With sports come injuries. They are inevitable. We have all experienced them, whether personally, through a family member or friend, or when reclining on the couch watching our favorite athlete get sidelined before the most crucial game of the season. They are painful, frustrating and often, unfortunately, unavoidable. When an injury occurs on television, there is a quick cut to commercials while the training staff jumps into action, but what happens when the injury occurs closer to home? What happens when your high school son or daughter, niece or nephew has that gameday injury? Around Tulare and Kinds counties, this is when the PRO-PT medical staff goes to work.

PRO-PT employs board-certified athletic trainers (ATCs) to many of the high schools through this region, including Dinuba, Exeter, Kingsburg, Lemoore, Mission Oak, Tulare Union and Tulare Western high schools. These qualified and trained medical professionals work to help all athletes participate safely as well as take care of the inevitable injuries quickly and effectively when they occur.

While the immediate and emergent care they provide is important to the safety of the player, the education and assistance ATCs offer to the involved family is invaluable. Does the player need to go to the hospital? Can he/she walk on it or would crutches be safer? Does he/she need further medical care, or will a simple bag of ice suffice? ATCs can help advise in the appropriate follow-up steps to expedite the healing and recovery process.

One of the first steps to a player’s recovery and eventual return to play often includes physical therapy. The director of the Porterville PRO-PT clinic, Dr. Abel Ojeda, is the only board-certified sports clinical specialist in Tulare, Fresno and Kings counties, and his colleague, Dr. Benjamin Larson, has qualified to sit for this certification in 2018. Dr. Ojeda and Dr. Larson, as well as the other Porterville staff, offer focused rehabilitation of these athletes on return-to-sport activities to maximize and expedite their recovery. Outside of the clinic, these therapists also provide injury-prevention education and screenings, as well as sideline coverage for the local high school sports teams.

Injuries in sports, especially at the high school level, can be incredibly frightening events. The trained medical professionals at PRO-PT understand this and are prepared to act efficiently and effectively to ensure the overall success of the athletes and to help them get back to the game they love as safely and rapidly as possible.

If you have any questions regarding injury prevention, sports injuries or sports rehabilitation, please contact your local PRO-PT clinic.