Regent's training room offers new technologies
As medical technology advances, so do the options available to athletic training staff around the nation. In the Luther College training room, two methods of treating sports injuries are making their debut this year, and both have already been well-recieved by student athletes.
The first of these items has been around for a long time, but in the past four years has made a huge impact in the sports world, especially with Olympic athletes. Last March, the Luther training staff first began utilizing Kinesio tape on athletes. This colorful body tape was evident on athletes during this summer’s Olympic Games and, as far as treatment goes, this tape can be used for a variety of purposes.
The function that Kinesio tape serves depends on how it is applied.
“There are four main content areas about how you are going to apply it,” Athletic Trainer and Clinical Education Coordinator Kris Agena said. “It assists in the function of the muscle, called facilitation, or getting muscle to relax and shut off, which is inhibition. It’s also geared toward improving blood flow as well as pain relief.”
The other added training room gadget is a red laser. This device has three settings that use light-waves to positively impact the cellular structure of the area where it is focused and applied.
“It assists and causes a photo-chemical change,” Agena said. “It alters blood flow and cellular regeneration, so it’s going to aid in the healing process. We’re finding it is also very good for pain relief.”
While these new treatments are for the benefit of Luther athletes, they are also incredibly important for education in sports medicine. To continue to produce trainers who can function within their field, Luther must have access to these technologies.
“It also makes our athletic training students more marketable,” Agena said.
To be market viable, students in sports medicine must have training and be familiar with these devices. Despite being effective, these new additions do add some stress to the functioning of Luther College’s training room.
“They are cost-prohibitive for us,” Agena said.
While effective, Kinesio tape is also marginally more expensive than regular athletic tape. This is always something to keep in mind while acknowledging that it helps athletes and students in relevant programs to get the newest and best technologies available.
In the end, medical technology is constantly advancing, and as time passes new devices and methods become available.
“They are just additional tools that you put into your arsenal and hope that everything you select is going to have the greatest effect on the athlete,” Agena said.
Expect to see more additions to the training room in the coming years as the staff does their best to keep students informed and athletes healthy.