What is a Certified Athletic Therapist or CAT(C)?

The scope of practice of a CAT(C) includes the prevention, immediate care, and reconditioning of musculoskeletal injuries. Generally a CAT(C) provides medical coverage for sporting events, provides treatments in a clinic and/or works as a Strength and Conditioning Coach to enhance athletic performance.

A CAT(C) performs a thorough clinical assessment of any musculoskeletal injury and/or condition, looking for the root cause of the problem. They use contemporary rehabilitative techniques, therapeutic modalities, soft tissue mobilization, physical reconditioning, and supportive strapping procedures to reduce pain, discomfort, or fatigue. They work with the patient in order to promote an environment conducive to optimal healing. CAT(C)'s take an active approach to therapy, providing exercises and education, all in an effort to safely reintegrate an individual back into an active lifestyle as quickly as possible.


“I’ve always thought that lower back pain and tight hip flexors were inevitable, given the nature of my job and a long-term consequence of being active for many years. It wasn’t until working with Rachael that I learned these side effects could be completely alleviated with some manual therapy and proper training that focused on improving my weak areas and encouraging proper movement. This experience has taught me the importance of a personalized program -- something that my old routine was lacking."

Jamie Mooser, Brampton Fire Fighter


Who can benefit from Athletic Therapy?

A common misunderstanding is that CAT(C)'s only work with athletes. A CAT(C) generally works with active populations, whether that means you're active in your job, on the weekends with your kids or play a recreational sport. Activities of daily living often require athletic-type movements and a CAT(C) can develop specific rehabilitation and conditioning programs to mimic these movement patterns.

The following is a non-inclusive list of individuals who may benefit from seeing a CAT(C):

  • Persons suffering from acute/chronic musculoskeletal injury
  • Muscle strains/ligament sprains
  • Fractures
  • Tendonitis/tendonosus
  • Back pain
  • Joint pain (shoulder, hip, knee, elbow, ankle, wrist etc.)
  • Pre/Post-surgery
  • Concussion Management
  • Persons looking for injury prevention programs
  • Athletic individuals looking to enhance performance
  • Sporting event medical coverage
  • Persons looking to get into physical activity with a pre-existing limitation
  • Athletic Treatment Graph

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At Shift we help you get back to your active lifestyle, whichever it is. Come and see why Shift is Guelph's Premiere physical rehabilitation and concussion clinic.

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