What is an Athletic Therapist?

Author: Pure Body Health Victoria

What is an athletic therapist? What is athletic therapy?

Athletic Therapists are professionals trained in musculoskeletal injuries and disorders. They treat pain, injuries and create preventative strengthening programs through hands on treatment.

They are experts in injury assessment and rehabilitation and their patients vary from seniors recovering from a surgery to youths suffering from concussions.

AT’s are best known for their work with elite athletes but are also trained and valuable in a clinical setting. They are able to assess injuries quickly and develop rehabilitation plans that get results fast.

What is the difference between Athletic Therapists and Physiotherapists?

Athletic Therapists and Physiotherapists are similar to each other in their objective of increasing patient mobility and healing ailments, and differ from each other in their education and specialities in treatment.

In British Columbia, physiotherapists must achieve their Masters of Physical Therapy – a process that takes roughly 7 or 8 years, pass a national examination upon graduation and be registered with the College of Physical Therapists of British Columbia.

Their education focuses on cardiology, orthopaedics and neurology, with their skills being used to treat patients with a variety of ailments including; burn patients, pediatrics, stroke rehabilitation and many more.

Athletic Therapists must complete a Bachelor’s degree and then attend a 3 year Athletic Therapy program offered at eight Canadian Athletic Therapists Association (CATA) accredited institutions in Canada.

During this program, students must complete both an in-field and in-clinic practicum, have a valid First Responder certificate and upon graduation pass the National Certification Examinations.

The process to become an Athletic Therapist is similar in length to physiotherapy, taking roughly 7 or 8 years.

Can Athletic Therapists Diagnose You?

Physician referrals are not required to see an Athletic Therapist. As a part of your treatment an AT focuses on thorough and proper assessments of injuries, management of acute and chronic injuries, and injury prevention. Their job is, to the best of their ability, to diagnose what is causing discomfort.

When to See an Athletic Therapist

If you have experienced an injury and are eager to get life back to normal or back into your sport of choice, addressing your injury head on with a trained professional is a potent way to speed up recovery.

If you have any nagging injuries, it is useful to consult with an expert that may be aware of some weak or overdeveloped muscles that are contributing to the chronic pain. They can then treat you through manual therapy, stretching and strength training.

We are all athletes in our day to day life, whether it’s lifting laundry baskets, carrying infants, or spending a significant time sitting, our day to day life can take a toll.

The objective of an Athletic Therapist is to help clients return to their usual activities and live with the most freedom and least amount of pain in their body.

Whether you’d like to improve your posture, heal an injury, deal with acute or chronic pain, or engage in preventative measures, an Athletic Therapist is an excellent resource to use.

If you’re interested in booking with one of our qualified Athletic Therapists click here.

We have COVID safe practices in place so we can continue serving the community, while doing our part to keep it safe.


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