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The First Aider

Stretch of the Week: Hip Stretch

August 28, 2015


Your hips are a more crucial part of your wellbeing than you might think. If your hips are tight,

other parts of your body have to overcompensate to allow you to walk properly. Having tight

hips can also cause poor posture and a misalignment of your back. If you sit at a desk all day,

your hips are going to need extra attention. Here’s a stretch you can do before and after work

to loosen those hips:

Kneel down. Put one foot in front of you so your hip and knee are at a 90° angle. Keep

your opposite knee planted firmly on the ground. Place your hand on the hip attached

to whichever leg is in front of you. Push forward so that hip is in front of the knee

resting on the ground. Keep your chest up and don’t bend forward at the hips. Repeat

on the other side. Read More

Stretch of the Week: Neck Stretch

August 13, 2015


Neck pain and stiffness can affect every movement you make. There’s something about a stiff or tight neck that just throws your whole body off. Whether you slept funny or consistently have problems with your neck tightening up, this stretch will help to loosen up and increase circulation in your neck muscles. Relax your shoulders and gently tilt your neck to one side. Slowly nod your head back and forth. You should feel a stretch in your neck. For an extra stretch, skip the nodding and use your hand to gently pull your head toward your shoulder.

*Stop immediately if you experience pain while stretching. The neck is a delicate part of the body and easily can be further injured if stretched too vigorously.* Read More

Athletic Trainer Profile: Sandy Krum, ATC

August 8, 2015

It goes without saying that every athletic trainer hopes to work with a winning team. But for the past eight years, Sandy Krum, ATC, has helped one loser after another—more than 300 of them—and he couldn’t be more delighted.

“In 2007,” Sandy explains, “I was offered the opportunity to be the head athletic trainer and set medic for NBC’s hit series, The Biggest Loser. I’d been with the Cubs for three years and wondered how I would go from working with the best athletes to treating the obese, but I was up to the challenge and headed to L.A.”

Athletic trainer for a TV show was definitely not a role Sandy could have predicted when he fell in love with athletic training at age 11. “I was the visiting club bat boy at Wrigley Field and witnessed every athletic trainer for the National League who came to the stadium. I observed the entire process of getting players ready for the game and treating them during the game, and knew this is what I wanted to do,” he says.

Sandy can’t say enough about how much he loved attending Cramer Camps during high school in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. Like many athletic trainers of certain generations, he still values the education and experience the camps offered. He graduated from high school in 1982, and then attended Ohio University. “Right out of college,” he says, “Larry Starr hired me to work for the Cincinnati Reds in the summer of 1986. I definitely started at the bottom. Every day I drove the van and picked up the players; taped, stretched and iced them, then drove them home.”

In 1990, Sandy went to work for the Pittsburgh Pirates’ A team in Salem, Va., under Kent Biggerstaff. He worked his way up the Pirates organization and was named Minor League Athletic Trainer of the Year along the way in 1994 and 1998. After 10 years with the Pirates, Sandy took the position of assistant athletic trainer for four years with his beloved Chicago Cubs, working with David Tumbas.

All of his experience leading up to The Biggest Loser provided Sandy with an approach that worked well with those selected to compete on the weight loss show. “I treated them as athletes,” he says. “I showed them that they are athletes, and helped each of them find their ‘inner athlete.’ This philosophy worked well throughout my 11 seasons with the show, and I’m proud to say that I have strong fans among many of the former contestants. They trusted my opinion and could tell I genuinely wanted to help them and still do to this day. I regularly email, talk with, and Skype with quite a few of them, and am happy to be there to support them.”

According to Sandy, The Biggest Loser concept has been adopted by television stations in 90 countries on six continents, and many of them follow the medical protocol he established and wrote. “It’s important to have a specific plan when helping very obese people lose weight,” he explains. “Each contestant must be supported by a team composed of a physician, nutritionist, psychiatrist or psychologist, and athletic trainer. Lab tests are critically important. Many participants arrive with a shopping bag full of medication and we have to understand when they can get off of them and how to do that safely. We often deal with sleep apnea and dehydration. Calorie intake and exercise are a big part of it, of course, but there’s so much more. The psychological and emotional aspects of being overweight, and learning to value one’s self, need more attention than almost anything.” Sandy is writing a book about getting on the road to health, based on his knowledge and experiences from the show.

Another goal of Sandy’s is to increase the number of student athletes that have access to care from an athletic trainer. “One-third of schools in the U.S. don’t use athletic trainers. So if one of these children is injured, it’s up to his or her parents to see what’s going on with their child and determine how to treat them and whether or not they should return to play. Every athlete at any age deserves the care of an athletic trainer, and I’m doing all I can to get the word out about this.”

