A Certified Athletic Therapist – CAT (C) is a healthcare professional with an expertise in emergency care and in the prevention, identification, intervention and management of acute or chronic musculoskeletal injuries or conditions. An athletic therapist improves the performance of professional and amateur athletes through sport-specific training that helps prevent injuries.
Athletic therapists can work with most clients looking to improve or maintain their:
Specifically, they might work with:
Athletic therapists’ main objectives are: to treat musculoskeletal injuries, whether in clinic or on the field; to prevent injuries while practicing a sport or an activity such as gardening; and to improve the client’s active lifestyle regardless of their condition.
Specifically, the athletic therapist will:
Appointments vary between clients and will also vary depending on their location, whether in clinic or on the field. Generally speaking though, the therapist will start with an assessment that includes several questions regarding the client’s physical condition in order to determine:
The sports therapist will then use advanced musculoskeletal physiotherapy (manual therapy), myofascial therapy, mobilizations, electrotherapy, ultrasound, cryotherapy or any other relevant techniques to restore joint mobility and muscle flexibility.
If necessary, they will analyze the gestures and movements relating to the specific sport and will recommend rehabilitation or muscle strengthening, balance or functional exercises. They may also provide specific exercises to improve flexibility and coordination of the limbs. These may help with muscle coordination and in relearning normal levels of control in movements.