Did you know you could work with an athletic trainer in your doctor’s office?

Athletic trainer Mike Mehring helps patients come back from injuries and heal as assistant to Ryan Krupp, M.D., orthopedic surgeon and medical director of Norton Sports Health.

If asked where an athletic trainer works, many people would probably say “on the sidelines with athletes.” That’s just one way athletic trainers can help. Many, including licensed athletic trainer Mike Mehring, work in a nontraditional setting to help people get back to enjoying physical activities.

Mike helps patients come back from injuries and heal after surgeries as assistant to Ryan Krupp, M.D., orthopedic surgeon with Norton Orthopedic Specialists and medical director of Norton Sports Health.

So far in his career, Mike has worked with semi-pro, collegiate and high school athletes — and now, the patients of Norton Orthopedic Specialists.

Working with an athletic trainer in a clinic

Mike evaluates patients and helps diagnose injuries. After the patient is treated, Mike follows up to suggest rehabilitation and exercise programs. He also helps direct them on how to get back to where they were before their injury or condition.

“I think for any athletic trainer, it’s a joy to help get a person back on the field or back to their daily life,” Mike said. “No matter if it’s a collegiate or professional athlete, a weekend warrior or someone trying to get back to their job. It makes your day worthwhile.”

Dr. Krupp believes in the benefit of athletic trainers in a medical setting. He worked with athletic trainers as he completed a fellowship in sports medicine and shoulder reconstruction at the Steadman Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas in South Carolina.

“When I started the Norton Sports Health program, there was no question that I would have an athletic trainer in my clinic,” Dr. Krupp said. “They are essential in helping to answer patients’ questions in regard to diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, bracing, etc., because of their expertise and experience in a wide variety of orthopedic related issues.”

Athletic trainers have special expertise

Dr. Krupp’s trust in the athletic trainers benefits patients, according to Mike.

“It makes the practice work well — we have the same mindset, same goals and it helps motivate patients so they can have better outcomes,” he said.

Being in a medical setting helps bust some of the myths about athletic trainers.

“This profession isn’t just taping ankles and standing on the sidelines,” Mike said. “People can get athletic trainers confused with personal trainers. A lot of education and certifications go into being an athletic trainer — not anyone can do it overnight.”

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