January 15, 2023

Injury Prevention with the SMART Clinic

Many Canadians work in trades or occupations that are physically demanding and may require doing the same tasks throughout the day, often involving repetitive motion and requiring endurance and stamina. If this sounds like your line of work, you're an industrial athlete.

An industrial athlete is someone who does repetitive or physically demanding work, such as in a factory, farm, hospital, or other industrial, agricultural or construction settings. Industrial athletes have to use flexibility, strength and endurance in their jobs, which can cause overuse injuries.

Certified Athletic Therapist (CAT(C)) Jennifer Johnson-Kornacki has been running a clinic and working with industrial athletes for almost 20 years. She began running her clinic soon after becoming a CAT(C) in 2000 as she wanted to build on her skills as an athletic therapist in her own way.

She named her clinic the SMART clinic, centering the name on the premise that they are accessible for everyone, not only sports athletes, to come and heal the smart way. The clinic focuses on sports medicine and rehabilitation, as well as education, awareness, and techniques for improving ways of work to prevent future injury.

Athletic therapy allows workers to understand how they move and use their body on a daily basis. A lot of what she does at the SMART clinic is injury prevention. If workers know how to work the smart way, they will be able to perform better on the job and do more physical activity outside of work. Working the smart way will ensure your work will not affect the activities of daily life and doing the things you love.

She compares their injury prevention with industrial athletes to working with athletes on sports teams; before the season, they do pre-season assessments with sports athletes. With industrial athletes, they do similar types of assessments where they go into the spaces where their industrial athletes work and look at the way they move and what tools they use on a regular basis. They also look at their personal conditions and help them correct how they work to develop techniques for preventing overuse injuries. For the SMART clinic, it is really important to work with new hires and educate them before they develop bad habits.

The SMART clinic works with a wide range of industrial athletes, including office workers, truck drivers, auto workers, nurses and many more. They help prevent injury for all workers, especially those who do very repetitive things whether that is staying in a static position or doing a lot of movement and lifting. Any industrial athlete could benefit from a team of experts to support them and their main tool - their body.

To find a Certified Athletic Therapist to help you as an industrial athlete and improve your performance, visit the CATA website. Make sure to stay up to date with CATA by following us on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn!