Whether you are an athlete or not, injuries are stressful to deal with. When an injury occurs at work, impeding your ability to earn a living, that stress rises exponentially.
Why see an Athletic Therapist?
Athletic Therapists (AT) work to get you back to your everyday life, whether than be work or play. By gathering a thorough health history and getting a full picture of how the injury occurred, an AT will assess the injury and create a comprehensive rehabilitation plan based on your goals as the patient, injury, and what was found during the assessment. The rehabilitation is entirely individualized to you.
Since ATs are experts in biomechanical assessment, they will look at repetitive movements that are done throughout the workday to help improve mechanics to prevent future injury. While our name suggests that we are most familiar with sports, AT’s have a background in ergonomics and can help fit your work environment to your current and future abilities to ensure no further injury is caused. While the main concern is the injury, AT’s often look up and down from the joint injured to make sure the injury doesn’t cause any compensation elsewhere.
Part of an AT’s scope of practice is prescribing exercises that can be done at home to help speed up the return-to-work process. This allows you to take action and control of your rehab. The exercises prescribed will relate to your everyday needs and are based on what was found in the assessment.
While athletic therapy is still a growing profession, many insurance companies do provide coverage for athletic therapy treatment. A more comprehensive list of some of those insurance companies is available on Alberta Athletic Therapy – insurance coverage for therapeutic services, but some include Alberta Blue Cross (via health spending account), Co-operators, Great West Life and Sunlife. Because it is policy-based, prior to your appointment we recommend you call your insurance company to confirm if your policy will cover athletic therapy.
Traditionally, WCB only provides coverage when an individual goes to a WCB provider, which are most commonly regulated professions such as chiropractors or physiotherapists. Though, there are some cases where a patient may live in an area where a provider or services are limited so the WBC case manager will approve the patient to work with AT.* To ensure you get the proper care, talk to your case manager to see if the AT in your area is an approved WCB provider.
*provided by a former WBC adjudicator (Facebook – CAT(C) Athletic Therapy United)
If you are injured on the job an Athletic Therapist can help you get back to work faster and help prevent future injuries.