As a sports physiotherapist it is absolutely essential that you have the tools required to complete your trade. This means that you must be (over) organised with your on-field sports kit, or you will risk being unprepared for an injury. As many of you know, injuries happen fast, and the game officials expect an injury resolution even faster – so you do not want to be left messing around in your large sideline kit looking for something you should already have. Below I discuss the 8 essential items you need in your ‘On-Field’ sports physiotherapy kit.
1. STRAPPING TAPE: you should have a few different kinds of strapping tape. As a bare minimum I would suggest:
2 rolls of 38mm rigid tape – for quick tapings that require rigid tapes e.g ankles, thumbs, etc.
1 roll of 50mm EAB tape – for quick tapings that require some flexibility e.g elbow hyperextension. Also, this can be used on cuts to hold down gauze (see below)
2. ELECTRICAL TAPE: this is mostly for use on boots, socks, and jerseys. However, it is also useful to hold down the EAB tape which is often less adhesive than rigid.
3. SCISSORS: generally required to remove tape that your player does not like, or wants redone (I know, I know, how dare the player question your taping job).
4. SALINE: at least 2 small containers of saline; required to wash out cuts prior to bandaging.
5. GAUZE: gauze are used on cuts in a two stage process. First, gauze is used to wipe excess blood (and generally lots of other stuff) from the cut. Second, clean gauze are then applied with EAB to maintain pressure.
6. GLOVES: gloves should be warn whenever you are dealing with blood. Always remember universal precautions.
7. VASELINE: this can also be quite helpful in treating cuts. The vaseline, when applied to the cut, will assist to stop the bleeding.
8. VENTOLIN/ASTHMA PUFFER: when dealing with asthmatic athletes, and lets face it they are everywhere, you should have access to their appropriate medication/ventolin/reliever to deliver on the field. This is because many asthmatics have a component of exercise-induced asthma (EIA). Whilst it is best for the asthmatic to use their puffer prior to exercising, it is essential to have it on-field also.
As I have stated above, these are the 8 essential items you should have in your sports physiotherapy kit. Whilst I am sure that many sports physiotherapists will have other items in their on-field kit (as do I), I feel these are the ones that are essential for all to have. It is also important to remember that you will also have a much larger sideline kit with a multitude of other items. However, these items are those that you should have with you as you run onto that field.