Athletic therapists (ATs) are trained in the prevention, assessment, and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal injury and pain. An athletic therapist strives to empower their clients to play a proactive role in the life-long process of shaping their body’s form in ways that support their health and resilience.

Athletic therapists work in field and clinical settings, caring for both acute and chronic injuries. On the field, ATs provide emergency first aid, supportive taping and splinting, and injury management. In the clinic, ATs assess posture, mobility, strength, and balance, and treat using exercises and manual techniques to address any deficits.

Do I need to be “athletic” to see an athletic therapist? 

Athletic therapy is for everybody, because every body has muscles, bones, and joints that sometimes just need a little intentional movement and TLC.

Is athletic therapy the same as physiotherapy?

They are similar, but different. Both athletic therapists and physiotherapists are trained in providing care for musculoskeletal disorders and injuries such as sprains, strains, concussions, bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, back pain, osteoarthritis, etc. Differences in educational requirements however make these professions distinct. While athletic therapists uniquely have training in providing care on the field (i.e. who you see at a hockey game go out on the ice with the med kit), physiotherapists uniquely have training in cardiorespiratory and neurological disorders (i.e. who you see in the hospital helping folks rehab from stroke). Both professions require therapists to participate in continuing education, so each therapist will evolve to have unique skillsets to offer their clients.

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