s available in a 2.75-ounce tube; one-pound or five-pound jar; or 25-pound bucket. The ointment goes on easily and stays on. Your kit’s not complete without Skin-Lube! Read More


March 13, 2018


What does the research say about the use of kinesiology tape? How can instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM) be incorporated into a treatment plan? And when should dry needling and cupping be considered as effective modalities? Phil Page, PhD, PT, ATC, CSCS, FACSM, and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Performance Health, and Sue Falsone, PT, MS, ATC, CSCS, COMT, RYT, share their expertise and candid thoughts on these modalities in this Q and A. Click here to read the Journal of Performance Health.

An Interview with Sue Falsone PT, MS, SCS, ATC, CSCS, COMT, RYT®

Below Phil Page, PhD, PT, ATC, CSCS, FACSM and Editor

in Chief of the Journal of Performance Health, discusses the specifics of different treatment plans in more detail with Sue Falsone.

Kinesiology Tape


We’ve been athletic trainers for a long time and tape is a big part of what we do as athletic trainers. Kinesiology tape is something I’ve been using for quite a while and I think it works really well for some people. What are some from your experiences with kinesiology tape and how do you use it in your practice?


Yes, I’ve used it for a very long time and I think over the years you adjust how you use certain tools. When it comes right down to it, the thing that I use kinesiology tape the most for is for pain relief. I’ve really gotten away from using it for other reasons because I feel like pain relief has been the most effective way for me to utilize kinesiology tape in my practice. But you know the research better than I do, what does the research say?


You’re exactly right. Kinesiology tape is a short-term pain reliever that, when it’s compared against minimal or no intervention, works. It’s not more effective than other traditional things we would use such as the modalities, manual therapy, or exercise. But it’s really best used for short-term pain relief for musculoskeletal pain. And you brought up a good point, which is there’s not a lot of re-search supporting the use of tape for things like improving performance or even reducing edema after an ankle sprain. Quite honestly, it’s been shown to not have an effect on how fast that edema is reduced in an acute ankle sprain. So, the question then becomes: is that something you want to spend your time and money on? Are there other things that are as effective or more effective for both time and money as well?


What about different things such as activating a muscle or decreasing the tone of a muscle? What does the research tell us about that?


I’m really glad you asked that because one of the things I’ve learned very recently is kinesiology tape gets a bad rap because people don’t think there is a lot of research about how the tape can activate muscles. However, there are over 400 published articles on kinesiology tape. According to the science, this whole argument of applying it in one direction versus another is absolutely false. I have tons of studies that have compared the direction of application on muscle activation and I can tell you, without a doubt, there is no difference on which way you apply it. You cannot facilitate or inhibit a muscle.



You know, Sue, I have been personally affected by certain treatments. I had tennis elbow for six months and a friend recommended instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization, or IASTM as it’s called. Within two treatments, my pain was gone and I have not felt any more problems with that tennis elbow. I thought to myself, “There’s something definitely going on here.” It’s an effective pain reliever and very robust in its effect. I actually looked into the research and there’s some basic science behind it. It’s still really murky and there are not any real outcomes to measure, other than case studies out there. I tend to use it. Athletes love it. I know athletic trainers have been doing it for a while. How are you using it in your practice?


I have used some form of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization for probably a decade. I find it to be extremely effective with those really inspectional tendinopathies, those areas of pain that people are having right as the tendon is coming off the bone. That bone tendon interface is really where I tend to have really, really good results with it. And I continue to use it in my practice. I feel that, as a clinician, the clinical practice always precedes the research literature, right?

Our clinical practice drives clinical questions, which then drives the research side. And so, the research is always going to be lagging behind clinical practice. That doesn’t mean I don’t do things, because if I waited for research to tell me what to do, I might not have any therapeutic intervention to perform. And so, there’s so much information, whether it’s histological, or circulatory, or physiological, or even pain management type things that I think, clinically, those of us who use the modality “know” it works. And I’ll say that in quotes. We know it works, we’ve seen it work. We’ve had stories like you had, and so we continue to utilize it. And we just need to continue to search for answers as far as why is it working and how does it work. Just because we don’t know how it works or why it works doesn’t mean it doesn’t work.


