• Athletic Therapy
  • Athletic Therapy
  • Athletic Therapy

Question and Answer – Athletic Therapy (AT)

This week we sat down with our Athletic Therapist, Katherin Sandfuchs for a special interview - Ask the Expert.

Katherin knows injuries affect us all, especially those engaged in athletics. After years of aerospace quality control, Katherin took a few kinesiology courses. She found her passion and absolutely fell in love. This set her on the path to enrolling in Athletic Therapy at U of W, which clearly has served her well.

She believes in one-on-one whole treatment therapy and working together to create the perfect recovery plan. Her ideal client is someone committed to getting better. Collaboration of her treatments and a client’s homework has the best chance for success.

But because Athletic Therapy is unknown to many, we decided to break it apart into bite-sized pieces. Here are some questions we asked Katherin to better understand the fundamentals of Athletic Therapy and her approach to healing.

BIM: What type of client do you see most often?
KS: The day-to-day individuals who go to work or care for their family despite the pain. I’m talking about the industry workers, people who sit at desks all day, and parents. “These are the people who often don’t think they can live pain-free or who have learned to deal with being in pain. People who have tried many other options and are still having to manage pain and discomfort. Often, these people don’t know what else to do.”

BIM: When would you recommend Athletic Therapy?
KS: I’d recommend AT to any person suffering from an acute or chronic injury, AT can be very beneficial to anyone wanting to break the “Pain Spasm Cycle.”

BIM: What is the Pain Spasm Cycle?
KS: The pain cycle goes like this…
  • • You’re in pain.
  • • Your muscles are guarding (spasm), which leads to disuse. You stop doing the things you love.
  • • This leads to weakness and decreased function and eventually, emotional distress due to this change.
  • • Repeat! Which leads to more pain.
  • • You may come in for a massage, which will help decrease the spasm and give wonderful relief, but it comes back soon afterward.

This is the pain spasm cycle. Layering treatment plans can break this chronic cycle that exists so much in the general population.

BIM: What could one expect in an initial appointment?
KS: An initial appointment is 1 hour in length with follow-up appointments between 45 minutes and an hour. I begin the assessment with a thorough history. Once I understand what’s going on, I educate the client on why and what’s causing the pain. Then, I will perform different techniques as required, such as electrotherapy, ultrasound, heat (thermotherapy), cryotherapy, and manual techniques; but most importantly, I coach the client through an exercise plan, modifying it to suit everyone.

BIM: Why should a client see an AT over Physio?
KS: AT specializes in one field – muscles, joints, bones, tendons, and ligaments (musculoskeletal). Physiotherapists have more scope regarding neurological and cardiovascular health issues. I will spend the entire appointment one-on-one with you.

BIM: How does AT integrate with other modalities?
KS: To help overcome long-lasting CHRONIC ailments, AT can be layered into other modality treatments such as massage therapy and chiropractic to help break the “Pain Spasm Cycle.” For ACUTE injuries, such as sprains or strains AT can promote healing before other modalities.

Did you know?
An Athletic Therapist utilizes two main machines to help speed up recovery.
1. Ultrasound: A thermal machine that offers deep tissue heating, increases the elasticity of tissue, and allows heat to work deep into the muscle.
2. Interferential current (IFC): IFC provides pain relief by stimulating different nerves to take advantage of internal reflexes. IFC works well on acute or chronic injuries.

BIM: What’s one tip that any active person could benefit from to avoid injury?
KS: Keep moving – at any capacity. After all, if you don’t use it, you lose it.

BIM: Is Athletic Therapy covered under my insurance?
KS: Most plans do cover Athletic Therapy. Please call your provider to confirm if you have coverage.
  • • A doctor’s note may or may not be required.

BIM: Do you direct bill?
KS: The only companies that allow AT to direct bill are:
  • • WCB
  • • MPI
  • • Receipt can be submitted for reimbursement for all other companies with AT coverage.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask our expert! You can reach Katherin...
Email: katherin@backinmotonwellness.ca

Athletic Therapy (AT)...

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Phone: (204) 452-1541
Email: info@backinmotionwellness.ca