In honor of National Athletic Training Month in the States this entry will be an overview of all the different areas that an Athletic Therapist works in.
All the major professional sports in North America have associations for their Athletic Therapists/Trainers (ATs), the NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB and MLS all have highly qualified personal on their sidelines to ensure the safety of their athletes. Many of the national sport programs in Canada and the United States carry ATs to help lead their medical teams.
It is not just mainstream sports that employ ATs. There are ATs working with major dance and performing arts groups such as Cirque du Soleil, Radio City Music Hall Rockettes, Disneyland and Disney World. Many ballet companies employ ATs to keep their dancers in top form through rehearsals and performances. In both Canada and the US you will find ATs working and supporting pro rodeo athletes, working in the NLL, and the PGA. You will find that ATs work with cheerleaders, gymnasts and figure skaters. No sport is immune to us being there to help the athletes, coaches and parents be safe.
From secondary schools to major universities and colleges ATs are the driving force for player safety. Many are required to teach classes or do research during the day and then start treating and preparing athletes for practices and games. For those in secondary schools they are the sole person in charge of all their schools athletes which can range in the hundreds. Those working at major post secondary institutions might be lucky enough to have a group of assistant therapists/trainers as well as a group of student trainers/therapists. They become administrators and teachers on top of their normal AT tasks.
As discussed in our post So You Only Work with Athletes Right? ATs do not only work with athletes. Though many work in a clinical setting where they help rehab athletes from injuries, they also will treat the general public. ATs are employed in hospitals, as occupational health and safety experts and with the military. Many private companies are using the skill sets of ATs to help reduce on the job injuries and improve the overall health of their employees. One of the motos of the Canadian Athletic Therapist Association is Rapid Return to Work and Play.
The skill sets of prevention and rehabilitative care are not only for those in the areas of sport and work settings. Anybody who suffers from a musculoskeletal injury can benefit for seeing an AT. If you have been in a motor vehicle accident, fell on the ice and broke your ankle, strained your back shoveling snow or hurt your shoulder doing yard work, ATs will get you back on track quickly and safely.
All Athletic Therapists/Trainers are trained in the areas of injury prevention, rehabilitation and emergency care. We work with all levels of athletes, different types of occupations, and all ages of the general public. Our goal no matter what our occupational setting is to help you get back to either work or play safely and quickly. We truly are AT4All.
Please follow us on Twitter @EliteInjuryMgmt and check out or website at www.eliteinjury.com