That’s right. Another great thing about IASTM, as we both know, is that it takes care of your hands. When we’re doing a lot of manual work with our patients, those instruments really do help us to do more during the day than we could without them.


Absolutely, and the longer I practice, the more I need hand-saving techniques. So, yes, instrument-assisted tools definitely help save our hands. And even if that’s the only reason to use them, I think it is a very valid one.

Dry Needling and Cupping


Another new great modality that’s out there that I’m seeing a lot of is dry needling. I’m really excited to hear your story of it. I know you teach it regularly with your courses and it’s something that I’ve had done to myself. My wife is certified in dry needling and I think that there are some benefits, too. Tell me a little bit about how you came about to start with dry needling and what are the benefits. What can you tell me about it?


I started using dry needling probably around 2008-2009. I studied and took many different classes over the course of several years. I had the opportunity to create an education company last summer. Now I really teach about dry needling and how I utilize it within my clinical practice, both as an athletic trainer and as a physical therapist. As I said, I’ve had some really, really great results with it. It’s been one of those things that definitely has been practice-changing for me. We don’t exactly know how it works or why it works, but we certainly know that it can work. And I think that it is important to make the distinction between dry needling and acupuncture because everybody asks that question.

Acupuncture, when you look at the root words, “Acu” is sharp and “puncture” is to puncture, so are we utilizing to sharp object to puncture the skin? Yes, we are. That is where traditional Chinese acupuncture comes from, rooted in traditional Chinese medicine. There are so many different offshoots and specialties of traditional Chinese medicine and traditional Chinese acupuncture. Then there’s Western medical acupuncture with even more subcategories. Dry needling is one of those. I’m

a huge advocate that the tool does not define the professional. Each profession, whether you are an athletic trainer, or a chiropractor, or physical therapist, or an acupuncturist, has overlapping skills. We all use manual therapy. We utilize exercise and taping. And a fine filiform needle is no different; it’s just a tool that overlaps multiple health care professions. And we use it in very specific ways based on our education. Just because

I use a fine filiform needle does not make me an acupuncturist; just like when I utilize manipulation, I don’t magically become a chiropractor either. I am not defined by the tools that I use.


One of the things that I think a lot of younger therapists don’t know is that dry needling was popular for many years in the 70s with Dr. Travell, remember? The myofascial pain, that’s the way Dr. Travell treated a lot of trigger points. They’ve treated trigger points medically for years and years with really great success. So, I know that it’s a great modality that we can really use in our clinics, and I appreciate all you’re doing to make it safe and have other people actually apply it. How does that fit within the realm of the athletic trainer? I know that it’s mostly done by the physical therapist today. Where does this fit within the scope of athletic training?


Athletic trainers are healthcare professionals and they function under the guidance of a physician. Every state has different laws, and we have to follow the different state licensure laws. I would just encourage the athletic trainer to look at their state laws and see if this is something that they are able to perform or not. Have that discussion with the supervising physician to see if this is something that you can incorporate

into your practice.


Right. Another thing you do that again unique but now is popular is cupping, right? You’ve been doing cupping for years, and I was in China many years ago and I saw the traditional way of doing cupping. But after the Olympics last year, I was intrigued by it, then all of the sudden it explodes. Tell me a little bit about the role, what cupping does. What’s its role in your overall treatments?


Cupping is an interesting soft tissue modality because everything we have, whether you’re sticking your thumb in someone or using a massage stick or a foam roller, everything is compressive to the tissue. And so, for the first time we really have a distraction in the tissue by utilizing negative pressure. And the cup, it lifts the tissue up and it causes a decompression of the tissue. Now there is compression under the rim and I think that compression to decompression interface is very, very interesting. So, for the first time, we have the ability to decompress tissue. And we don’t exactly know how that is good, bad, or indifferent, or if it’s better than compression in and of itself. But I think, in general, the body likes periodization. We don’t like to eat the same thing every single day. We don’t do the same exact workout every single day. The body adapts to those things.

