Athletic Therapy

Athletic therapy involves the prevention, care and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal conditions and injuries.  The words athletic and therapy are based on the root words ‘ athlein’ meaning to compete for a prize (modern day general term for sports) and ‘therapeia’ meaning natural order or form and healing or treatment.   Athletic therapy is conducted by a professional health practitioner who holds a Certified Athletic Therapy designation.   Athletic therapy differs from physiotherapy.   Whereas a physiotherapist treats a broad range of physical conditions which include not only musculoskeletal but also neurological and cardiovascular, an athletic therapist assesses and treats orthopedic injuries and conditions of the bones and joints of the body that have occurred through physical activity.  Other users of athletic therapy can include those suffering from vehicle accident injuries, active persons, injury employees and amateur or recreational athletes.

An athletic therapist will assess a client’s injury or condition and then provide service which can include:  using various rehabilitative techniques, mobilizing soft tissue, providing bracing or strapping, providing electrical muscle stimulation , as well as providing guidance on exercise programs and follow up.   The therapist can work in a clinic setting or with a sports team, on the side lines of the field.

A typical session will last 40-60 minutes.  Initial assessment is made based on consultation with client as well as testing such as Functional Movement Screening.  This is an assessment tool which provides tracks a client’s patterns of movement and can identify limits in functional movement and impact on the body.   The total number of sessions can vary among clients depending on their physical condition or movement complaints.   Some of the conditions athletic therapy can address include:  muscle strains and sprains, joint pain, back pain, bruises, limited range of mobility, plantar fasciitis, ligament strain.

Specific Techniques


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