I am pretty sure when I told my parents I was going to be an Athletic Therapist my dad had a heart attack. He had no clue what it was but was pretty sure he didn't want his baby girl being one. Since that moment I have spent a major part of my life explaining what it is I do and what an Athletic Therapist is, even to those who think they know.
So what is an Athletic Therapist? Well we are health care professionals who are trained in the areas prevention, immediate care and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal injuries. We work with athletes from the young hockey player and the weekend warrior to the professional and Olympic level athletes. No matter the level or sport we are there. Be it at the rink, field, court, studio, gym or clinic we want to support athletes in achieving their goals. Not only do we treat athletes we can work with general public helping them overcome injuries that they receive either at work or home.
So what do we do? Everything. We can help with equipment, tape any joint you prefer, assess your injury on site and rehab you from there to return to play. We are the first ones there and the last ones to leave. The best analogy I have heard to describe us is "mom". We know when our athletes are hurt before they do, if they are having a bad day and how to fix it.
My daughter says I fix football players owies by putting bandaids on them. My husband laughs because I love the smell of a hockey rink. I can fix anything with a roll of athletic tape, and hate being called "trainer". I have slept on treatment tables, numerous buses and even bags of equipment. The long hours, endless bus rides are worth it. Being able make a difference in my athletes lives is worth it, because that is what we do.
For more information on what Certified Athletic Therapists can do please check out www.eliteinjury.com and www.athletictherapy.org.