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CHRISTUS Athletic Trainers Offer Insights to Effective Recovery for Student Athletes

(East Texas) – August signals a return to competition for student-athletes across Texas putting a renewed emphasis on making sure competitors are taking care of their bodies in the days between competition, particularly during hot weather.

Carson Powell, sports medicine coordinator at CHRISTUS Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Institute, says it’s typical for athletes to feel aches and pains two to three days after their last event, but that athletes can take steps to rejuvenate their body quicker.

“The best recovery method for any person who is dealing with normal soreness following a game is movement,” Powell said. “These do not need to be hard movements or heavy lifting, but light-weight/low-rep exercises that use all muscle groups can really help recovery.” 

CHRISTUS athletic trainers across the region say in addition to movement, hydration and adequate rest are key to recovery.

Proper hydration is usually a common issue that athletes can overlook and can have a direct effect on performance,” said Nicholas Horman, athletic trainer at CHRISTUS Sports Medicine in Longview. “Athletes should be monitoring their urine color throughout the week. Anything other than clear or light-colored urine means you are dehydrated.” 

Horman, who served on athletic training staffs at the NCAA D-1 level for 10 years, emphasized the role that nutrition can play in the recovery period, encouraging athletes to avoid high-sugar foods and drinks, focusing instead on high-carbohydrate foods.

“Just like hydration, nutrition is a major factor that affects recovery and performance,” Horman said.  “In order for injuries to heal, your body must have the necessary materials to repair them.  We get these materials from the nutrients we eat and recovering athletes need to focus on eating protein and carbohydrates.”

Powell and Horman noted that most non-serious injuries they see are soft-tissue bruises, muscle strains, ligament strains, and swelling of joints.

“There are a lot of injuries that can be played through when adrenaline is pumping and athletes are highly motivated,” Powell said. “They tend to feel them more the day after than in the moment, which is why a recovery program with proper movement, nutrition, hydration, and rest is paramount for getting the body recovered in time for the next event.”

The statewide heatwave has also put a spotlight on outdoor practices and activities, with trainers emphasizing student-athlete safety.

“The most important thing is for people to know their own body,” Powell said. “Everyone burns calories and sweats at a different rate. Knowing your body, and knowing when to stop if you do not feel well is vitally important to staying safe.”

For athletes experiencing continuous pain, they are encouraged to reach out to their health care provider or take advantage of the free athletic injury clinics held by CHRISTUS each Saturday from mid-August through mid-November.

During this clinic, our physicians provide free screening for sports related injuries.

The Saturday clinic in Tyler takes place at CHRISTUS Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Institute at 8591 S. Broadway, with the Longview clinic at the CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Medical Plaza III at 701 E. Marshall Ave., Suite 5000.

Clinics are from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.


At CHRISTUS Health, we deliver a complete healing experience that respects the individual. We serve our communities with dignity. And with a good deal of admiration. CHRISTUS Health is an international Catholic, not-for-profit system made up of more than 600 centers, including community hospitals, urgent care centers, health insurance companies and physician clinics. We are a community of 45,000 Associates, with over 15,000 physicians providing individualized care—and all focused on our charitable mission. Sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word in Houston and San Antonio and the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth, our mission is to extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ to every individual we serve.



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