7 Reasons to Hire an Athletic Therapist for your 2018 Fitness Goals
I have a client who I’ve been seeing regularly for the past few weeks. He started a new job as a courier which is quite physical – lifting approximately 5000lbs over the course of a day! Going from a job where he was primarily sitting all day, to walking and lifting for 8-10 hours a day, it’s an understatement to say that his body was having trouble adjusting quickly to the new demands and as a result, he was on the suboptimal side of the tissue capacity continuum (injury):
LOAD > CAPACITY = INJURY
LOAD > CAPACITY = REHAB
LOAD < CAPACITY = PREVENTION & PERFORMANCE
It started with his forearms fatiguing very quickly, causing soreness and sometimes weakness resulting in him dropping packages (hope all your Christmas gifts came intact!). Then he tweaked his back, and now after a couple days off with the holidays, he’s feeling the start of plantar fasciosis – something that could be quite detrimental to the ability for him to do his job. We were able to put out these ‘fires’ and address the posterior chain restrictions causing his plantar fascia discomfort through eccentric loading before it becomes an issue but he quickly realized that if he wants to avoid injury and be able to do this job well long-term he would need to focus on injury prevention in addition to some occasional manual therapy to ‘calm shit down.’ So he asked about options for strength and mobility training.. enter our Performance Plus package – perfect for those who want to continue focusing on strength and conditioning, movement and mobility post-injury, or those who want to be proactive in their health (i.e. stay on the optimal side of the tissue capacity continuum (see prevention & performance)
After discussing the options, came the obvious question that usually pops into someone’s mind when looking for help with a program.. “Why should I work with an Athletic Therapist instead of a Personal Trainer?”
So, here’s 7-ish reasons to hire an Athletic Therapist to help you with your 2018 fitness goals:
Certified Athletic Therapists go through strenuous formal post-secondary education, whether a 4-year Bachelor’s Degree or a post-grad diploma, we’ve taken a multitude of courses focused in the musculoskeletal system including advanced anatomy, exercise physiology, strength & conditioning, injury prevention and rehabilitation, therapeutic exercise, manual therapy, sports psychology, nutrition and more.
In addition to formal education, a Certified Athletic Therapist must complete 1200 hours hands-on in the field and in the clinic, meaning not only do we understand the theory behind treating and training the musculoskeletal system, we can apply it practically. We then have to pass both a written and practical exam before earning the title of Certified Athletic Therapist, but it doesn’t stop there – in order to maintain our certification we need to take continuing education courses to keep up-to-date on current research as well as maintain a current First Responder certification (i.e. you’re in good hands if an emergency arises during one of your training sessions).
Athletic Therapists specialize in the musculoskeletal system, meaning we spend A LOT of time assessing movement (and be able to determine WHY your overhead position is restricted, not just tell you that it is restricted). A good, thorough assessment is an important part of the recipe for an effective program!
4. INJURY PREVENTION while IMPROVING PERFORMANCE:
As a ‘hybrid’ therapist (i.e. strength and conditioning PLUS manual therapist), we understand musculoskeletal injuries. Being well-versed on how to assess, treat and rehabilitate an injury means an Athletic Therapist knows the mechanisms behind injuries, allowing us to program effectively to not only minimize injury risks but to address your individual needs to become more robust so when those ‘oops’ situations happen your body can absorb more of the load – decreasing severity of injury and length of recovery time.
5. INJURY REHABILITATION:
With any physical activity comes risk of injury (and with no physical activity comes risk of chronic disease.. you choose!). Working with an Athletic Therapist means that when something starts creeping up we can address it right away (yes, even during your session!) so that you can get back to performing at your best and not waste precious training time. If something more acute occurs (i.e. sprain, strain, etc) that does take you out of your regular training, we have the knowledge to start a rehabilitation program right away (Check out this article on How starting rehab early can speed recovery from muscle injuries) as well as modify your training program appropriately to minimize impact of your injury and maximize recovery getting you back to 100% faster.
6. MANUAL THERAPY:
Sometimes injuries and restrictions need some hands-on love – we can do that too! Athletic Therapists are trained in manual therapy techniques including soft tissue and joint mobilization. Ankle a little jammed in your squat? An Athletic Therapist can mobilize it during your training session so you can keep working toward that squat PR!
7. CONTINUATION OF CARE:
Avoid the frustration of having to explain to your therapist about your training program, and explaining all the things your therapist told you to avoid to your trainer. We will work with you to address both your health and performance needs – and if we do need a second set of eyes, or you require treatment outside our scope or expertise, we’re used to working with others to get the best outcome possible for YOU.
And for those who do have Athletic Therapy coverage through their Extended Health Benefits, you can claim these sessions!
ENOUGH ABOUT US, TELL US ABOUT YOU!
Do you have athletic or fitness goals for 2018? Has Athletic Therapy piqued your interest? Can’t wait to reach new heights in 2018? Contact Sarah for any questions and to learn about an amazing promotion for January 2018!