Athletic Therapy with the Golden Hawks
Find out what it takes to be an athletic therapist

Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - Posted by Jamie Howieson

What is Athletic Therapy?
Athletic Therapy is a health care profession that specializes in the prevention, assessment and care of musculoskeletal disorders (muscles, bones, joints) especially as they relate to athletics and the pursuit of physical activity.

A Certified Athletic Therapist is someone who is devoted to getting an injured person back to not only their activities of daily living, but back to physical activity and competitive sport.

A Certified Athletic Therapist assesses injuries, utilizes contemporary rehabilitative techniques, therapeutic modalities, soft tissue mobilizations, physical reconditioning and supportive strapping procedures to promote an environment conducive to optimal healing in preparing the individual for safe reintegration to an active lifestyle.

How do Athletic Therapists differ from Physiotherapists?
Athletic Therapists:
- Are musculoskeletal specialists,
- Are trained for more sports specific situations,
- Are trained for on-field care, taping, bracing, emergency care

Careers in Athletic Therapy:
- Universities and Colleges
- Professional teams
- National/Provincial  Teams
- Amateur Club Teams
- Private Sports Medicine Clinics
- Private Schools
- Teaching
- Bracing & Orthotics
- Strength & Conditioning

How do I become a Certified Athletic Therapist? CAT(C)
Attend and graduate from an accredited institution
- Sheridan College - Brampton, ON
- York University - North York, ON
- Concordia University - Montreal, QC
- Mount Royal University - Calgary, AB
- University of Winnipeg - Winnipeg, MN
- University of Manitoba - Winnipeg, MN
- Camosun College - Victoria, BC

Must maintain a valid First Responder certificate

Complete a minimum of 600 field and 600 clinical hours

Pass the CATA certification exam

What types of classes do you take at an accredited institution?
- Emergency Conditions
- Pathophysiology
- Clinical Assessment and Rehabilitation
- Manual Therapy Techniques
- Injury Treatment Modalities
- Field Practicum / Placements 

What happens right after an injury occurs?
- Injury assessment
- Basic emergency life support
- Recognition and management of traumatic neurological dysfunctions
- Provision of first aid
- Referral to appropriate health care delivery systems
- Evaluate an athletes ability to return to play

What happens in the athletic therapy clinic?
- History mechanism of injury, pain, previous injuries
- Observations postural evaluations, gait
- Range Of Motion (ROM) Testing
- Strength Testing
- Palpation

- Manual Techniques tractions, mobilizations
- Modalities  - ultrasound, muscle stimulation
- Cryotherapy (ice), thermotherapy (heat)
- Exercise prescription stretching and strengthening, core stability
- Proprioception/ balancing
- Return to play exercises

Education on injuries, rehabilitation techniques and prevention of future injuries 

What do Athletic Therapists do to prevent injuries?
- Educate in current injury prevention
- Prophylactic taping / bracing
- Strength and conditioning programs
- Warm-ups / cool-downs
- Equipment fitting and repair
- Ensure a safe competition environment
- Baseline Neurological Concussion Testing ImPACT

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