As a competitive athlete and outdoor enthusiast, Cayla Galarneau decided she wanted to play an active role in helping people achieve an injury-free lifestyle to pursue their adventures without limitations. Cayla completed her Bachelor of Kinesiology from the University of Calgary with an Advanced Certificate in Athletic Therapy from Mount Royal University and became a Certified Athletic Therapist in 2010. While at UofC Cayla supported the wrestling athletes preparing for nationals, Olympic trials and won ACAC championship working with the women’s hockey team.
Cayla started her career in a multi-disciplinary clinic where her focus was reconditioning those who suffered work-related injury back to full work duty. She focused on helping patients regain full range of motion, strengthen to meet job demands, learn proper lifting techniques and body mechanics for specific work tasks and instill confidence to return to work. Cayla learned that a team approach to injury care is most beneficial to a patient. There are aspects of injury and healing that different professionals have expertise with and she enjoys collaborating with other care providers.
Cayla then started an Athletic Therapy practice within an International Fitness Holdings Gym. Here, Cayla served as a Personal Trainer and Athletic Therapist working with chronic injury, physical limitations and fitness goers of all levels. She furthered her education in the fitness industry with nutrition, Olympic lifting, kettlebell training, viper and metabolic conditioning.
From here, Cayla transition into an Edmonton Public High School, providing Athletic Therapy services and management of the Fitness Centre. Not only was she a dedicated therapist for 20 sports teams, but she cared for all musculoskeletal injuries of staff and students, was the responder for medical emergencies, taught classes and provided fitness programs.
Cayla was the head Athletic Therapist for an Alberta senior men’s B lacrosse team for 4 years. She was part of the medical team for many high-level sporting events such as Judo World Championships, Track Nationals and Olympic trials, Soccer Nationals, Ultimate Frisbee Nationals and travelled with youth provincial rugby and soccer teams. Cayla is grateful for all her experiences and has gained knowledge in each role.
When a patient works with Cayla they will receive much more than treatment for an injury. They will be educated, taught a full-body reconditioning program, encouraged and gain a passion for health and fitness. Cayla not only wants her patient to have a successful outcome but to achieve long term benefits.
Certifications and Memberships
Certified Athletic Therapist
Canadian Athletic Therapists Association Member
Alberta Athletic Therapists Association Member
Canadian Red Cross Standard First Aid and CPR HCP
Mental Health First Aid Certified
Soft Tissue Release
Muscle Energy of the Lower Body
Evidence Informed Clinical Cupping
Kinesiotaping in Canada
Get to know Cayla Galarneau
What do you do for leisure?
Doing activities with my family, hiking, backpacking, snowshoeing, skiing (x-country and downhill), soccer, racquet sports…any sport, camping and scrapbooking.
Most memorable moment as an AT?
There are way too many.
I’ll go with the very first patient I saw as a Certified AT in the clinical setting. She was a regular in the gym, would come in daily and join the group fitness classes. My Fitness Manager suggested she come talk to me about her ongoing shoulder issues. I had none of the AT process set up yet, just a treatment table in the middle of the gym. This lady was hesitant and skeptical of AT, not knowing exactly what AT was. Not to mention the failed treatments she had received in the past. After talking with her and explaining what I could do to help, she decided to give it a try. She could not lift her arms past shoulder height and had very limited movement in her neck. She had thought this was her new normal. Following 1 session of manual therapy treatment, teaching her proper scapular setting and guiding her exercise plan, her pain decreased significantly and her range of motion doubled both in her shoulders and neck. In only 3 to 4 sessions total, she had no pain, full range of motion and gained an incredible amount of strength… not to mention a more rewarding experience in her group fitness classes.
It has been incredibly rewarding practising as an AT because there are so many success stories and outstanding outcomes where I know I have had a significant impact on that person’s life.
Biggest mentor or motivator?
I can’t say I have one. I find that I am always surrounded by motivating people and that I can learn so much by listening to family, friends, co-workers, other professionals, teachers and even complete strangers.
If you had a superpower but could only use it once a month, what would it be?
I would love to have a superpower where I could heal illness or injury just by the touch of my hand (I do recognize that this would put many people out of work). The ability to manipulate objects with my mind could be fun however! Haha
Christmas!! Love the winter festivities, the decorating, sleigh riding, family time and delicious baking!!
If you could go back in time which year would you choose to go back to and why?
I would love to go back to the days without technology or cars and experience how different life would be.
How do you like your coffee? or caffeine?
Black in the morning; either an espresso con panna or latte in the afternoon.
Tell us something no one would know about you?
I grew up camping on crown land and spending hours touring on ATVs through the mud, muskegg, and cutlines. As a baby I would fall asleep in the back of an argo and as a teen I learned to drive a quad much before getting my own drivers licence.