Being a mentor to young athletic trainers is another passion Sandy has. “I encourage every experienced athletic trainer to share their experience and love of our profession with young people new to the field, or who are considering this career. We all have to give back and provide direction and mentorship to the athletic trainers who will be taking our places. I wouldn’t trade this career for anything, and wouldn’t be where I am today without the many mentors who guided me. There’s nothing more rewarding than playing that role in the lives of younger professionals.”

Learn more about Sandy by visiting his website, www.sandykrum.com.

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Macauly Downing: Recipient of the 2015 Jack Cramer Scholarship

August 7, 2015

Congratulations to Macauly Downing of Ft. Lewis, WA, the 2015 recipient of the Jack Cramer Scholarship. The $2,000 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.

In his application for the scholarship, Mac wrote that he dislocated his elbow a week before the first football game in his senior year, and listened in disbelief as the doctor told him he’d be out the entire season. “My life has always been fueled by progress, and at that point the fuel pumps drained dry,” Mac said in the essay. “Parked in my permanent residence on the sideline, I got a front row seat to the marvelous work of athletic trainers. I was shown that even though I couldn’t make any personal progress, there were always those who required help making progress of their own. I understood that athletic training was more than just a taped ankle or bag of ice, but a sanctuary for healthy potential and a path for positive progression. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I was made to be an athletic trainer.”

The essay continues, “High school sets foundations that determine the rest of a person’s life. I want to be a part of that foundation not only through the treatment of injuries, but as a role model and a mentor. Through my experiences as a student athletic trainer, I have observed the amazing diversity and potential that fills the high school training room every day. I have the privilege of being able to care for injuries and inspire progress—to look back with an athlete and visualize development that extends much further than the rehabilitation of an injury. I now comprehend that this development has a profound effect upon the foundations of life; it is found in memories, scars, in enlightening senior seasons and most importantly, in triumphant progress.

“As an athletic trainer one of the most important attributes that I can have in relation to being a health care provider is the ability to communicate—communication not just with the athlete, but with coaches, parents, doctors and even counselors. I have learned that in life, “the conversation is the relationship,” making my ability to understand and respond to someone, whether it’s about an injury or family problem, exceedingly imperative. This will assist me in constructing relationships with those around me through conversations that reflect my responsibility as a health care provider.

“To ensure I’m absolutely ready for the high school setting I have to remember I’m not going to be absolutely ready for everything. With that knowledge, I can keep an open and durable mind amidst the trauma, mind-boggling perplexities, and long hours associated with athletic training. In addition, I plan to attend an accredited four-year university that interacts with the high schools in the neighboring area. From there, I’ll start learning about what it truly means to be a part of a foundation in the lives of those who have the endless potential to do amazing things. I’ll be living the dream.”

Heather Brown, an athletic trainer at Lakes High School, sponsored Mac’s application, writing, “In the past Macauly has expressed his desire to work with athletes, but it wasn’t until earlier this year that he decided that this is what he wanted to do. He suffered a season ending injury during a football jamboree. Instead of letting it get the best of him, he came to me and asked me to teach him as much as I can. He dedicated the new found free time to learning whatever he could to help his fellow teammates, from learning how to manage blood injuries to assisting me with an assessment and treatment. He has even gone as far as buying a college level textbook and studying it in his spare time.”

Heather continued in her letter of recommendation, “Macauly is an amazing individual. He shows his dedication to learning by earning top grades in his class. His passion for knowledge and athletic training is beyond what I have ever seen in any other individual. As an athlete, he is a leader on and off the field, as well as a leader in the classroom. He demonstrates commitment to improving his skills on a daily basis.”

All of those skills, talents and abilities will serve Mac well as a student at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. When asked what he’s most looking forward to as he prepares to leave home and attend college, Mac said, “I’m most excited about the athletic training program! I love sports medicine and anything related to it. The freedom will be nice, but that will translate into more time that I can spend in the training room.”

Mac, you’ve impressed all of us at Cramer, and we are pleased to contribute to your athletic training education. With your ambition and desire to learn and excel, we know you will have a rewarding and successful career. Congratulations!

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Louisiana State’s ATEP Selected As Cramer’s 2015 Professional Development Award Recipient

August 6, 2015

Congratulations to the Athletic Training Education Program of Louisiana State University—the 2015 winner of the Bill Cramer Professional Development Award. The annual $2,000 award was created following the death of Bill Cramer in 2007 to honor his passion and enthusiasm for athletic training education.

