Achelois Sports and Athletic Therapy

Achelois in greek mythology is characterized as the goddess “who drives pain away”. The reason I have chosen to name my Sports and Athletic Therapy clinic Achelois is because I believe that to best heal the body, relieve it of pain, and ensure that no more pain occurs; your treatment should be primarily manual based. This does not only refer to the release of tight muscles, I am referring to relieving tight muscles, myo-fascial releases, tractions to the joints, muscles and tendons as well as, the strengthening of the body to enhance stabilization and muscular support.

 

I do not believe that people should have to live in pain; there should be pain management for all injuries, chronic or acute. I may not be equipped with the techniques to treat all injuries however; I will do everything in my power and abilities to ensure that we find a therapist who can.

 

As would the greek goddess, Achelois, I will spend the whole treatment time with you personally and will be using manual therapies to treat you injury in order to “drive the pain away”. I will also, use my techniques to assess and treat any areas, which could cause injury in the future. I then equip you with all information and home rehabilitation techniques available to ensure you are able to keep the pain away on your own. Yes, I would love to keep seeing all my clients however; outside of the clinic is preferred by me. If injury re-occurs and the pain returns, my clients know they can come back for that extra help needed. I do not want my clients to be reliant on my treatments to keep their pain away and believe that they should not need treatment every week for prolonged periods of time.

 

An example of how I drive the pain away would be, low back pain, this is a pain prominent in our society that is typically caused by tight muscles, disc injury or both. Through my Athletic Therapy treatments I will relieve the pain steaming from the muscles and fascia surrounding the injury by mobilization, massage, needing, guasha and cupping techniques. Then I would apply traction to the area taking the pressure off the muscles, bones, discs and other surrounding tissues to allow them space to heal. I will send you home with exercises and stretches personalize to your body and the specific injury. Through the at home rehabilitation techniques and my extended treatments I will widen my scope to other areas of the body that cause the injury to occur OR may cause it to re-occur. For lower back pain this would typically be treatment to the hips, hamstrings, upper back and abdominals.

 

As stated, I believe that no one should have to live with pain, it should be treated and the body should be able to live pain-free. Injuries occur throughout life, we are all so active throughout our day-to-day and there are so many factors, which can cause injury. We are not able to live in a bubble (which is a whole other store on how THAT could cause injury); so, since we are all human and have injury at some point in our lives, treatment is necessary to get us back to our active lifestyles. Let me “drive” your pain away and get you back to whatever lifestyle you choose.

A Few Modalities in Review

As you may already know, Certified Athletic Therapists are trained in various forms of therapeutic modalities. Included in these modalities is the comprehensive knowledge and training of electrical stimulation devices, therapeutic ultrasound, cold and heat, cryo-therapy, massage and mobilization. I have now obtained an EMS and TENS machine, along with two gel hot/cold pads.

 

EMS also called, Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation; is a form of stimulation, which utilizes gel pads that are placed on the injured area then electrical pulses are the sent into the skin via these pads. The pulses therefore intercept the pain signals before getting to the brain; this helps decrease pain so that we are able to rehabilitate the area faster.

 

TENS or Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation is similar to the EMS stimulation however, the muscles become involved in the signal. The gel pads are used to send electrical stimulation deep into the muscles, causing a movement that is often physically observed. When this occurs the body blocks the pain receptors much the same as an EMS. Along with the decrease in pain, TENS also aids in relaxing the muscles to which it is stimulating. Relaxation of the muscles helps take the pressure off injuries and helps me; the therapist, to access the injury and rehabilitate it.

 

TOGETHER these electrical stimulations work to decrease pain, increase range of motion, and decrease your recovery time. By using both stimulation techniques you get the best of both worlds. Some people are not big fans of the contraction to which the TENS stimulates, where you feel a physical movement of the area or limb. This stimulation should not be painful in any way, if it is then the machine should be turned down. The particular machine that I have purchased has 12 different settings; these deliver stimulations in different patterns designed for various purposes. These techniques can be used simply for the pain relief and muscle relaxation purpose, as mentioned above. Or, they can be utilized to help teach the muscles how to contract properly. This technique of stimulation can be beneficial when the muscles are weak, having a hard time firing, they have not been used since surgery or a bone break OR in postural corrections; to help the scapulae set correctly.

