Helping kids of all ages to live a more active life through FUNctional movement.
Athletic Therapists are best known for their quick-thinking on-field emergency care of professional and elite athletes (you may think of them as ‘Trainers’, but that’s an American thing. In Canada, we are Athletic Therapists). But did you know they also work in clinical settings with patients of all ages and abilities?
Here at Play On Pediatric, our Certified Athletic Therapists/CAT(C)’s, Olivia Sidock & Julia Reid, work with kids and teens in the clinic to get them back to their usual activities, whether it’s running and jumping on the playground or competitive sport. They also help prevent injuries to make sure their clients can continue to stay active and reach their own personal goals. You can read more about the scope of practice of AT’s & the work it takes to become one on the Canadian Athletic Therapist Association’s website.
Here are the top five reasons to go visit your athletic therapist!
Athletic Therapists are experts in musculoskeletal injuries – anything related to muscles, bones and joints. They treat both acute and overuse musculoskeletal conditions. This means they can help immediately after your child sustains an injury caused by one specific trauma, such as an ankle sprain, or in cases where there is repetitive stress on a particular area of the body leading to chronic or overuse type injuries, such as tendonitis.
Our Athletic Therapists complete a comprehensive assessment to find the true cause of the injury, and use a variety of strategies to manage the condition and guide the athlete in their return to activity. These strategies include hands-on work, such as massage and mobilization techniques, exercise prescription, and home care education.
Some of the more common conditions they see in the clinic are muscle strains, ligament sprains, tendinopathies, fractures/broken bones, growth plate injuries, concussions and many more.
The best way to manage injuries is to avoid them in the first place! Athletic Therapists use their thorough knowledge in biomechanics to find the deficiencies that may lead to issues in the future.
They will look for muscular imbalances, mobility restrictions, core weaknesses, dysfunctional movement patterns and compensations. They also look out for other essential skills specific to the child’s particular sport(s), which may include running mechanics, agility, coordination, balance, etc.
They will work with your athlete to create an individualized plan that fits with their goals and schedule. This could look like one on one sessions in the clinic, a strength and mobility routine that can be done at home, or even a new warm up and cool down plan.
Athletic Therapists are experienced in managing concussions and whiplash type injuries, whether they were sustained during sport or not. Concussions are functional injuries to the brain, and can have a significant impact on your child’s wellbeing, now and in the future, especially if not treated properly.
Did you know that much of concussion treatment and recovery now includes an active approach to be started soon after the injury? Gone are the days of just sitting in dark quiet rooms to recover! Athletic Therapists stay on top of the latest research, in order to provide the best available care. In addition to treatments to optimize recovery, our clinic also offers baseline testing to individual athletes and teams. If a concussion does occur during the season, having baseline results offer a comparative model for that specific athlete, which makes for better assessments and care plans .
Our Athletic Therapists work with physicians to guide the athletes back to a safe return to play, while prioritizing their return to school, work and other daily activities that may be impacted by a concussion.
With the previously mentioned expertise in the musculoskeletal system, Athletic Therapists can help your child rehab from orthopedic surgery, as well as help prepare for them.
The same way they help guide their athletes from injury back to play, Athletic Therapists can provide treatments to restore strength, mobility and overall function following surgery. There is also strong evidence to show that patients who undergo therapy before their surgery have better outcomes afterwards.
Our ATs work with orthopedic surgeons to make sure your athlete is on the right track to recovery and implement a rehabilitation plan for a safe return to sport or activities.
5. Sports taping, bracing and support
When used correctly, taping, braces and supports can be great tools to prevent and manage injuries. If your athlete has been dealing with a recurring injury or requires extra support while playing their sport, your Athletic Therapist can make recommendations on braces, provide taping before competition, and educate them on how to properly wear and use the brace.
ATs combine their knowledge of biomechanics and sport specific education to ensure the support is effective, comfortable and follows their specific competition rules. The support is also something used to enhance the treatment plan, and work with the exercises in their treatment plan.
We also have a range of braces and supports available at our clinic: https://playonpediatric.myshopify.com/collections/braces-and-supports
Although these are the top 5 reasons to visit your Athletic Therapist, there is so much more that we didn’t cover! If you think an Athletic Therapist might be able to help you or your child, don’t hesitate to reach us at 613-699-0787 or firstname.lastname@example.org