Friday, May 15, 2015

Athletic Therapy & Physiotherapy Part 2

Physiotherapy - Academy Massage Therapy - Winnipeg Massage TherapistsHow similar are athletic therapy and physiotherapy? 

In the first part of our May blog we focused on Athletic Therapy and how and when it is best utilized to provide relief from injuries mainly pertaining to sports. In this segment we will discuss Physiotherapy. Again it should be stated that while there are distinct similarities in treatment methods, in training and designation there are significant differences between an Athletic Therapist and a Physiotherapist.

It is important to note that only a registered physiotherapist is permitted to use the terms "physiotherapist", "physical therapist" or the professional designation "PT".  Moreover, only registered physiotherapists are permitted to provide physiotherapy assessment, treatment or evaluation.  He/she is a  healthcare professional who works with clients to identify, provide the proper therapy to both treat the problem and maintain optimal health. Physiotherapists concentrate on the function of multiple body systems, improving functional independence and physical performance, preventing and managing physical impairments, disabilities and handicaps while promoting health and fitness. In addition, Physiotherapists are educated in the correct usage of electrical modalities, which includes ultrasound, electrical muscle stimulation and cold wave laser therapy. This in addition to manual therapy and an exercise rehabilitation program.

Physiotherapists undergo similar training as athletic therapists, but their instruction is more comprehensive in the understanding and treatment of all anatomical injuries. For instance, a Physiotherapist is trained to assess and treat burn patients, people recovering from strokes, traumatic and congenital neurology as well as the elderly. Some will also treat sports injuries as well. The education of the Athletic Therapist is focused on the area of assessment and rehabilitation of orthopedic injuries. The Physiotherapist also has a broader scope of practice in their formal education. They possess an undergraduate or master's degree in physiotherapy. Frequently, a physiotherapist will  choose to further their education and take advanced courses in such subjects as cardio-respiratory, pediatrics, orthopedics, neuroscience, rheumatology and sports physiotherapy. Before a physiotherapist can begin his or her practice, they must first register with the College of Physiotherapy in the province/territory they wish to practice in. A registered physiotherapist is eligible to use the term physical therapist or PT. To become a sports physiotherapist they must take additional classes in emergency procedures and register with Sport Physiotherapy Canada.

Physiotherapists analyze the impact of injury, disease or disorder on movement and function during activities of daily living. They promote, restore and prolong physical independence and encourage clients to assume responsibility for their health. They concentrate on the function of multiple body systems and incorporate a broad range of physical and physiological therapeutic interventions and aids. Patients vary from young children to the elderly, and involve a variety of conditions. 

Academy Massage does not currently have a Physiotherapist on staff, but employs certified Athletic Therapists who specialize in treating acute and chronic injuries to muscles, bones and joints, providing care and management of sports and orthopedic trauma: Those that may result from home, workplace or auto accidents, or chronic and recurring conditions. To assist our clients we bill directly to Autopac and Workers Compensation.

Concern for our clients is always a priority at Academy Massage.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Athletic Therapy & Physiotherapy Part 1

Athletic Therapy - Academy Massage - Massage Therapist in Winnipeg

How similar are athletic therapy and physiotherapy? 

Here at Academy Massage this is a question we are frequently asked by those clients seeking the correct course of therapy for pains and/or injuries they might have incurred through various physical mishaps. In fact, as far as treatment procedures go, there is very little difference as both employ manual therapy, modalities, acupuncture and prescribe proper exercise.

The main difference between Athletic (or Sports) Therapy and Physiotherapy is in the education and training as each has a specific scope of practice and designation: A Certified Athletic Therapist in Canada is CAT(C), and a licensed physiotherapist is PT. In this, the first installment of our two-part May blog, we will discuss the practice of Athletic Therapy.

A Certified Athletic Therapist specializes in injury prevention and the immediate care and rehabilitation, should an injury occur, specifically as it relates to team sports or one's individual athletic regimen, be that running, swimming, handball, a strenuous workout at the gym - or even training for an upcoming marathon or triathlon. The prevention program includes musculoskeletal (the muscles, bones and joints of the body) and postural evaluation, a warm-up procedure and conditioning, prophylactic or supportive taping, proper equipment selection, fitting and repair, and adapting the individual to the activity, environment, and facilities. They are also likely to be participants in sports and therefore understand these specific injuries and the demands placed upon athletes in order to compete.

The Athletic Therapist is also trained to assess, evaluate and provide the proper treatment to acute sports trauma. This may include applying on-site first aid or preparation for entry into an appropriate health facility. Athletic therapists frequently employ an aggressive treatment protocol to facilitate the healing process, and have yielded quite successful results. Because of their overall effectiveness in trauma prevention and injury management, Athletic Therapists work closely with professional and national teams, and also in sports clinics across the country.

The education and training is comprehensive and intensive. Athletic Therapists must possess an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution as well as an advanced certification in Athletic Therapy. In addition, they are required to intern at least 1200 hours of practical experience divided into 600 hours of clinical and 600 hours of on-field experience under supervision of a Certified Athletic Therapist. Once candidates have completed these internship hours, hold a valid CPR and First Aid Certificate, and have written support from their supervisor, they are required to write a three-hour examination. 

Candidates must also complete two practical exams which focus on emergency care, modalities, assessment, taping, and rehabilitation. After successful completion, they must maintain good standing with the Canadian Athletic Therapy Association to receive the CAT(C) designation. It is a demanding training schedule that is necessary to ensure injuries are both properly evaluated and attended to.

Whether preparing for an athletic event or suffering pain from a sports-related injury, we recommend that you book an appointment with Academy Massage to discuss with one of our certified and qualified Athletic Therapists the treatment best for you.