I think if we purely look at cupping as a way to periodize our soft tissue work, that alone is interesting to me. Let alone, what does decompression do the tissue? What are the circulatory changes? I think there are a lot of other interesting things going on there. But we know, in general, the body does adapt to the same stimulus day in and day out. And yet, we’ll have our athletes grab a foam roller and they’ll foam roll when they come in to the athletic training room, when they leave on an off day, before a workout, after a workout. I mean I can way overprescribe foam rolling. I think cupping gives us an alternative. Again, exactly how that works, I’m not sure, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. Just because I can’t explain it doesn’t mean I don’t have good results with it. Read More

FROM THE ARCHIVES From the March 1, 1957 issue of The First Aider

March 13, 2018

Excerpts from “Cross Country”

By Bill Easton

Cross Country and Track Coach, University of Kansas

Editor’s Note: Here are some excerpts from Bill’s eleven-page article on Cross Country. This article is distributed by him to all prospective track athletes. It contains some prime material – suggestions that will fit into any athletic program in any sport.

“For the first two or three weeks of your work, job – over distance in gym shoes or rubber soled warmups, with a change in pace, and walking. CAUTION – DO NO SPRINT WORK WHATSOEVER. Early sprinting is the reason for so many shin splints.

Daily supervised workouts, if only for a short period, means a constant physical build up toward a better performance. In overdistance running a boy learns relaxation, stride, pace, proper breathing and the finesse that makes for a good track man. Speedwork adds the “finishing” touch.

“Eating between meals is one of America’s worst habits. A good athlete, in training, will limit himself to eating only at meal time. If hungry at bedtime, eat fresh fruit – grapes, oranges, apples, dates.

“Fatigue is of two kinds, mental and physical. Never fall into a set stride and stay there. This is a rut and leads to monotony with mental fatigue. Get out by sprinting out.

“Increase in the length of stride near the finish line is generally a sign of fatigue. It starts with long steps and becomes a lumbering, awkward gait.

Never fall on the ground at the finish of a race. It indicates either a showoff or a boy who is not taking care of himself, hence, is not in condition.

“Training is a matter of self-discipline. The boy who really wants to be a fine cross country and track man must train for himself. It takes a man to be a good athlete.

A Training Hint

…for the student trainer

Occasionally, you will find an athlete with feet that seem to be habitually cold and clammy. They have a slimy film that feels like cold sweat. They feel greasy to the touch.

It would be proper for you to assume that the athlete is troubled with improper circulation through the low-back and hips.

We would immediately suggest daily stretching exercises for this low-back area. We would also use massage and the Cramergesic Pack. Read More

Give it up for the University of Cincinnati ATEP: Recipient of the 2017 Bill Cramer Award

November 6, 2017

Congratulations to the Athletic Training Education Program of the University of Cincinnati--the 2017 winner of the Bill Cramer Professional Development Award, created following the death of Bill Cramer in 2007 to honor his passion and enthusiasm for athletic training education. The annual $2,000.00 prize helps cover expenses for students attending local, regional, and national professional development programs.

Jeromy M. Alt, ATC, 
Athletic Training Clinical Coordinator at the University of Cincinnati, wrote the letter of application for the award. He notes, “Having the opportunity to have known Mr. Cramer, I believe the commitment to the profession and to service exhibited by our students truly represents his values and dedication.”

Cincinnati currently has 49 students with a 3.3 cumulative university GPA in its program. Many have received scholarships and grants, and collectively they have completed more than 33,000 clinical hours. “Over the past year the students in our program have worked very hard to balance their commitment to the program, their clinical requirements, and professional and community service,” Jeromy says in his letter. Nearly all of the athletic training students participate in professional and community service activities, giving their time to organizations including Ronald McDonald house, Relay for Life, a local food pantry, the Honor Run Half Marathon, and the Crosstown Concussion Crew that provides concussion education to local high schools.

Jeromy writes, “We encourage our students to be active professionally and all of them are members of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association and Greater Cincinnati Athletic Trainers’ Association. Not only do the students participate, they also take leadership roles when possible. The leadership positions held are REHABCATS officers within the University, Ohio Athletic Trainers’ Association student representative, and Greater Cincinnati Athletic Trainers’ Association student representative. Collectively, REHABCATS won the GCATA’s NATA Month Challenge for promoting the profession.”

