Sports injuries: A sports trainer and an athlete’s perspective

On campus, there are 14 different sports offered for students to participate in. It is very common to see many students walking around the halls in a variety of slings, crutches, and casts. Along with this, there are many athletes that find themselves with a concussion in which they are forced to the bench for the length of their recovery. The Catalyst asked for advice from Coach Christina, NDB’s Athletic Trainer, about how to prevent these injuries and spoke with Alaiyah San Juan about her torn ACL injury.


Christina Okubo, Athletic Trainer 


What is the recovery time for concussions?


Every concussion that a person experiences is different. So there is, unfortunately, no “gold standard” for the recovery time after suffering a concussion like there are with other injuries. 

In general, the recovery time will be determined by various factors, such as the severity of the initial trauma, if this person has a history of previous concussions, and how well this person is actively resting to become 100% symptom-free. 

Current literature states that the high school population takes longer to recover from a concussion in comparison to adults because this age group has a brain that is still developing.


How can concussions be prevented?


There is, unfortunately, no way to prevent a concussion from happening. There is always a risk of any injury when you participate in sports, in particular, being involved in contact and collision sports.


What is your advice for those who currently have a concussion?


My advice for any student or student-athlete who is currently suffering from a concussion would be to follow the guidelines given to you by your treating physician. 

It’s important to remember that this is your brain that is healing from being injured and it takes time. Be patient, try not to rush back to activities if you are not feeling well, and follow the specific recommendations that your doctor provides you for return-to-learning in school and for return-to-play in your sport. 

Most importantly, be honest about how you are feeling!


Alaiyah San Juan, Varsity Basketball 


What is your experience with sports injuries?


I have had many minor injuries in the past, including sprained ankles and concussions.


What is your most recent injury? 


Recently, I have suffered a torn ACL back in May. I received surgery last June. 


How long is the recovery process?


The recovery process depends on what the patient chooses. 

The patient could return back to a sport as early as six months, but the risk of re-tearing your ACL or other ligaments increases. 

So, it is encouraged to wait a full year, which is the route I’ve chosen.


What was your initial reaction when you suffered your injury?


When I initially tore my ACL, I knew something was wrong, but not this severe as I could get up and walk on my own. 

So, it was a shock receiving a call from the doctor saying it was torn. 


Do you have any advice for athletes who are injured?  For athletes on how to prevent them?


For athletes, it is super important to take care of your body every day: continue to stretch a lot, try to work out every muscle/body part, and know when you need a break for your body.