Dr. Randy Martin: Have you ever wondered how professional football players recover from those major “collisions” out on the football field and how they prevent injuries? I met with Marty Lauzon, head athletic trainer for the Atlanta Falcons, to find out.
According to Atlanta Falcons Head Athletic Trainer Marty Lauzon, the most common injuries professional football players experience during the season include ankle sprains, as well as quad, calf and hamstring strains. Injuries often occur, he says, because of the volume of training.
To prevent injuries in the first place, Lauzon says his athletic trainers screen players to assess quality of movement.
“Through this screen, we try to identify if the player has any dysfunctions,” says Lauzon. “Then we try to ensure that players move at an optimal level. That takes quite a bit of work on our part, but the results [in the players] speak for themselves.”
Game Day Injuries
“If you see me [out on the field] too much, that’s not good,” says Lauzon. “When the team doctor and I go out there, we try to get an idea of joint [injury] severity. We then decide if we should splint the player and take them off the field or assess them on the sidelines for possible return to play.”
To aid in the diagnosis of sports injuries, Lauzon and his trainers rely on several tools.
“We have X-ray and ultrasound imaging, so that gives us an idea about the degree of the injury,” he says. He also relies on the team doctor’s examination of the player as well as the player’s feedback about his own injury and recovery.
The Falcons’ training facility functions as “a triage unit,” says Lauzon. “The most important thing is that we make the best decision for the player.”
Dr. Martin: I hope you’ve enjoyed this inside look at how professional football players prevent and work through their injuries and how the training staff is dedicated to getting them back on their feet. Because the players rely on their bodies for their careers, it is essential that they undergo preventative measures, proper care and have time to recover.