Last year, the program’s 13 seniors studied for the BOC exam while working 30-40 hours per week at internships. In February, they all passed the BOC exam on the first attempt. Graduates of the University of Cincinnati’s ATEP are pursuing a variety of paths including attending graduate school; working in high schools, colleges, and professional sports; and continuing their allied health education to combine with the BOC credential.

All students in this program are encouraged to attend professional development symposiums and conferences, and Jeromy says that these opportunities have led to many great relationships, volunteer opportunities, internships, and employment over the years. “We simply provide the opportunities but the students are the ones to do the work and make the connections,” he says. “Most hold part-time jobs to help pay for their education and perform fundraising activities to support their attendance at professional meetings. With this award, more students will have the opportunity to grow professionally through attendance at meetings and events.”

All of us at Cramer send our heartfelt congratulations to Jeromy and the entire faculty, staff and students of the University of Cincinnati’s athletic training program! Read More

Athletic Trainer Spotlight: Joe Davies, ATC

November 6, 2017

Growing up in Westfield, N.Y., Joe Davies was influenced by his father, brother, and uncle, who were committed to volunteer fire service. Joe got involved with this vitally important community service at age 14 through a junior explorers program, and soon realized he wanted to be a doctor or pursue some other healthcare career.

A few years later, Joe learned about the profession of athletic training because his best friend’s sister was an athletic training major at State University of New York (SUNY) in Cortland, N.Y. He recalls, “The career appealed to me because athletic trainers seemed to do a little bit of everything. Then a year or two later, I injured my knee and went through rehab. They got me back to the activities of daily living, but I couldn’t kick a soccer ball or jump really well. I had decided I wanted to be an athletic trainer and was taking a personal health and fitness class that my high school offered. As part of that class, I created a conditioning plan that got my knee back to normal.”

Joe graduated from high school in 1999 and was accepted to SUNY Cortland to study athletic training, adding health education as a second major during his sophomore year. He volunteered for their first responders' program after arriving on campus and soon had his EMT certification. Joe moved up through the ranks of that organization, and by his senior year assumed the role of Chief.

After graduating, Joe decided to return to SUNY Cortland to get a master’s degree in health education. While in grad school, he worked as the principal athletic trainer for the U.S. Women’s Handball team, a rewarding position that provided opportunities to travel to Brazil, Europe, and Canada. Going into his third year with the handball team, Joe accepted a job teaching health and doing part-time athletic training at a local high school, Homer Senior High. “That was a busy year,” Joe says, “but after that, the handball team relocated to Georgia. I could have moved with them, but wanted to stay in Cortland to finish my masters and continue working at Homer.”

Joe stayed at the high school for seven years. As part of his health education program there, he created a one-semester class, Introduction to Sports Medicine, which he taught for three years. During his last year at the high school, he was on the sideline of a football game, with an opposing team that didn’t have an athletic trainer. During the third quarter, one of their players was hurt. Joe ran to his side and immediately recognized the severity of the injury. He rode in the ambulance with the student, who died of a head injury shortly after arriving at the hospital. “It was a very traumatic experience,” Joe says. “Shortly after standing next to a father who had just lost his son, I became a father. I was thrown out of balance, and by the end of that school year I needed to make a change for my well-being.”

After taking eight months off, Joe was offered an opportunity to work as for Onsite Innovations based in Mt. Laurel, N.J. The company provides onsite occupational health care, case management, wellness and ergonomics services, and Joe was hired to work as a subcontractor for a large food manufacturer. Five years later, the industrial setting has proven to be a great fit for Joe. “I’ve been challenged in ways I couldn’t have imagined,” he says. “I enjoy being out on the floor working with and getting to know employees. I handle wellness programming and treat occupational and non-occupational issues. It’s more of a clinical setting, but if an employee gets hurt I’m right there on the sidelines, so to speak. Sometimes I can identify a potential hazard and suggest a change before anyone gets hurt. It feels great when employees say they’re feeling better or getting more done.

“Athletic training is all about building relationships and trust, whether it’s on the field or on the floor,” Joe continues. “In football, we know how linemen position themselves and how they block and tackle, so we understand what they experience. In an industrial setting, we work right alongside the employees and learn about their jobs--what they do, what hazards they face. I might recommend a change in their grip or posture; identify a tool as simple as a stepstool that will help them reach, or suggest a hoist and trolley system to help with a lift. It’s a wonderful collaboration.”

