What is Physiotherapy?
Physiotherapy is a leading, evidence based health care profession that improves your health without the use of drugs or surgery. Physiotherapists are primary healthcare providers who are regulated by the Health Professions Council, this is the same Council that regulates medical doctors. Physiotherapists are your partner in evaluating and restoring strength, endurance, movement and physical abilities affected by injury, disease, or disability. A physiotherapist works closely with your physician to help you manage and prevent many physical problems caused by sport, illness, disease, work related injury, aging, and long periods of inactivity.
Physiotherapy in Canada is currently a university Masters program requiring a minimum of six years of university training before being able to practice as a physiotherapist. Physiotherapists then continue with post graduate studies in a number of different fields that allow a physiotherapist to advance their expertise in a particular area or a number of different areas. Some of these areas include:
Sprains, strains, ligament tears and other athletic injuries are a factor in most sports. Physiotherapy treatment includes sport specific exercise, taping, bracing, ultrasound, manual therapy, and icing ensure professional and casual athletes stay in the game without risking more injury.
Orthopaedics/Manual Therapy/Spinal Manipulation
For low back pain, neck, knee and shoulder injuries, tendonitis or any other joint or muscle problem, an orthopaedic or manual therapist can help restore strength, comfort and activity.
Physiotherapists treat asthma, emphysema, and bronchial conditions, bypass surgery or heart attack recovery by optimizing heart and lung function.
Specially trained physiotherapists assist in recovery from hand injury or disease using exercise, manual therapy, and splinting techniques to promote optimal hand function
Physiotherapists play a vital role in diagnosing and treating orthopaedic, neurological and respiratory conditions that can impact childhood development such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, cystic fibrosis and developmental delays.
Pre and Post Natal Care
Physiotherapists can prescribe exercise programs to keep you fit before the birth of your child and get you back in shape afterwards. Low back and pelvic pain is a common complaint during pregnancy. There are a number of ways that you can reduce the pain and this can include; manual therapy, specific exercises, massage, TENS and bracing. You can also get more specific advice on the most appropriate exercises to strengthen your back.
Stroke, spinal cord and brain injuries, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, Parkinson's and other nervous system conditions all respond to specialized techniques which help people re-learn motor skills and improve movement control.
Many physiotherapists have specialized training in treating bladder and bowel control. They help people with incontinence and pelvic pain or who have had prostate surgery to regain a healthy and active lifestyle. Muscle re-education and stimulation, biofeedback and bladder habit re-training alleviate incontinence, pelvic pain, prostrate post surgical conditions.
Physiotherapists help people with arthritis, heart disease, stroke, or problems getting around by helping joints stay flexible, improving balance, preventing falls and helping manage pain and chronic conditions.
|Qualifications and what they mean?
In order to practice physiotherapy in Canada, physiotherapists must be registered with the regulatory board or College of Physiotherapists in their province/territory. It is illegal to practice physiotherapy without being registered or licensed and there are laws governing the granting and removal of a physiotherapist’s registration. The title ‘physiotherapist’ or ‘physical therapist’ is protected which means that to call oneself a physiotherapist one must be registered in that specific province/territory.
Our physiotherapist’s have a number of letters after their name which can be confusing, please find below a list of qualifications and what they mean:
BScPT:Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy
This is the graduate qualification a person must have to practice physiotherapy once they are registered with the regulatory board or College of Physiotherapists in their province/territory. In Canada, this was the only route to practice physiotherapy prior to the inception of the Masters program in the early 2000’s.
MPT/MPhty:Master of Physiotherapy
This is the current post graduate qualification a person in Canada must have to practice physiotherapy once they are registered with the regulatory board or College of Physiotherapists in their province/territory.
MMT:Master of Manual Therapy
This post graduate physiotherapy program teaches advanced clinical reasoning, diagnosis, classification and musculoskeletal management/rehabilitation. A physiotherapist with this qualification has special skills specific to treatment methods including joint mobilization and manipulation, muscle energy and muscle imbalance correction techniques, management of neurogenic pain disorders and rehabilitation of the neuromuscular system.
FCAMPT:Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Manipulative Physical Therapy
FCAMPT therapists have completed extensive advanced post graduate education in the area of orthopaedics and have achieved internationally recognized qualifications in hands on manual and manipulative therapy.
RCAMPT:Registrant of the Canadian Academy of Manipulative Physical Therapy
RCAMPT therapists have completed extensive post graduate education in the area of orthopaedics and have achieved qualifications in hands on manual and manipulative therapy.
CAFCI:Certified by the Acupuncture Foundation of Canada Institute
This is post graduate training and qualification in medical acupuncture.
CPMA:Certificate Program in Medical Acupuncture
This is post graduate training and qualification in medical acupuncture.
