Whats the difference between Athletic Therapy and Physiotherapy?

“What is the difference between Physiotherapists and Athletic Therapists?” A question I get asked A LOT!

Well here is the answer: Athletic Therapists (ATs) and Physiotherapists (PTs) both treat musculoskeletal injuries. However they differ in their professional designations, education, and scope of practice. Physiotherapists have a broader scope of practice then Athletic Therapists. In addition to treating musculoskeletal injuries, physiotherapists treat cardiac and respiratory conditions, strokes, amputations and other ailments. Athletic Therapists only treat musculoskeletal injuries: muscles, bones, ligaments and joints. Many Athletic Therapists have experience working with elite athletes, so we try and bring the sport medicine approach executed at the elite level to the general public.

Athletic Therapists are commonly recommended to people who are seeking rehabilitation from injuries that limit their active lifestyle or sport performance. Some individuals think, well I’m not an athlete so I can’t see you. Being active can encompass a wide variety of tasks: walking down the street or picking up a your child or grandchild for example.

Insurance benefit providers usually cover both treatment options. Simply check your plan to see what it offers. Sometimes Athletic Therapy and Physiotherapy are grouped together in terms of benefit coverage, but it differs plan to plan.

So do your research! What are your goals? What type of injury do you have? How long has it been bothering you? Are you utilizing the best health care practitioner for your goals?

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