Athletic Therapy is a viable option for those in need of assistance with an acute injury. It becomes your first plan of action to determine the severity of an injury as well as creating an actionable plan to progress you back to health.
What is an Athletic Therapist?
An Athletic Therapist (AT) is a member of the Canadian Athletic Therapists Association (CATA). The Canadian designation for Certified Athletic Therapists is CAT(C). Athletic Therapists are also members of the College of Kinesiologists of Ontario, meaning ATs are apart of the Regulated Health Professions Act (1991).
What does an Athletic Therapist do?
The scope of practice of a CAT(C) includes the prevention, immediate care, and reconditioning of musculoskeletal injuries. Prevention includes musculoskeletal and postural evaluation, equipment selection, fitting and repair, warmup, conditioning programs, prophylactic or supportive taping, and adapting to the activity environment and facilities. An AT does an orthopedic assessment of injuries as well as advanced rehabilitation geared to get patients back to sport/activity faster and stronger.
An Athletic Therapist treats using rehabilitative techniques such as:
– Soft tissue work
– Joint mobilizations
– Muscle energy
– Therapeutic modalities (ultrasound, IFC, laser, EMS, microcurrent)
– Physical reconditioning
– Supportive taping or bracing
On-field immediate care includes:
– Injury assessment
– Basic emergency life support
– Recognition and management of acute traumatic neurological dysfunction
– Advanced first aid
– Preparation for entrance into appropriate health care delivery systems
– Utilization of techniques facilitating a safe return to activity
What is the difference between Athletic Therapy (AT) & Physiotherapy (PT)?
AT and PT are two distinct professional designations. The formal education of the AT is entirely in the area of assessment and rehabilitation of sports specific injuries and conditions that affect muscles, bones, and joints. Their specialization lies in musculoskeletal injuries sustained through physical activity, this covers a wide range of individuals from manual labourers to high performance athletes. That training is augmented with injury prevention, supportive taping, and emergency care for on-field work with teams. They possess additional training in exercise physiology and strength and conditioning to re-train athletes to pre-injury performance levels or conditioning programs for injury prevention. The Physiotherapist’s formal education is more broad in the rehabilitation of various musculoskeletal, neurological and cardiovascular disorders. For a PT will have to specialize in sports specific orthopaedics to the extent of an AT, a PT would need certification as a Level III Sports Physiotherapist.
Is Athletic Therapy Covered by my Insurance Company?
Athletic Therapy coverage is available in most extended health care plans with insurance companies, so check your individual policy. If AT is not included, you can request them to be added to your plan – some insurance companies will put an “and/or” policy, which means you can be covered by Physiotherapy “and/or” Athletic Therapy without increasing the allowable maximum. To put in this request you can download letters provided by the CATA. You can also check your insurance policy for Kinesiology, as Jen Mark is a registered member of the CKO.
Are you a member of a sporting association? AT coverage may be included. The following associations have this coverage available:
– Hockey Canada
– Ontario Soccer Association
– Ontario Football Association
– Ontario Volleyabll Association
– Slow Pitch of Canada
– Alpine Canada
– Snowboard Canada
– Judo Canada
– Canadian Ski & Snowboard Association
– Ontario Basketball Association
– Ontario Baseball Association
– Ontario Speed Skating Association
– Rollersport Canada
– National Softball Association
*Members of AthletesCAN can purchase health insurance *Members of a sporting body, provincial team, teams or clubs are eligible to enroll in the Canadian Athlete Insurance Program (CAIP)