The team of specialists at SPC provides unparalleled treatment and rehabilitation for musculoskeletal disorders of both athletic and non-athletic injuries.
As experts in their respective professions, many of our highly trained staff of medical personal have achieved sport and rehabilitative specialist credentials; are instructors at their respective educational institutions; teach seminars to other health care professionals; are accomplished scientific researchers and authors; and are skilled and/or certified in a variety of treatment techniques including Functional Range Release Technique (FR)®, Functional Range Conditioning®, Active Release Techniques (ART)®, Graston Technique®, Medical Acupuncture, Kinesiology, Spinal Manipulation, PNF stretching, soft tissue treatment, deep tissue massage, custom orthotic fitting, rehabilitation, exercise prescription, and nutritional counseling.
Read below to learn more about the types of professionals making up the SPC team as well as some of the different services the centre have to offer.
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Services We Offer
Working together with the manual practitioners of SPC are sport specialist medical doctors. A sports medicine doctor, also called a sports doctor, specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of injuries associated with athletic activity. Traditionally a sports doctor worked with competitive athletes, but the field has broadened to include care for anyone with pain or dysfunction in the musculoskeletal system (i.e. problems with joints, muscles, bones, or nerves). They also focus on athletic internal medicine that might focus on cardiac rehabilitation, lung performance, and circulatory issues associated with exertion.
At SPC, these doctors provide medical services including prescription medications, prolotherapy and injections. Sports MD’s also have access to MRI, Ultrasound, X-ray, and other special diagnostic tests that patients may require.Educational Requirements of a Sports MD:A sports doctor is a fully qualified medical doctor who has chosen to focus on sports medicine or gastric bypass surgery. That means in order to become a sports doctor you have to do the same requisite training any doctor has to go through followed by specialist training. Specifically, once obtaining a medical degree, sports medicine doctors complete post graduate training in family medicine or another specialty. After obtaining certification in a medical specialty an additional 1 to 2 year sports medicine fellowship is undertaken to earn a CASEM diploma.
Sports Specialist Chiropractic
Chiropractic sports specialists complete an intensive two-year post-doc fellowship program in sports sciences. They provide soft tissue treatments (including Functional Range Release Techniques or FR Release, Active Release Techniques or ART, and Graston Technique), medical acupuncture, spinal and other joint manipulation, rehabilitation, physical therapy modalities (Ultrasound, electric current, Low Level Laser therapy, Microcurrent therapy), custom orthotic fitting, and various forms of bracing and athletic taping (including Kinesiotaping). They specialize in treating all regions of the body including injuries of the shoulders, knees, elbows, wrists, hands, feet, hips for injury management as well as performance enhancement. All of the Chiropractors at SPC have extensive experience with all professional and Olympic sports; many have conducted and published research; and many teach at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC) in Toronto.
Educational Requirements for Sports Chiropractors:
Currently, regular Chiropractic education is a comprehensive, integrative and outcomes-based program. Chiropractic students undergo rigorous training similar to that of other health care professionals.
A Sports Chiropractor receives intensive education supplementing their four year Chiropractic education. This is accomplished either through the completion of a Masters program through an accredited university or the completion of a rigorous two-year residency program at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC) in Toronto. A Sports Chiropractor receives additional training specific to the diagnosis and management of sports injuries, sports biomechanics and advanced diagnostic imaging such as MRI and Diagnostic Ultrasound. Many of the skills Sports Chiropractors possess are cultivated during the hundreds of hours spent working alongside orthopedic surgeons, sports medical doctors and professional and amateur athletes.
Sports Chiropractors also enhance the skill of spinal manipulation they learned in Chiropractic college with additional training or certification in a variety of treatment techniques as were mentioned above (FR Release, Active Release, Graston Technique, Contemporary Medical Acupuncture, Kinesiotaping, rehabilitative exercise prescription, custom orthotic fitting, core training). In Canada, Chiropractors that specialize in the management of sport-related injuries also belong to the Royal College of Sport Sciences (Canada) [RCCSS(C)] which is the national governing organization of Sports Chiropractic in Canada. For more than two decades, members of RCCSS(C) have worked with Canada’s elite athletes.
Registered Physiotherapists provide a variety of treatments for musculoskeletal injuries including therapeutic modalities such as Ultrasound, Low Level Laser, Interferential Current (IFC), and Microcurrent, as well as manual treatments like joint manipulation/mobilization, soft tissue techniques, stretching, exercise prescription, and rehabilitation. The PTs at SPC have extensive experience treating both athletic, and non-athletic injuries. In fact, many of them are also registered Athletic Therapists.