Ray Castle, PhD, ATC, is professional practice program director of LSU’s ATEP and is associate professor, School of Kinesiology. In his letter of application for the award, Ray wrote that the program has maintained a +96 percent first-time BOC pass rate throughout the past four years, “with all graduates obtaining their desired work or graduate school assistantships in athletic training.” Typically, four to six of LSU’s athletic training students receive NFL internships each year.

Through LSU’s athletic training student organization, Alpha Tau Sigma, students organize and participate in many volunteer and philanthropic activities throughout the year. In addition to helping the needy with food, shoes and holiday gifts, they host an athletic training student symposium for 200—250 high school students and encourage participation in the National Bone Marrow Donor Program through the BeTheMatch program. The students also volunteer their time at various endurance events, including the Ironman Texas, Boston Marathon, Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon New Orleans and Louisiana Marathon.

Ray and three students volunteered at the 2013 Boston Marathon, and Ray and student Derek Carter were assigned to an area near the finish line. In the aftermath of the bombing, they were among the first responders who treated victims, and also witnessed first-hand the impact of laypersons who took steps to save lives in the early moments after the bombing. Inspired by what he saw while volunteering that day, Derek initiated the LSU TigerHearts CPR Program to help athletes learn simple life-saving techniques. Athletic training students volunteer their time to educate student athletes about calling 911 and starting chest compressions, incorporating the American Heart Association’s “Hands-Only CPR” program. Upon completion, participants receive a “LSU TigerHearts” rubber wristband when a session is completed. The program is in its second year, and the LSU Athletic Department adopted the activity as an introductory educational program for all incoming student-athletes. Learn more about the program here: https://youtu.be/MhQCy4sATmE

Ray says the award money will offset student professional development fees, and may also be used to put on an educational conference at LSU. He’s especially thrilled with the award because he met Bill Cramer while working on his master’s degree in 1994. He says, “Knowing Bill Cramer’s dedication to education, and Cramer’s contribution to this profession, we’re very honored to receive this award.”

Congratulations to the LSU ATEP faculty, staff and students from everyone at Cramer! Read More


August 5, 2015

From the January 1938 issue:

A possible complication

It is only proper to assume that a sprained ankle also weakens the long arch of the foot. If true, it would be wise to tape the arch in such a way that it will be held up in place while the ankle is healing.

A weakened arch may become a permanent injury and bother long after the ankle is repaired.


It won’t be long now until you can buy a balanced meal in one tin can. Meat, vegetables, etc., will be packed in separate compartments of the same can. When heated, the entire balanced meal will be ready to serve your athletes.

You will be able to buy different sized cans. Small ones for the small family and larger ones for the boarding house or training table.


A Story With a Moral

Recently, the president of a small railroad sent passes to the president of every other railroad in the United States. This was customary and the various roads usually reciprocated. However, he received a courteous letter from the Pennsylvania informing him that they did not make a practice of exchanging passes with railroads as small as his. He replied that while he admitted his road was not as long as the Pennsylvania, he insisted that it was just as wide. He got his pass.

The moral is—The small high school and the university have the same problem. The same amount of detail. The same up-hill fight.

Whatever your job is—do it well and you will be deserving of further responsibility.

*** Read More

Tuf-Tek Field Bag: Redefining the backpack

August 4, 2015

When you think about a kit in the form of a backpack, you might think that if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.

But wait until you see Cramer’s new Tuf-Tek Field Bag. Let’s just say that not only is this not your middle schooler’s backpack…this isn’t like anybody’s backpack. In fact, the field bag practically redefines the style with an unsurpassed ruggedness factor and functional modularity that will keep you organized and at the top of your game.

First, the basics:

• The overall size of the field bag is 23” x 12” x 7”

• It’s made of the most tough, resilient nylon and other materials

• Design technology used makes it the most durable kit on the market

• Zippers on the bag are the largest gauge strength available

• Ultra-wide straps ensure comfort and back support

And about that functional modularity:

• The bag comes with various customizable compartments of all sizes that can be customized with dividers of various sizes that are included

• Removable parts ensure you’ll have the exact amount of space you need each time you use the bag

• External storage allows you to put the items you’ll need most often right at your fingertips

• A 6” x 12” x 7” zip-off, removable thermal cooler protects supplies that are cold- or heat-sensitive, such as tape and some chemicals or stores your lunch while on the field

• Four plastic hard cases with lids provide even more opportunities to organize all your supplies

If you think you know backpacks, think again. Take a look at Cramer’s new Tuf-Tek Field Bag—the backpack that’s redefining the backpack.
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