Joe’s job also challenges him to understand the business side of things, and to search for solutions that provide a return on investment. “When on-site athletic trainers partner with a client’s safety teams,” he says, “we empower each other to create a better work environment for the employees. The result is typically a 30 to 40 percent drop in work-related injuries and a 30 to 70 percent decrease in workers comp costs the first year of the program.”

During his years with Onsight Innovations, Joe has received opportunities to grow along with the company. He was promoted to a management position after eight months, and promoted to director of athletic training services this past April.

One of the best aspects of his job, Joe says, is that the workweek structure allows him to spend time with his wife and boys, ages three and six. “Some of my managers and I were recently talking about how much we love working in the industrial setting. It is very fulfilling and affords us a good work-life balance. This job may not be for everyone, but it sure is a great fit for me.” Read More

Meet Hannah Goodwin: 2017 Recipient of the Jack Cramer Scholarship

November 6, 2017

Congratulations to Hannah Goodwin of Warrior, Alabama, the 2017 recipient of the Jack Cramer Scholarship. The $2,000.00 scholarship was established in 2006 by Cramer Products to honor the memory of Jack Cramer, who believed in mentoring high school students interested in the profession of athletic training. Jack, son of company co-founder Frank Cramer, died in 2004 at the age of 86. The scholarship is awarded to a graduating high school senior planning to become an athletic trainer and work in a high school setting.

Hannah graduated this past May from Mortimer Jordan High School, and is now attending the University of Southern Mississippi. She is excited about one day helping athletes perform their best, working as an athletic trainer at a high school.

Scholarship applicants submit an essay, and here is an excerpt from Hannah’s:

I did not choose athletic training as much athletic training chose me. I was born with Aortic Valve Stenosis. I had enjoyed a normal childhood with sports activities like everyone else. I was in sixth grade when I was told by my cardiologist that soccer and cheer would no longer be an option for me. I was devastated to never touch the soccer field again or learn a cheerleading routine. My world with sports was over, or so I thought. It just so happened that the “try outs” for athletic training were going on at my middle school and my mom thought that would be a great idea. I would still be involved with sports but in a new and different way and that is how athletic training became a part of my life. I did not realize at the time, that this would become my passion and career choice.

Education is the most important aspect of this career, but hands on experience is where you truly learn to be an athletic trainer. This is the best way to experience and learn any craft in life. There is nothing like being on the field when an injury has occurred and you are the first on the scene, your adrenaline is going and you know you are there to help. I personally have and will thrive in these situations. To take an athlete from injury, to rehabilitation, to recovery and hold that in my hands is what being an athletic trainer is all about. I hope to learn as much as possible and grow as a person and as an athletic trainer with all this knowledge and make a difference in the lives of athletes. I know the choice I have made and the sacrifices that will come with this responsibility and I know this is what I was always meant to do.

In the application, Hannah was asked to describe her vision for her future athletic training program. Here is an excerpt from her response:

If my future in athletic training concludes at the high school level, I hope to have a program like the one I have experienced for the last six years. I believe that I have belonged to one of the best high school programs out there. I have had my Emergency Medical Responder certification since I was a freshman and renewed every year. I am required to complete an application, have and maintain a 3.5 GPA, score 90 or above on medical terminology exam and work 30 plus hours a week. I feel a sense of accomplishment from the program I have been involved in especially when my brother, who is playing baseball at a D1 program, says he misses his high school athletic trainers. That is when you know you have been involved in a great program that impacted an athlete’s life. I hope to one day run that kind of program and make a difference in a young person’s life.

Christopher King, ATC, is head athletic trainer at Mortimer Jordan High School. In his letter recommending Hannah for the scholarship, Chris writes, “The dependability to always be on time, to show up early, and to finish the job before going home is a mark of a strong future. But Hannah goes a step further by preparing for the things that are not seen and for those things that might come up. She is always ready when she is on the job and will make an outstanding athletic trainer.”

