Athletic Therapy is an allied health profession dedicated to the care and well being of the active individual. The five areas of expertise that Athletic Therapists possess consist of injury prevention, assessment, rehabilitation, reconditioning, and emergency care. An Athletic Therapist has the clinical skills to educate patients on the best ways of preventing injury, as well as assessing new and chronic injuries that a patient may sustain in any level of competition or life, sports, recreation, or any other activities. On the field of play and sidelines, Athletic Therapists are experts in accurate and efficient on-field and sideline assessment of injuries that happen during live play. When returning a patient to competition or activity, whether in the short- or long-term, Athletic Therapists are experts in rehabilitation and reconditioning to bring the athlete back to their pre-injury state, using a variety of techniques stemming from manual therapy, modality use, education, and strength and conditioning. Athletic Therapists are experienced with creating safe protection devices or apparatus with tape, equipment or clothing modifications, and padding to bring the athlete back to competition with the appropriate means to protect the area from re-aggravation. The slogan “Rapid Return to Work and Play” pertains to an Athletic Therapists specialty in determining when it is safe to return to activity.
In addition to the prevention, assessment, rehab, and reconditioning of musculoskeletal injuries, the emergency care training is the final piece of the athletic therapy spectrum of care. Many Athletic Therapists are Certified First Responders, and are required to hold this credential as Certification Candidates to become a Certified Athletic Therapist. With this level of training, Athletic Therapists are proficient in responding to deadly acute injuries and bleeds, medical emergencies such as shock, cardiac and respiratory incidents, spinal injuries, and many more. Some management skills consist of spine boarding, oxygen administration, deadly bleed management, fracture and dislocation management, CPR and AED use, and management of many other types of trauma.
An Athletic Therapist’s goal is to help patients return to their everyday activities, whether that is competing in a sport at the highest level to being able to get up and down the stairs.
Certified Athletic Therapists can be recognized by the credential CAT(C).
Have an injury holding you back from your favourite sports and activities?
Certified Athletic Therapists are experts in return to sport and play following musculoskeletal injury.