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When should I see an Athletic Therapist?

Atheletic Therapist working on a patient's shoulder.

Athletic Therapists (AT) are highly educated and trained healthcare professionals who clinically treat patients of all ages using the Sports Medicine Model. The Sports Medicine Model focuses on prevention, early intervention, accurate diagnosis, and research-based rehabilitation, with patients taking an active approach to recovery.

One of the benefits of this approach is that it offers accelerated rehabilitation of physical injuries incurred from sports, recreation, daily living, and occupational accidents.

Now that you know how beneficial an AT can be for you, you’re probably wondering when to go see one. If you fit any of the below scenarios, book in with an Athletic Therapist at your earliest convenience. See an AT if:

You’re injured not just hurt

You need to compensate or ask for help to perform routine tasks.

Wait, being injured and being hurt are two different things? Yes, and the difference will help you figure out if it’s time to see an AT. If you’re hurt, you’ll feel pain but not to the extent that it will affect your ability to perform any given physical or mental task. The pain you feel will not inhibit your ability to sit down and work on a presentation, kick a soccer ball or do everyday tasks, like putting on a pair of socks. If, for example, you helped a friend move and you’re sore the next day, but it has no bearing on your ability to perform the physical tasks associated with your job as a nurse, you are hurt. On the flip side, if your ability to perform said tasks has been compromised, you’re injured. You can absolutely see an AT if you’re hurt. You could also stretch and take care of your body in the ways that work best for you. If, the day after helping your friend move you are unable to perform the physical tasks associated with your nursing job unless you compensate or get help, you are injured and it’s time to see an AT.

Nothing else is working for you

You have attempted all the tips, exercises and stretches your coworker suggested when they had a similar pain and nothing is helping.

At this point booking in with an Athletic Therapist would be strongly suggested. In addition to in-session treatment, the therapist can better guide you as to what specific home program will help you heal and get back to your regular activities. It is important to note your body is a complex system and often times, you may feel pain in one area but the root cause is coming from a totally different body part. For example, some knee pain may be due to issues in the pelvis. So, in this case, the knee exercises you saw in that YouTube video will not resolve your ailment. Athletic Therapists are trained at zooming out and looking at the whole picture.

Your goal is prevention and optimization

You have physical goals and you want to ensure your body is primed and up for the task.

Whether you are starting training for your first 10K run, getting ready to join a sports league or starting a physically demanding job, booking in with an Athletic Therapist can be extremely beneficial to help prevent injuries from occurring. For various reasons, your body may have developed compensations that could lead to injuries if put under repetitive stress. An Athletic Therapist can suss those compensations out, address them as necessary, and get your body back to optimal function for whatever your goals may be.

At the end of the day if you want to feel better, if you want to see changes, or if you want to prevent future problems…go see an AT near you.

Mina Fadol

Mina Fadol

After working as an athletic therapist at the university and collegiate sport levels at Mount Royal University and SAIT, Mina is now treating privately.

Reach out to Mina on LinkedIn

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