Everyone at Cramer is so proud of all that you have already accomplished, Hannah! Best of luck as you continue on your journey to a career in athletic training. Read More

Cramer’s Performance Short: Wearable sports medicine equipment

November 6, 2017

Cramer’s new Performance Short is a perfect garment for athletes who want enhanced core support and muscle performance during training and competition. The body of the short is made of 78 percent nylon and 22 percent spandex, and the elastic is 90 percent polyester and 10 percent spandex.

The short’s elastic cross band and the lightweight fabric promote endurance and mobility. When the Performance Short was first introduced, Michael Chan, ATC, head athletic trainer at Wayne State University, asked his players to try it out during football season. The short was a hit, Mike says. “We had 12 pairs, and the guys were asking me for them all the time. So I bought them for the entire team the next season, and continue to use them. This is our preferred performance-type short for our athletes.”

Mike says some of his athletes had previously worn another brand, and found the Performance Short to be comparable in every way. He adds, “The short provides support in the hip region where it’s needed most, and serves as a prophylactic type of product, similar to the way an ankle brace provides stability to an ankle. It’s comfortable, especially after the first wash when it softens a bit. Our guys wear them when they’re working out, lifting, and practicing—they wear them all the time, whenever they’re active.”

The Performance Short comes in black and white, and with five sizes (small, medium, large, extra large, and double XL), you’ll find the right fit for waist circumferences from 26” – 44”.

“From an equipment standpoint,” Mike says, “I see the Performance Short as sports medicine equipment rather than an athletic garment like shoulder pads or pants. The shorts are a preventive measure to keep athletes healthy. For example, when an athlete is working his way back to activity following a hamstring or hip flexor injury, the short’s compression retains heat, helping the muscle stay warm throughout activity.”

What can Cramer’s Performance Short do for your athletes? Check it out here! Read More

FROM THE ARCHIVES From the October, 1953 issue of The First Aider

November 6, 2017


So-called staleness may come from a mental complex – a lack of being able to concentrate 100% on the game. It could be trouble at home or with the girlfriend, or worry over studies, or squad friction.

Staleness may come from other causes – overwork, bad teeth, a lack of sleep, irregular eating habits, over-confidence or an inferiority complex, or injury – all resulting in a loss of enthusiasm.

If an entire squad seems stale it very likely comes from overwork or a lack of variety in practice – a monotony of repetition, which dulls the mental processes.

Quite often youngsters take offense at some comment or criticism regarding their play. Psychologically, they build up a complex, which takes a part of their time and energy. In college they gripe to the athletic trainer and it’s his job to placate them. In high school they just continue to stew.

Staleness has become one of those intangibles of sports. It is experienced in tennis and golf – without any obvious reason. Even coaches suffer with it on occasion – especially when they lay awake nights dreaming up plays.

It is unquestionably contagious, and the alert coach is constantly on the lookout for it and tries hard to combat it, usually by eliminating routine and monotony for a few days.


Without exercise muscles become flabby and bulky. They do not hold their shape.

Exercised muscles cling closer to the bone structure and are more compact.

With exercise, nerves and blood vessels function with daily increased tone to build and to replace burned up tissues.

With exercise, the tendons of the muscles increase their efficiency and their origins and insertions build resistance to pulls and strains.

With exercise, the ligaments and capsules of the joints grow stronger, more resistant, less brittle, better able to cope with added daily work.

With proper daily defense against changing weather conditions, consistent exercise builds a machine of championship proportions.


Eddie Wojecki, head trainer, Rice Institute, when lecturing at the Kansas Coaching School, said:

“You, as a high school coach, must decide whether a player is in poor condition or has poor health.

“Bad teeth, an asthmatic condition, improper elimination, poorly fitted equipment, dissipation in eating and sleeping – any one or all of these may cause a deterioration of physical condition.

A weight chart, properly kept from day to day, will single out these cases. Improperly kept up, it is a waste of time.”

Read More

Athletic Trainer Profile NANCY BURKE, ATC: ‘I’ve had an amazing career!’

August 25, 2017

Congratulations to Nancy Burke, MS, LAT, ATC, on her retirement! Her last day of work as athletic trainer with the Fairfax County Police Department in Fairfax, Virginia, was Aug. 11. Nancy blazed several trails during her athletic training career, including the one that brought athletic training to local law enforcement. And by the way, this wasn’t Nancy’s first retirement…and it looks like it won't be her last.

