Can an Athletic Therapist treat old and neglected injuries?

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Tamara Smith

Tamara Smith is a certified Athletic Therapist and certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist with High Performance designation. Passionate about moving, she’s participated in many activities including collegiate soccer, Olympic weightlifting, slopestyle snowboarding, road cycling, mountain biking and ultramarathons. Her experience includes work with high performance club, college and university, national, and professional level sport teams. She currently practices clinically in Edmonton and acts as the Head Athletic Therapist for the Edmonton Stingers professional basketball team and the Rugby Women’s Rugby League team.

It is a classic tale for most. The few unaddressed knocks in the former University football player, the sprained ankle from pickup basketball game with coworkers, the back pain that started on the family trip from the long hike and the poor mattress.

These injuries that we pushed through until “they resolved on their own” can come back to haunt us periodically throughout life. An improperly healed injury can cause a chain reaction as your body tries to compensate for the area that has been injured. This puts strain on other areas of your body not designed to complete those movements or actions, which can increase the chances of further injury.  

How does an Athletic Therapist treat older injuries?

Athletic Therapists (AT) have a wide range of skills when it comes to addressing injuries. This includes a proper history inquiry, a thorough assessment, appropriate treatment techniques, and a professionally guided return to activity. Whether the injury happened yesterday or 20 years ago, these consistent procedures guide your AT to return you back to previous function, and potentially even better than before.

Athletic Therapists look at the body as a whole. That ankle injury from the pickup basketball game with coworkers might not have been the catalyst that created the injury – it may have been dysfunctional movement mechanics, instability at the hip or knee, muscle imbalance, or any number of other factors.

With a thorough muscle and movement evaluation, AT’s are able to target dysfunction, treat the injury, return you to pain-free activity, and set you up for success to prevent the injury from reoccurring in the future.

If you have been struggling with a chronic injury an Alberta Athletic Therapist can help. 


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