Educational Requirements for Physiotherapists:
Physiotherapists must complete a university degree in an accredited physiotherapy program. As part of their education, registered Physiotherapists have completed courses in areas such as anatomy, physiology, pathology and biomechanics. Physiotherapists are required to complete a minimum of 1,000 clinical hours in addition to classroom learning.
SPC offers one of the most well equipped Physiotherapy clinics in Thornhill. Our Physiotherapists work along side our Sports Medicine Doctors, Sports Chiropractors, Registered Massage Therapists and other health care professionals making SPC one of the most comprehensive sports injury clinics in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
Registered Massage Therapy
The Registered Massage Therapists at SPC are unique in that they have extensive experience in treating many Professional, amateur, and Olympic athletes. They can provide a variety of massage techniques such as sports massage, therapeutic massage, deep tissue massage, relaxation massage, myofascial release, Functional Range Release, lymphatic drainage, perinatal massage, trigger point technique and more.
Benefits of Massage Therapy
Massage Therapy is one of the oldest known treatments for soft tissue pain and dysfunction. The benefits of massage therapy are wide spread as the treatment affects several bodily functions and tissues. Some of the benefits include:
- Relieves stress and promotes an overall feeling of relaxation
- Decreases Inflammation
- Improves Circulation
- Alleviates pain and tension
- Promotes speedy soft tissue recovery from injury or over use
- Relieves discomfort and pain related to pregnancy (Perinatal massage)
- Reduces muscular pain and tension
- Promotes a general feeling of well being
Sports Massage is designed to help athletes prepare their bodies for optimal performance, recover following a big event, or function well during training. However you don’t have to be a professional athlete to benefit from sports massage. Sports massage also benefits people experiencing chronic or acute pain, work related injuries, those who exercise or with restricted ranges of motion.
Massage Therapy at SPC:
Being one of the largest Sports Injury Clinics in the greater Toronto Area (GTA), the Registered Massage Therapists at SPC have a great deal of experience treating many high level athletes, as well as successfully utilizing similar techniques on non-athletic patient.
Certified Athletic Therapists have similar skill sets to other hands on therapists with a more sports specific focus. Athletic Therapists utilize contemporary rehabilitative techniques, therapeutic modalities (ultrasound, interferential currents, microcurrent, laser), physical reconditioning, supportive strapping, orthopedic bracing, and athletic taping procedures to promote an environment conductive to optimal healing of sports injuries. The Athletic Therapists at SPC’s Sports Injury Clinics are unique in that many of them are also registered Physiotherapists or Doctors of Chiropractic.
SPC also offers Athletic Therapy for on field coverage of sporting events and teams. Athletic Therapists are highly skilled in both injury prevention as well as emergency care procedure and thus can be of great value to sports teams and organizations.
Athletic Therapists (or Athletic Trainers) who work with sports teams help to get injured athletes back to playing their particular sport. For example, in treating sports injuries, therapists may use techniques such as hydrotherapy, cryotherapy (therapeutic use of cold), electrotherapy, hands-on treatment such as mobilization and massage, or therapeutic exercise, conditioning and flexibility training. They also prepare all team members with individual treatments before a game including bandaging, taping, bracing and wrapping isolated areas.
When an Athletic Therapist runs onto a sporting field, they are required to make a quick assessment of the injury, provide basic emergency life support (if necessary), administer first aid and help the player to the locker room for closer examination. Other types of prevention methods include musculoskeletal and postural evaluation, equipment selection, fitting and repair, warm-up and stretching, physical and mental conditioning programs, prophylactic or supportive taping and adapting to the activity environment and facilities. Athletic Therapists also care for athletes’ needs outside of game and practice time, including therapy during the off-season when athletes are training for the next season or recovering from the last season’s injuries.
Kinesiology, also known as Human Kinetics, is the science of human movement. The practice of Kinesiology, as performed by Registered Kinesiologists, is the assessment of movement, performance, and function; and the rehabilitation, prevention, and management of disorders to maintain, rehabilitate, and enhance movement, performance, and function in the areas of sport, recreation, work, exercise, and activities of daily living. The Registered Kinesiologists at SPC are unique in that many of them are also Chiropractors, Exercise Physiologists, or Physiotherapists as well thus they are able to analyze human movement in a more advance nature.
Medical Acupuncture / Dry Needling
Utilized by the Chiropractors, Physiotherapists, and Massage Therapist at SPC, Medical Acupuncture applies the evidence-based concepts of acupuncture to relieve pain, alter movement patterns and improve performance.