Nancy got her first exposure to athletic training while attending James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. She explains, “I was playing field hockey and there was an injury. Many in my family have medical careers, and I thought someone should be able to fix these things. The university was growing at the time, and in 1969 – 1970 they offered a class in athletic injuries. It was only open to men getting certified to coach. Women couldn’t take the classes. Then a wonderful man, Ramey Martin, started teaching at the college. He had been a student athletic trainer and was teaching a graduate level course for coaches in the area to get information on treating injuries. I couldn’t get credit for it, but he let me audit it.”

Nancy was immediately intrigued by athletic training, and soon discovered Cramer’s The First Aider newsletter. “In the newsletter, Cramer advertised their $5 home study kit that included something like a couple rolls of tape, a bottle of Iso-Quin salt tablets, and a book of instructions. There are a bunch of us ‘experienced’ athletic trainers who got started in the profession with this $5 box from Cramer. I ordered it and over the summer I practiced taping on all of my family members. It had me hooked. I went back to school and some of the ladies’ coaches let me be the student athletic trainer for their teams, which mostly consisted of wrapping, bandaging, and taping.”

At the same time, a male student interested in athletic training had similar responsibilities for the men’s soccer and basketball (no football then) teams. “The college built an athlete training facility, and we each had a key,” Nancy recalls. “Things were certainly different back then! There was no head athletic trainer-- just Mike and myself, the physicians, and a few students we mentored. I learned everything I could from the team physician while helping him take care of athletes. I also spent hours in the stacks at the libraries and talking to other doctors and university health professionals, soaking up all the knowledge I could. I joined the NATA and was the first female member of District 3.”

Nancy received her undergraduate degree in 1973 and took a high school teaching position. “I missed athletic training, though,” she says, “and decided to take the certification exam. I passed--though I’m not sure how! I was among the first 20 women to become certified. For me, it wasn’t a passion to be certified as a woman—I just really wanted to learn everything I could. The path was there, and there were no limits that I could see.”

She continues, “Since I had the certification first, I realized I didn’t know anything about managing a program and should get a master’s degree somewhere that did!” Nancy was accepted at Eastern Kentucky University, and after graduating in 1976 she accepted a position as a teacher and athletic trainer at South Lakes High School in Reston, Virginia.

Nancy was heavily involved in the early growth of the Fairfax County athletic training program along with Larry Nottingham, ATC. “We spoke to parent groups, introduced coaches and athletic directors to athletic training coverage for playoff events, and established early protocols for safety.” Over time, the county added more athletic trainers and now there are two at each high school. During those same years she became the chair of the U.S. Women’s Lacrosse Association’s Safety Committee, and was integral in the design and instrumentation of eyewear for women’s Lacrosse. “I was sitting with a manufacturer and explained what could be done to make the eyewear better,” she says. “I drew it on a napkin, he built it, and I supervised testing with varying ball speeds, impact, etc., with five Division I NCAA women’s teams.” As chair of the U.S. Lacrosse Association Safety Committee, Nancy encouraged efforts to mandate protective eyewear and to increase helmet safety standards.

Nancy had been with South Lakes for 29 years when she decided to retire in 2005. “The time was right in many ways to say, ‘Okay, it’s time to move on,’” she reminisces. The school’s sports medicine facility is named in her honor.

The next chapter of Nancy’s career developed from connections made while working at the high school. “There were always police officers present during high school games, and they saw what I did for the student athletes,” Nancy explains. “They would approach me with a hurt ankle or knee, and ask for my treatment recommendations, though I explained that I couldn’t treat them. Then one day I received a call from the station. Someone had an injury and couldn’t get in to see a physician for two weeks, and they wondered if I could help. I looked at their physician list, called one of the docs, and got the officer an appointment for the next day. His ankle was severely injured and the doctor wanted him to start rehab the next day—but the lieutenant called and said they couldn’t get him into rehab for a few weeks! I was able to get him started right away…and to think that otherwise, he might have gone four weeks without appropriate care.”

