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Physiotherapy, or “Physical Therapy”, (the terms mean the same thing) is a health care profession for the prevention or treatment of injury or disease through physical means. Its goal is to enhance your life through improved health and fitness. Physiotherapists teach you techniques for recovery, pain relief, injury prevention and improved physical movement. You must participate actively in your program to achieve benefit.

Who is a Physiotherapist?

A Physiotherapist has a University Degree and must be licensed to practice by the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario. They have a detailed understanding of how the body works and are specifically educated to assess and improve movement and function, and relieve pain. Physiotherapists use a comprehensive approach to health care: they evaluate your physical needs and abilities, and then develop a personalized program to help you achieve your goals. At On the Mark-It Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic you do not need a referral from a doctor to be assessed and treated by a Physiotherapist, however you health insurance provider may require a referral in order to get reimbursed.

When can a Physiotherapist help?

You should see a Physiotherapist whenever your physical movement is impaired. Reasons vary: back, head or neck pain; other joint or muscle pain, weakness, stiffness, swelling or tingling.

What does a Physiotherapist do?

A Physiotherapist will begin by performing a complete physical assessment and evaluation. This will include taking a personal health history to help determine what you hope to achieve, and setting treatment goals. Then the Physiotherapist will develop a treatment plan using a wide range of treatment techniques to improve range of motion, strength, function and to relieve pain. Some common methods are:

  • Assigning specific exercise or activities for you to do on your own;
  • Manual therapy, such as manipulation or mobilization of stiff joints;
  • Using electrotherapy equipment (ultrasound, electrical muscle stimulation, TENS, interferential current, laser), heat, cold or hydrotherapy; The Physiotherapist will usually teach you techniques to speed healing, and will show you how to keep from re-injuring yourself by adopting a more healthy lifestyle.

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Active Release Techniques (ART) is a treatment that helps you get better, stay well and feel great. It is safe, very effective and usually very quick to show results. ART is a treatment for soft tissue injuries. It is a manual therapy, which directly addresses areas of scar tissue and adhesions. By releasing areas of scar tissue, ART can help with conditions that result in numbness, pain, weakness or loss of mobility. It restores proper muscle function and movement enabling the body to perform at its ultimate level of efficiency.

ART is a very advanced therapy because it is a difficult skill to master. ART practitioners have undergone rigorous hands on training. Accredited individuals must attend a 4-day workshop and pass a written and practical exam with greater than 90% proficiency. Upon passing yearly evaluations ART providers maintain their certifications.

ART treatments differ from massage techniques in terms of their end results. Most massage techniques promote circulation and relaxation while ART aims to specifically correct adhesions and scar tissue. An ART treatment can feel uncomfortable during movement phases as scar tissue or adhesions are being broken down however, they are temporary and absent post treatment. Patients often report feeling a “good hurt.”

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What is Massage Therapy

Swedish massage is what many people think about when massage is mentioned. It uses long flowing strokes, deep kneading, surface friction, light tapping and joint movement.

Massage Therapists use Swedish massage, along with many other techniques such as Neuromuscular Facilitation (NMT), Trigger Point Therapy, Facial release, and Lymph Drainage, in addition to therapeutic exercise, stretching and postural education in an average massage therapy visit.

What does Massage Therapy do?

Massage Therapy acts directly upon the muscular, nervous and circulatory systems to rehabilitate physical injuries and improve health. Research studies have found massage therapy to positively affect:

  • Circulation
  • Muscular system
  • Nervous system
  • Immune system
  • Pain perception
  • Psychological state
  • Respiratory function

What should I expect from my Massage Therapy visit?

Your average appointment will begin with you filling out a medical case history to establish your current level of health and ensure there are no contraindications to massage therapy. Next comes an interview/assessment by your massage therapist so he/she can better understand your individual health needs. Following the assessment, the therapist will leave the room, allowing you to disrobe and get into position on the massage table (covered by a sheet). The therapist will re-enter the room and do the hands-on part of the treatment. When he/she is finished, he/she will leave the room again, allowing you the privacy to dress. Once you are dressed, the therapist will meet with you again to discuss the treatment and assign necessary stretches/strengthening exercises.

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What is Osteopathy

Osteopathy is an approach to healthcare that emphasizes the role of the musculoskeletal system in health and disease.

Osteopathy is a form of complementary medicine, emphasizing a holistic approach and the skilled use of a range of manual and physical treatment interventions in the prevention and treatment of disease. In practice, this most commonly relates to musculoskeletal problems such as back and neck pain. Osteopathic principles teach that treatment of the musculoskeletal system (bones, muscles and joints) facilitates the recuperative powers of the body.

What does Osteopathy do?

These are the eight major principles of osteopathy and are widely taught throughout the international osteopathic community.

  • The body is a unit
  • Structure and function are reciprocally inter-related
  • The body possesses self-regulatory mechanisms
  • The body has the inherent capacity to defend and repair itself
  • When the normal adaptability is disrupted, or when environmental changes overcome the body’s capacity for self maintenance, disease may ensue
  • The movement of body fluids is essential to the maintenance of health
  • The nerves play a crucial part in controlling the fluids of the body
  • There are somatic components to disease that are not only manifestations of disease, but also are factors that contribute to maintenance of the disease state

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Acupuncture is a therapeutic method used to encourage natural healing, reduce or relieve pain and improve function of affected areas of the body. Acupuncture is safe and effective and is often successfully used as am alternative to medication or even surgery. Relief is often obtained when traditional medical therapy has failed. Acupuncture involves the insertion of very fine needles through the skin and tissues at specific points on the body. There is no injection of any substance and the treatment itself causes minimal discomfort.

“Classical” acupuncture was developed in China as a system of diagnosing and treating pain and disease. It defines acupuncture as one component of Traditional Chinese medicine, which aims to balance energy and blood in the body in order to keep it functional and healthy. It is only in recent years that the scientific and medical communities of Europe and North America have begun to study acupuncture to understand and explain its effectiveness. “ Anatomical” acupuncture refers to a more modern approach used by western trained acupuncture therapists. When combined with knowledge of anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology, modern therapists can use acupuncture effectively.

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