What is Athletic Therapy?Athletic Therapy (AT) is a health care profession that assesses and treats all manner of musculoskeletal issues from the point of injury throughout the continuum of care. If you’ve injured a muscle, bone or joint or are active and want to avoid injury, then seeing a certified Athletic Therapist may be just the thing for you.
Employing a sport medicine model, Athletic Therapy includes:
After performing a thorough biomechanical assessment, ATs will turn to a wide variety of rehabilitative techniques which may include soft tissue or joint mobilization, physical reconditioning, and supportive bracing to help speed up recovery.
Why see an Athletic Therapist?ATs are able to address the needs of a wide range of populations from children to athletes to the elderly. The profession can be divided into four main components that define their role as therapists and give you a better idea of what they can do.
First, they are proficient in manual therapy techniques and thus highly skilled in soft-tissue and joint mobilization. This means they can treat all manner of musculoskeletal injuries.
Second, they are trained in recognizing, assessing, and managing concussions and are usually the first on scene when an athlete sustains a concussion.
Third, they are adept at field-of-play injury management. 44% of ATs in Ontario provide immediate, on-site response to injuries. In fact, all Canadian teams employ at least one AT as part of their medical team.
Lastly, they have advanced assessment and rehabilitation skills allowing them to create individualized, comprehensive, and contemporary rehabilitation programs for their patients.
How are Athletic Therapists trained and educated?In addition to completing a Bachelor’s degree, Athletic Therapists must complete the Athletic Therapy program at one of seven accredited institutions in Canada. To become certified, candidates must have an up-to-date 'First Responder' certificate as well as complete 1,200 hours of on-field and clinical training. Once qualified, candidates attempt the National Certification Examination including a comprehensive written and practical exam. From here, Athletic Therapists practicing in Canada must participate annually in a mandatory maintenance of certification program.
Insurance CoverageAthletic Therapy is becoming more recognized and is covered by many mainstream insurance companies. We recommend calling your insurance provider to confirm coverage before receiving treatment.
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