What is Sports /Athletic Therapy?

Athletic Therapy is a component of health and fitness care that is specifically involved with the prevention of injury and the rehab of the patient back to optimal levels of operational, occupational and sports specific physical fitness, regardless of age and capability.

It utilises the principles of sport and exercises sciences incorporating physiological and medical methods to prep the person for training, competition and where relevant, their job.

What is an Athletic Therapist?

At PhysioDNA Toronto, we are frequently asked, ‘What is a sports or athletic therapist?’ And even now there is confusion which, not only causes issues but in many occasions misunderstanding about the knowledge and capabilities that this specific occupational group possess.

For that reason for clarification – An Atheltic Therapist is a healthcare professional who has the expertise, skill-sets and ability to:

– Make use of sports and exercise principles to optimise performance, preparation and injury prevention programs.

– Offer the immediate care of injuries and fundamental life support in a recreational, exercise & competitive environment.

– Assess, treat and, where needed, refer on for other specialist advice and treatment.

– Deliver appropriate sport and therapeutic massage in a sport & exercise context

– Plan and implement appropriate rehabilitation programs

The range of expertise that an Athletic Therapists must possess is developed within five key areas of expertise related to injury and illness in the sport and exercise environment. These are:

  1. Prevention
  2. Recognition & evaluation
  3. Administration, treatment & referral
  4. Rehab
  5. Education & professional practice issues

Throughout each of these areas Athletic Therapists and specifically those at Graduate level, are trained and educated in basic principles that have sound practical and evidence-based philosophies with solid sport and physical exercise science foundations.

As such, Certified Athletic Therapists are required to satisfy precisely defined expertise levels which deal with the above areas and gives them the understanding, abilities and ability to work at all degrees of the sport and exercise continuum.

More importantly:

Athletic and Exercise Therapy is not just about Sports Massage. However, Athletic Therapists will possess massage skills that are an integral part of their scope of practice.

Athletic Therapists are not Physiotherapists, but Athletic Therapists will apply “physiotherapy” skills and practices, and often practice under a physiotherapy license.

Consequently, Athletic Therapists will apply many skills and techniques that are included within this list but in an athletic and exercise perspective more so than a conventional health care circumstance.

Athletic Therapists are not just first aiders. More importantly, they are first responders who have the education, expertise, skills and competence to provide immediate care in a first response role. Certified Athletic Therapists are also required to show evidence that they are up to date with these skills.

Allied to their Sport and Exercise science know-how, therapeutic abilities and understanding of the sport, Atheltic Therapists are capable and competent in applying the necessary rehab concepts, to allow their patients to reach the optimum levels of recovery, that their injury or disability will allow. As such, the journey from injury to a return to tasks can be facilitated by professionals who have the understanding, skill-sets and science-based principles to meet the needs of a clearly defined patient group. More significantly, Athletic Therapists are and should be, an indispensable part of the Sports Medicine family, complementing and strengthening the outstanding skills and knowledge also being provided by colleagues and other professions.

Athletic Therapy is a distinct occupational title that applies to a clearly defined scope of practice.

A Strong Foundation is key

Our Registered Physiotherapists and Certified Athletic Therapists are specialized in sports therapy and athletic rehabilitation. Our therapists work with a variety of Sports teams in Toronto and the GTA.

We have worked with athletes of all ages and varying levels of competition. Our therapists have taken additional certifications and courses in Fascial Stretch Therapy, Active Release Therapy, Darby Training Techniques, Movement Assessments, Naturopathic Medicine/Dry Needling Techniques as well as others. Our treatment methods are supported by the most recent and highest quality research.

Some of the knee conditions we work with regularly with our Athletes are:

  • Medial Collateral Ligament Sprains (MCL)
  • Lateral Collateral Ligament Sprains (LCL)
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Sprains (ACL)
  • Meniscus Injuries
  • Patello-femoral Dysfunctions
  • Patellar Tracking Issues
  • Dislocations (Patella)

Our treatment approach is focussed on Performance, Wellness, Mobility, Balance & Proprioceptive training, Bracing, Compression, Modalities, Myofascial techniques and more.

A thorough Assessment is essential to highlight problem areas and understand the cause of injury.

Sports Therapy for Children & Adolescents

Our Physiotherapists work with Athletes of all ages. We work with children as young as 6 years old to focus on Foundation and Sports Specific Training to prevent injury and enhance performance. We work hand in hand with parents and children to create a realistic treatment plan to best suit the individual needs and goals of you and your child.

Areas that we focus our Assessment on :

  • Posture
  • Muscle weakness
  • Stiffness
  • Muscle & Fascia Tightness
  • Mobility
  • Exercise Prescription
  • Home Exercises
  • Sports Specific Training
  • And Much More!

All sessions are one-on-one with a registered physiotherapist and Certified Athletic Therapists