What is Athletic Therapy?

What is an Athletic Therapist?

Certified Athletic Therapists (AT's) are recognized as CAT(C) in Canada and are experts at injury assessment and rehabilitation. They treat and help to prevent musculoskeletal (muscles, bones, and joints) injuries in people of all ages and activity levels. Using the Sports Medicine Model of care they provide services to a wide range of clients from a child with a concussion, to an elderly person with osteoarthritis, to an elite athlete with an ACL tear. 

Where do Athletic Therapists work?

Certified Athletic Therapists can work in a wide range of settings including:

  • Therapy and Multidisciplinary Clinics
  • Professional Sports Teams
  • Elite Sporting Events (Olympics, Pan Am Games, Canada Games)
  • Professors at Universities or Colleges
  • High School, Varsity, Amateur Sports Teams
  • Professional Dance Companies
  • Sales and Marketing (performance and rehabilitation companies)
  • Municipal, government, industrial work places
  • Insurance Industry

What do Athletic Therapists do?

An Athletic Therapist treats and prevents both acute and chronic injuries. AT's study and train in depth in areas of the human musculoskeletal system, exercise physiology, biomechanics, and basic emergency care and use from these areas five main practice domains:

  1. Prevention
  2. Assessment
  3. Intervention
  4. Practice Management
  5. Professional Responsibility


What can you expect during an Athletic Therapy treatment/session?

AT's use a variety of assessment techniques and skills in their sessions and treatments including but not limited to:

  • History 
  • Posture Assessment
  • Gait Assessment
  • Flexibility
  • Range of Motion
  • Manual Testing (bones, ligaments, muscles, capsules, nerves)
  • Biomechanics Analysis (movement screening, video analysis)
  • Manual Techniques (massage, IASTM, trigger point release, muscle energy, joint mobilization)
  • Modalities (thermotherapy, cryotherapy, ultrasound, TENS, NMES, IFC)
  • Exercise Prescription
  • Strength and Conditioning
  • Taping
  • Bracing
  • Environment/Equipment Modification (work, activity, sport)
  • Concussion Management (pre-screening, Return To Play/Work protocols)
  • Emergency/Acute Care


For more information on Athletic Therapy visit athletictherapybc.ca or athletictherapy.org .