CMP: Certified Mulligan Practitioner
They have successfully completed the examination process, are recognized as Certified Mulligan Practitioners and are entitled to use the following credentials: CMP.
|How Can Physiotherapy Help Me?
Physiotherapists are skilled in the assessment and management of a broad range of conditions that affect the musculoskeletal, circulatory, respiratory and nervous systems. Here are some of the ways physiotherapy can help you:
- Treat sports injuries and provide advice on prevention of recurrence
- Address physical challenges associated with back pain, arthritis, repetitive strain injury etc.
- Direct care for children with paediatric conditions such as orthopaedic, neurological and respiratory conditions
- Get you back on your feet after surgery
- Maximize your mobility if you have a neurological disorders such as stroke, spinal cord injury or Parkinson’s disease
- Oversee rehabilitation in your home after you have been ill or injured
- Provide pre- and post-natal care and attend to other women’s health conditions
- Treat neck and back pain and other joint injuries
- Work with you to treat and manage respiratory and cardiac conditions
Physiotherapists treat people in hospitals and clinics, neighbourhood schools, homes and long-term care programs, and sports medicine facilities. When an accident or illness affects your body, your physiotherapist, a university-trained medical professional can restore mobility. Physiotherapists treat the whole body.
With ongoing clinical research, physiotherapists continue to develop techniques to prevent and treat physical injury and disorder.
|What to Expect When You See a Physiotherapist
Physiotherapists employ a comprehensive biomechanical approach, looking at the underlying causes of the injury, not just the injured part. All our therapists have an excellent orthopaedic knowledge base, as reflected by their graduate and post graduate university qualifications.
A physiotherapist will:
- Take a thorough history of the presenting complaint and any other relevant previous medical history
- Assess your level of mobility, strength and endurance
- Diagnose your condition and develop a treatment plan with you to restore movement and reduce limitations
- Employ specific evidence based hands-on manual therapy for your condition
- Prescribe and demonstrate specific therapeutic exercises
- Monitor your progress over time and adjust your treatment accordingly
- Prepare you for independence with advice on how to manage the condition, including education on complications and prevention of a recurring problem.
For your first appointment, please remember:
- An initial assessment takes between 45 mins – 1 hour
- Arrive ten minutes early in order to complete any necessary paperwork
- Bring any referrals or paper work you may think is relevant to your treatment for example x-ray or scan reports
- Bring appropriate clothing i.e. shorts for a knee complaint etc.
Write down any questions you have prior to your appointment and bring them with you for your physiotherapist to answer.
Owner, Physiotherapist, Orthopaedics, Sports Injuries, Spinal Manipulation, IMS (Intramuscular Stimulation)
BSc(Hons) PT, MMT, FCAMPT, CMP, GUNN IMS
Dan McDonald is a physiotherapist with a very international background whose expertise lies in working with a variety of orthopaedic conditions, sports injury rehabilitation/therapy, manual therapy and spinal manipulation. An Aussie native, who grew up and trained as a physiotherapist in the U.K. After graduating from university with a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Physiotherapy in 2001. He then worked in the National Health System for three years treating cardiorespiratory, neurological as well as musculoskeletal conditions. Daniel soon developed an interest in orthopaedics and sports injuries and undertook a post graduate diploma in Orthopaedic Medicine.
In the pursuit of furthering his musculoskeletal knowledge and skills, Dan was accepted onto a Master of Manual Therapy at the University of Western Australia which he completed in 2007.
Dan has worked in both hospitals and private clinics not only as a physiotherapist treating patients but as a clinical educator and in service management. Most recently, prior to his arrival in Fernie, Dan worked at a clinic in Vancouver where he treated a variety of conditions. On top of his busy clinical case load, he pursued further advanced manual therapy training and is now a Certified Mulligan Practitioner (CMP) and a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Manipulative Physical Therapists (FCAMPT). He is also a member of Sports Physiotherapy Canada providing physiotherapy and acute injury care for a variety of athletes.
Dan took over Fernie Physiotherapy with his partner Jaime Ellis in May 2009 and is proud to be providing physiotherapy services to the community and surrounding area. Dan is also a Gunn IMS practitioner. IMS (Intramuscular Stimulation) is a scientifically proven, clinically effective method of chronic pain management. IMS is available at both Fernie and Elkford Physiotherapy clinics.
When Dan is not working he can be found ripping down a mountain on either skis or a mountain bike, so watch out!
Physiotherapist, Orthopaedics, Sports Injuries, Women's Health, Occupational Rehabilitation
Lynn has 15 years experience as a physiotherapist and has been a dedicated Associate of the clinic since 2004.
Lynn graduated from Queen’s University in Ontario with her Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy in 1994. She initially commenced work as a physiotherapist for the Canadian Forces and the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario. After her stint there, Lynn decided it was time for a change and made her way down the Bayou to southern Louisiana where she worked for a private clinic and hospital. She then made a move to New Orleans where she was locum for a number of different hospitals who offered many different levels of care. Her experiences here included wound care, rehabilitation, community paediatrics 0-3yrs, outpatient paediatrics and geriatric physiotherapy.
