Athletic Therapy is a profession that specializes in the prevention 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 dedicated to providing services to the active individual that includes the prevention, immediate care, and ongoing rehabilitation of those injuries. A Certified Athletic Therapist utilizes contemporary rehabilitative techniques of exercise prescription, therapeutic modalities, physical reconditioning, and supportive strapping procedures to promote an environment conducive to optimal healing in preparing the individual for safe re-integration into an active lifestyle.
Certified Athletic Therapists spend time working within the community with recreation to elite level athletes. They assist in preventing injuries by completing musculoskeletal and postural evaluation, warm-up, conditioning programs, prophylactic or supportive taping, equipment selection, fitting and repair, and adapting the individual to the activity, environment, and facilities. The immediate care of the athletic injuries by a Certified Athletic Therapist includes injury assessment, basic emergency life support, recognition and management of acute traumatic neurological dysfunction, provision of first aid, preparation for entrance into appropriate health care delivery systems, and utilization of techniques to facilitate a safe return to participation. Additionally, Certified Athletic Therapists are educated to assess and recognize the early signs of a concussion. Commonly, the athletic therapist is the first to diagnose a concussion and remove an athlete from the field of play when appropriate.
Who do we treat: acute injuries, chronic injuries, athletic, industrial, general public
How do we treat:
- Prevention/pre-rehabilitation strategies: exercise prescription and supportive equipment
- Manual therapy: soft tissue/joint mobilizations, assisted ROM
- Rehabilitation exercise prescription
- Reconditioning: fitness programs to reach individualized goals for sport and functional activities of daily living
There are two major settings in which an athletic therapist works in which includes a clinical and field setting.
Competition preparation: injury treatment, prophylactic taping & bracing
On-Site injury assessment: injury management, return-to-play decision making
First Aid and emergency management
Medical equipment and document management
On-Site field management