What Is An Athletic Trainer ?

When I decided to become an athletic trainer, I often had to explain what that meant. Most people thought I was going to be a personal trainer. They would ask me if I could help them lose weight or if I “liked to work out a lot.”

It’s easier to explain an athletic trainer to sports fans. If you watch a football game and see staff members wearing fanny packs run onto the field to help an injured athlete, you have seen an athletic trainer at work!

Athletic trainers (ATs) are health care providers who manage athletic injuries. The profession has grown immensely in the 12+ years since I became certified. We ATs are found, of course, in professional sports, high schools and universities, but you will also find us in hospitals, clinics, at the rodeo, backstage at Cirque du Soleil or at FedEx. Really, ATs are anywhere that people are being physically active.

So, how can an athletic trainer specifically help treat a runner? In a lot of ways!

Video Gait Analysis

Gait analysis can help you identify parts of your running gait that may cause injury. Gait analysis is often combined with other assessments to identify problematic movement patterns.

Injury Prevention

By watching you perform some common exercises and assessing strength and mobility, I can prescribe a corrective exercise program that will reduce your risk of sustaining an injury.

Injury Evaluation

I can evaluate an existing injury to provide you with a diagnosis and a treatment plan. I know when an injury is beyond my scope of practice and requires a doctor.


Athletic trainers are also trained in injury rehabilitation and can return you to running pain free. Sometimes this might involve reducing your training volume, but not always! I know that runners don’t like to stop, so if it isn’t necessary I won’t make you.

Healthy Runner Treatments

Think of these treatments as self-care or “runner hygiene”. Options include cupping, tool assisted massage and Active Release Technique Take a look at the Services page to read more about these skills and to book an appointment.
Happy Running!

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