Athletic Therapy

Athletic Therapy

phsioCertified Athletic Therapists are best known for their quick-thinking on-field emergency care of professional and elite athletes. The first to respond when someone gets hurt, they are experts at injury assessment and rehabilitation. It’s that same mix of on-site care and active rehabilitation skills that makes Athletic Therapists so effective in treating the musculoskeletal (muscles, bones, and joints) injuries of all Canadians, whether on the field or in the clinic.

Athletic therapists adhere to the Sports Medicine Model of care. They treat a wide range of patients, from kids with concussions to seniors recovering from hip replacement surgery, using various manual therapies, modalities, exercise prescription and even bracing and taping. The treatment varies but the objective doesn’t: an Athletic Therapist’s goal is to help clients return to their usual activities, whether that means playing competitive sports or walking to the mailbox and back.

Certified Athletic Therapists can be recognized by the credential CAT(C).

Long History…

Sports massage therapy has been practiced on athletes dating back to the Greek and Roman civilizations.

Sports massage has a place in a training program as a pre-event warm up or post-event cool down to aid performance and assist in injury prevention.

Many athletes experience DOMS (delayed-onset muscle soreness) after a hard training session or event.  Current evidence shows that massage helps reduce DOMS and has a positive impact on heart rate, blood pressure, and mood.

Sports massage can help improve performance by increasing muscle elasticity and range of motion.  An athlete can generate more power if a muscle is supple enough to be used over the full range of motion of a joint.  Massage therapy is also an effective treatment to identify and resolve small injuries before they become big problems.

Research on Athletic Therapy

The mechanisms of massage and effects on performance, muscle recovery and injury prevention.

Post-exercise massage has been shown to reduce the severity of muscle soreness but massage has no effects on muscle functional loss.  The majority of research on psychological effects of massage has concluded that massage produces positive effects on recovery (psychological mechanisms).

(Weerapong P., Hume PA., Kolt GS., Sports Med. 2005;35(3):235-56).

The effects of athletic massage on delayed onset muscle soreness, creatine kinase, and neutrophil count: a preliminary report.

Two hours after exercise, massage subjects received a 30-minute athletic massage; control subjects rested.  Delayed onset muscle soreness and CK were assessed before exercise and after exercise.  The results of this study suggest that sports massage will reduce DOMS when administered 2 hours after the termination of exercise.

(Smith LL, et al, J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 1994 Feb;19(2):93-9).


For sports injury treatment in Victoria contact Metro Integrated Health.