 

HOT/COLD pads are primarily used in the clinic to help the muscles get warmed up for treatment or help cool them off after treatment. The gel packs I have acquired are designed so that they do not need to be pre-heated before use, you simply press the “clickies” button and the chemical reaction starts inside. Within seconds they are completely transformed and stay warm for up to two hours. To cool the pack down you place them in the fridge or freezer for 10-15minutes and when you take them out the pack stays cold for up to a few hours. Heat and cold modalities get deep into the muscles to block the pain receptors much like the stimulation would have done. Heat is helpful to use before a treatment, exercise or stretching, it is typically preferred in chronic injuries. Cold is the preferred method to help decrease the pain in acute injuries as well as decrease swelling and bruising; it can also be used after treatment and exercise and stretching.

 

Modalities are used for various purposes many of which I have not even touched on in this blog post. In the future I will hopefully have the chance to obtain more modalities to use in my clinical setting. For now if you have any questions on the use of modalities listed here, or you have seen used in other clinical settings please feel free to ask me. My contact information can be found on my “Email the Therapist” page.

What is An Athletic Therapist?

Athletic Therapy is a profession commonly utilized by sporting teams and events for their unique on-field emergency care. However, their scope of practice does not stop there; a Certified Athletic Therapist has the ability to work both on and off the field to meet all needs of the active population. They use various assessment, prevention, intervention and practical management skills to ensure the client’s full recovery to their active lifestyle.

 

Certified Athletic Therapists must be certified through the Canadian Athletic Therapists Association (CATA) before they are able to practice. This is accomplished by completion of a certification course at one of the many accredited institutions in Canada, followed by the successful completion of the Canadian Athletic Therapists’ certification exam. The therapist may then proceed to maintain their Medical Sport First Responder’s designation while they complete mandatory continuing education courses throughout their career. Through these educational institutions a Certified Athletic Therapist  will be trained in the following areas; clinical and on-field orthopedic assessment, pre-surgical & post-surgical assessment and treatment, manual therapy, modalities, exercise prescription, sporting equipment fitting and emergency removal, emergency injury management, tape and supporting techniques, functional testing, comprehensive care, injury prevention and concussion management.

 

By attending an assessment with a Certified Athletic Therapist your injury will be thoroughly assessed using history, observation, manual testing and palpation techniques necessary to gain insight into your injured area and lifestyle. Using this information the therapist will then treat accordingly  to decrease pain, swelling, changes of sensation, increase mobility and help ensure that re-injury is less likely to occur. At home you will receive a follow-up exercise program that will allow you to complete your rehabilitation without having to come to the clinic. These exercises and stretches are personalized to you and your body type in order to rehabilitate the area as well as ensure that re-injury is less likely to occur. The goal of the therapist is to get you back to your active lifestyle as soon as possible and with as much ease as possible. You are equipped with the means necessary to ensure if re-injury starts to occur, you have techniques to help stop it.  However, if you do re-injure, your therapist is there to help.

 

If you choose to have a Certified Athletic Therapist at your sporting event they will be with you pre-game, during, post-game and for follow up appointments to ensure all your sporting needs are met. Pre-game duties for the therapist include but are not limited to, manual releases, compacted injury treatment, taping or bracing and warm up/mobility programming. During the event your Certified Athletic Therapist is there for, injury response, treatment and return to play decision-making, as well as, equipment fitting and repair. Post-game, the therapist will follow up with the athletes to ensure no other injuries have been missed and any on-going injuries are properly treated after the event. Once the event has completely finished and all injuries have been treated on-site to the best of the therapist’s abilities their services do not stop there, your therapist will follow-up with you or your athletes to provide clinical treatments as well as exercise programming as needed.

One common injury that is often overlooked by athletes is a concussion. Certified Athletic Therapists have unique training with concussions allowing them to best return you, or your athlete to their active lifestyle safely. The therapists will do baseline concussion SCAT2 testing as well as may perform online neuro-cognitive testing to gain further information essential to potential future injuries. These tests, are then used in the future if you or your loved one sustains a concussion anywhere in their active life. If a concussion is sustained the tests are repeated in the same manner as the baseline test to track the rehabilitation of the athlete’s concussion. Once the therapist has deemed it safe for the athlete to return to play, they will gradually re-introduce to activity using functional and sport-specific testing to ensuring re-injury does not occur.

 

Choosing treatment by an Athletic Therapist is one of many great therapeutic resources. Your therapist may also refer you to seek the care of other therapeutic  providers when necessary to ensure all your needs are met. These include but are not limited to the practices performed by; Chiropractors, Physiotherapists, Osteopaths, Naturopaths, Massage Therapists, Personal Trainers, and Doctors.