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What tools are in your toolbox?

Posted on March 14, 2016 at 11:10 PM

It has come to my attention that when we need medical help or advice there are not always enough options.  If you have questions about something in an area that is not your expertise, where do you go?  And how do you weed out fact from fiction?

Going through school we were always taught (regardless if it was AT school, massage therapy school or grad school) to have a full tool box.  This meant that if I only had a hammer in my tool box I would only have the hammer to, yes, pound nails, but also to tighten screws, lug nuts and allen bolts.  A hammer might be useful for those nails, but perhaps a few other tools might come in handy for those other jobs.  We were always eager to learn and become effecient at new techniques!

Now, as excited as we are to learn new things there are a couple of things to keep in mind.  There is no one person that has every tool in their tool box.  There are just too many.  Most health care providers find their nitch and stick with it.  So if you ask a surgeon, he will provide you a surgical solution.  If you see a nutritionist, he will provide you a nutritional solution.  If you seek advice from a chiropractor, he will provide a chiropractic solution.  You get the idea.  That is what we study and what we promote.  Not to mention that per profession, we need to stay within our own circles due to scope of practice laws.  As an athletic trainer I can diagnose and treat athletic injuries, but I cannot provide chiropractic care, prescribe medications or provide accupuncture, just to name a few.  However, it is my job to understand how other providers and services or even techniques that I am not certified in, can enhance my athletes' health and recovery.  I do provide massage therapy services in a variety of settings.  It has been found to enhance chiropractic treatment, accupuncture treatments, physical therapy treatments, as well as improve recovery time from injury including surgical procedures.


When looking for a provider, look for:
  • Experience
  • Open mindedness
  • Possibly certified in other areas
  • Don't ever be afraid to ask for a second opinion
As a professional:
  • Learn to network with other providers
  • Stay up to date on several treatment types in order to provide healthy options for patients, clients and athletes
  • Remember you provide your service well.  Referring to another provider will enhance your service and only make you look better.
We are many parts, but only one body.  We need to be treated as a whole person.  It may take one provider, it may take a team who can work together.  Always know all of your options and don't be afraid to speak up and ask questions.  If your provider only has a hammer in his tool box and its not getting the job done, it does not mean you are untreatable.  It means you have not found the right tool yet.


Categories: athletic training, health, injury prevention

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