Profile: Caitlin Roberts, Athletic Trainer

Last season at lacrosse practice, Shawn Lavigne started to experience some hip pain. He went and saw the athletic trainer (AT), Caitlin Roberts.

Roberts first thought it was his IT band, basically a large tendon running from your hip to just below your knee. She had him do exercises and “stem” – projecting electrical impulses into a specific part of your body to help move fluid and relieve pain.  

But a few days went by and Lavigne was still in pain.

“Caitlin actually picked me up from school and brought be up to the hospital to get an x-ray on my hip”, said Lavigne. “She went out of her way to bring me up to the hospital, this to me shows that she’s really there for everyone, especially athletes.”

Growing up in Thetford, Roberts played basketball, soccer, and other sports. She got injured a few different times, but she never had an AT at her school, so she never had the guidance about her injuries that she gives back to us now.

One year during basketball she sprained her ankle, and, not having an AT, she returned to basketball too soon, further damaging her ankle. She had to discontinue her season and go work with a physical therapist (PT) to help get her ankle back to being healthy.

This experience inspired her to help people with injuries. Roberts decided to choose AT over PT because she really likes to work with the athletes and watching them go back to playing their sport.

On a recent day, Roberts, whose office is near the locker rooms, was helping Jenna Jerome with some knee pain. Jerome, who has worked with Roberts multiple times in the past, went to have her knee looked at after it began to hurt. Roberts sat her down at one of the tables and began to examine her.

There wasn’t much to go off of because there was no swelling and there was nothing that really stuck out to Roberts. After putting Jerome through some small test, she came to the conclusion that it was a muscle that was not tracking right. Roberts told her to use ice and to do straight leg raises to help get the muscle back in line and ease the pain.

“Caitlin did a very good job explaining the rehab and walking me through the process” said Jerome.    

“It is very rewarding to me as an AT when I get to see the injury, assess the injury, and really walk them through the rehab process,” Roberts said, “…to go back to playing and succeeding in their sport again.”