Lynn first arrived in Fernie during 1998 and continued to visit friends here until 2004 when she made the big move. During Lynn’s many years of physiotherapy experience she has continued with a high level of post graduate education including courses in pilates, athletic training, weight training, manual therapy, women’s health, canine physiotherapy and aquatic physiotherapy.
When Lynn is not working, she is a very busy mom taking care of her new addition and plays for the Fernie ladies soccer team.
RMT (BC Registered Massage Therapist)
Stephanie has always had a passion for health and the mountains. While studying kinesiology and psychology in University, she spent her weekends traveling to Mount Washington to volunteer on ski patrol and teach skiing. After completing her BSc at the University of Victoria in 2004, Stephanie's love for the mountains brought her to Whistler. Here she found herself involved in ski patrol and backcountry snowmobile and ATV guiding.
After returning to school to become a BC Registered Massage Therapist, Stephanie gained experience working in a physiotherapy clinic and five-star spa in Whistler. She now resides in Fernie, where she has been enjoying the lifestyle and meeting and helping new people.
Stephanie has a well-rounded approach and uses many techniques such as neuromuscular therapy, myofascial release, muscle energy, strain/counterstrain, PNF stretching, and joint mobilizations. Her experience in a spa setting has taught her to perform therapeutic treatments in a relaxation context for maximum benefit to the client.
Physiotherapist, Paediatrics, Orthopaedics, Sports Injuries
Laurel is a physiotherapist who graduated with distinction from the University of Alberta in 1991. For the past 16 years she has worked in the area of private practice with a special focus on pediatrics. For the last 14 years, Laurel was co-owner of Calgary Youth Physiotherapy, a community based clinic that focuses in addressing the physiotherapy needs of children and adolescents, but also met the rehabilitation needs of patients of all ages.
Laurel's area of special interest is pediatrics including the treatment of infant torticollis, developmental delay and cerebral palsy. She also has extensive experience treating the young athlete; particularly focusing on pre-participation screening and exercise prescription for injury prevention.
Laurel has recently moved to the Elk Valley with her husband to enjoy the active, outdoor lifestyle that Fernie offers.
Laurel is dedicated to the profession of physiotherapy and recently (2009) was awarded the National Clinical Award of Excellence by the Canadian Physiotherapy Association.
Physiotherapist, Orthopaedics, Sports Injuries, Active Release Techniques (ART)
Born and raised in Cranbrook, BC, Bob brings a wealth of experience and knowledge that he gained as a professional hockey player in North America (AHL & WHL) and Europe. Bob completed his BSc in Kinesiology from the University of Calgary (2005) and his Masters degree in Physiotherapy from the University of British Columbia (2007). Bob has been working at the clinic since September 2007 and has continued his post graduate education in Active Release Techniques (ART). He is also currently advancing his manual therapy knowledge with the Orthopaedic Division of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association. When not at work, Bob can be found skiing, mountain biking, hiking and fly fishing.
Physiotherapist, Orthopaedics, Sports Injuries, Vestibular Rehabilitation (treatment for vertigo)
Shawn is a graduate of UBC Masters of Physical Therapy Program and is currently focusing his practice in orthopaedics, sports injuries and vestibular rehabilitation (treatment for vertigo). He has received special training specifically in the area of vestibular rehabilitation. Shawn has a keen interest in skiing and has previously worked as a ski guide and avalanche forecaster in addition to his career as a physiotherapist.
Shawn will be seeing patients in both Sparwood and Fernie.
Jaime completed her Bachelor of Arts with Honours in 2001 while living in the UK. Shortly after completing her degree she worked as a boom operator for sound in television and film. Jaime eventually transitioned herself into media, public relations, event planning and marketing. She has worked for a number of different organizations including government agencies and not for profit companies such as the Department of Indigenous Affairs - Perth, Royal Agricultural Society of NSW, Tourism British Columbia, Provincial Health Service Authority of BC and BC Women’s & Children’s Hospital. Jaime has also worked for private corporations such as Ohh Media in Sydney, Australia. Jaime brings her many years experience as a public relations, communications, marketing and business professional. Her multitude of experience from working on many projects in Canada and on an international scale will focus the clinic on a direction that really centres on community.
Clinic Manager - Fernie
Traci has lived in the Elk Valley most of her life and has more than 14 years experience in the health care field and has worked for Fernie Physiotherapy for more than seven years. When Traci isn't busy looking after her two children she can be found managing our Fernie clinic. Traci is friendly, organized and professional. She works hard to keep everyone in check. If you have any questions, Traci is always approachable, knowledgeable and will do her best to make sure all patients are always taken care of.