Skip to Main Content


When you finish this chapter you should be able to

  • Discuss the athletic trainer’s ability to make an accurate clinical diagnosis.

  • Review the terminology used in injury evaluation.

  • Apply the HOPS off-the-field evaluation scheme.

  • Understand the value of using functional screening tests to identify characteristic movement impairments and minimize the risk for injury.

  • Incorporate the best available evidence in the professional literature into the clinical decision making process.

  • Organize the process for documenting the findings of an off-the-field secondary or progress evaluation.

  • Recognize additional diagnostic techniques available to the athletic trainer through the team physician.

  • Discuss how an ergonomic risk assessment can be performed to reduce workplace-related injuries.


|Download (.pdf)|Print
biomechanics pathology prognosis active range of motion
pathomechanics symptom sequela passive range of motion
etiology sign syndrome dermatome
mechanism diagnosis HOPS myotomes


Visit for further exercises to apply your knowledge:

  • Clinical application scenarios covering ability to make an accurate clinical diagnosis, HOPS off-the-field evaluation scheme, process for documenting findings, and using additional diagnostic techniques

  • Click-and-drag questions covering ability to make an accurate clinical diagnosis, terminology and anatomy, HOPS off-the-field evaluation scheme, process for documentation findings, and using additional diagnostic techniques

  • Multiple-choice questions covering terminology, HOPS, documentation, diagnostic techniques, and ergonomic risk assessment to reduce workplace-related injuries

  • Selection questions covering terminology and anatomy

  • Video identification of joint ranges of motion

  • Picture identification of additional diagnostic techniques and terminology


Injury evaluation is an essential skill for the athletic trainer.8 In athletic training, four distinct evaluations are routinely conducted: (1) The preparticipation examination, which was discussed in Chapter 2, is done prior to the start of preseason practice; (2) the initial on-the-field injury assessment, which was discussed in great detail in Chapter 12, is done immediately after acute injury to rule out injuries that may be life-threatening, to determine the immediate course of acute care, necessary first aid, how the patient should be transported from the field, and the approach to handling emergency situations; (3) a more detailed off-the-field injury evaluation is performed routinely after the immediate on-the-field evaluation either on the sidelines or in the athletic training clinic, a hospital or an outpatient clinic, an emergency room, or a physician’s office after appropriate first aid has been rendered; and (4) a progress evaluation is done periodically throughout the rehabilitative healing process to determine the progress and effectiveness of a specific treatment regimen. This chapter concentrates on the off-the-field evaluation and the progress evaluation.

Athletic trainers use their evaluation skills to make an accurate clinical diagnosis.

The setting in which the athletic trainer is employed determines the type of evaluation that is ...

Pop-up div Successfully Displayed

This div only appears when the trigger link is hovered over. Otherwise it is hidden from view.