Nancy did some research and couldn’t find anything about athletic training in a local police department setting—but that didn’t stop her from writing a letter to the commander of the police department. “I gave a background of the athletic training skill set, and said I thought that an athletic trainer could save the department a minimum of 10 percent in medical costs annually. He called me about three days later and wanted to meet for lunch. By then I had more information and statistics, and he had done some research on me as well. We talked for over two hours. It was spring of 2005, and I had already announced that I’d be retiring in October. He called me back around the first of August and asked if I’d be willing to try a small three-month pilot program at the Criminal Justice Academy once I retired from the school district. I liked the idea of starting small to iron out the bugs, and I planned to work 10 hours a week for those three months. But after about a month, a recruit had a major injury. I saved the county $25,000.00 by handling the rehab, the recruit successfully completed the Academy.”

The pilot program was soon expanded to include three work sites. Nancy was more than willing but told them she needed more equipment. “I basically was working with ice and bandages!” she says. As a short-term solution, Nancy called pal Bubba Tyer, head of sports medicine for the Washington Redskins (who has since retired). “Bubba loaned me some equipment for a few months, and that’s when the program really took off,” she says.

At the end of the three-month pilot period, Nancy was offered a 20-hour-a-week part-time job. By the following August, they offered her a full-time position, providing care to the entire police force of about 1800 which included officers and civilian employees. “I went into this thinking it would be a part-time job that could save the department at least 10 percent,” Nancy says. “Ultimately I saved them more than 20 percent, and if you include the savings in overtime, it was 40 percent. In the Criminal Justice Academy, the savings actually reached 90 percent because the recruits were no longer going to the ER for everything, and there was on-site rehab. I provided intervention and preventive care that kept people from collapsing from heat, for example, by reminding them to wear a hat and stay hydrated. Other interventions included blood pressure awareness and concussion management. The money saved meant they could hire more people and buy more equipment the force needed. And most importantly, care from an athletic trainer keeps our officers on the streets. When they come in for care in uniform, there’s often something I can do right on the spot and send them back out—just as we send players back onto the field or court.”

In 2009, Nancy formed the Public Safety Athletic Trainers’ Society, and she is nationally known as the definitive expert in this area. After 12 years with the Fairfax County Police Department, though, Nancy felt the time was right to retire—for the second time. “I’ve had an amazing career, and have been so blessed. A great number of athletic trainers have contributed to my career in so many ways they may not realize. I mirror their work and passion.”

When entering a new environment, Nancy says, it’s not always understood what athletic trainers can do. “But once we show them, the support is there,” she says. “Since launching the program in Fairfax County, other municipalities have hired athletic trainers including Denver, Seattle, and San Antonio. The time is right because it’s proven that we can significantly cut costs. I’m getting requests to help other cities set up programs…so now I’m starting another career as a consultant!"

All of us at Cramer Products thank you for your vast contributions to the athletic training profession, Nancy! We wish you the very best as you begin an exciting new chapter of your life.

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FROM THE ARCHIVES From the September 1, 1955 issue of The First Aider

August 25, 2017

You Need Help, Coach

Part of your job, as a high school coach, is the proper care and treatment of the athletic injuries incurred by your athletes. In accepting the job of coaching sports you automatically accept the responsibility of prompt injury care for your boys.

Oftentimes during practice, a perplexing problem arises. “Should I continue to coach the squad or personally administer to an injured player?” A player injured on the field requires your immediate attention. Your first act is to check the seriousness of the injury. In most cases, injury care is routine. With a sprained ankle, for example, the standard procedure is to wrap the ankle with an elastic bandage, apply cold packs, and X-ray. If you have properly instructed a student trainer, he can carry out this procedure and get the boy safely to the doctor for an X-ray.

The student trainer can be vital to your success. You can concentrate on coaching, knowing that your instructions on injury care are being carried out.

A Keystone To A Successful Season

Your training room can become the basic foundation of your athletic program. It can be a keystone above which you build a successful athletic season because it is headquarters for prevention and injury care.

This training room must be equipped with those products necessary to treat or prevent injury. It would be suicidal to plan otherwise. Read More

Your training room should be the cleanest, neatest place in town. Your athletes should be educated to help keep it that way. Make cleanliness a part of your program.