Contrary to popular belief, acupuncture treatment has been very well studied in both eastern and western scientific literature. The scientifically proven benefits of acupuncture include pain relief, inflammation reduction, improved blood flow, stress reduction, improved nerve conduction, addiction control, as well as improved organ function.
Medical acupuncturists at SPC select needle insertion points based on their extensive knowledge of neuromuscular anatomy. Many of the practitioners at SPC have experience in teaching anatomy at their respective educational institutions. Needles are inserted in order to alter nerve flow and/or muscle tone and therefore, medical acupuncture is often utilized as a component of treatment plans for a variety of conditions including:
- Jaw pain (TMJ disorders)
- Neck and Back pain
- Muscle tears or muscle pulls
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Golfers Elbow
- Tennis Elbow
- Achilles tendonitis (tendonosis)
- Rotator cuff dysfunction
- Shin Splints
Utilized by all practitioners of SPC, rehabilitation is an integral part of any injury management treatment plan. Rehabilitation can include strengthening, stretching, motor re-programming, core training, balance or proprioceptive training, and sport specific exercise. It is utilized in order to reduce pain, return tissues to their pre-injury state, and to prevent further injuries. In keeping with the purpose of SPC to help you “move better” all patients at SPC are given personalized rehabilitative exercises to enhance your movement capabilities.
What is Prehabilitation or Prehab?
The term Pre-habilitation can refer to one of two things:
- Prehabilitation can refer to improving an individual’s functional capacity through increased physical activity before an anticipated orthopedic procedure (surgery). If an individual maintains a higher level of functional ability before a procedure, they will rebound more rapidly in the rehabilitation process post procedure. Prehabilitation is the process of enhancing functional capacity of the individual to enable him or her to withstand the stressor of inactivity associated with an surgery.
- Prehab can refer to a personalized exercise program that provides sports specific focused exercises and activities in order to prevent injuries. The development and execution of an effective program can be complex. The development of the program needs to be progressive and periodically re-evaluated to change with the athlete’s needs.
Who Should Prehab?
Athletes of all levels may include prehabiltation in their training program. The more advanced the athlete, the greater need for a sound prehab program. As an athlete’s body matures within a sport, their body adapts to the physical demands of training. However due to the repetitive nature of training, the body is often unable to keep up with the imposed demands. This can cause injury which can lead to lost training time…or worse, the inability to perform during competition due to injury. Thus prehab is often presribed in order to prevent injury and keep the athlete in the game.
How to Prehab
Customized prehabilitation programs focus on preparing the body for the demands of training and thus helping to prevent injuries. A sound and personalized prehabilitation program should address total body balance and consider sports specific needs. It balances the range of motion, strength, coordination and stabilization. Exercises and sports specific drills focus on the athlete’s weaknesses as well as on tissues that require the greatest condition to perform sports specific tasks.
Due to the complex nature of many sports specific skills, proper program design should be developed by conditioning experts such as the professionals found at SPC.
Active Release Techniques®
Active Release Techniques® soft tissue management system was designed to specifically target and remove soft tissue adhesions (or ‘scarring’) which results in increased soft tissue tension, pain and dysfunction. These adhesions can be the result of acute injuries such as sprains, strains, or bruises; or can be the result of repetitive motions that are common in athletic training and competition, or in the daily routines of the workplace. Many of the SPC health care providers utilize their active release training to help their patients perform activities with less pain. Our practitioners have helped instruct other practitioners in this technique and have published numerous research reports in how ART has been successfully incorporated in their patient care plans.
Graston Technique® / Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization
Instrument assisted treatments are often used in conjunction with manual hands on soft tissue release techniques. Graston Technique® is a relatively new form of soft tissue mobilization that uses specifically designed stainless steel instruments to help the practitioner to identify and aid in the break-down of fibrotic tissue. At SPC’s Toronto Sports Medicine Clinics, practitioners specializing in this technique include Chiropractors, Athletic Therapists, and Physiotherapists (or Physical Therapists). Practitioners at SPC will utilize and further develop techniques to help their patients recover faster and perform or move better. Innovation at SPC includes creating new tools “the Integr8r” to assist in soft tissue mobilization.
Differing from the various applications of traditional white athletic tape that is extremely rigid, the Kinesiology taping method utilizes an elastic form of tape that does not restrict motion.
At SPC’s Toronto Sports Medicine Centres Kinesiology taping is used as an adjunct to therapy and exercise. It can dramatically speed the rehabilitation process by lessening pain and improving tolerance to exercise and movement. As with any other form of therapy the success of Kinesiology taping strongly depends on the clinician and their anatomical knowledge. The manual practitioners at SPC are leaders in their respective fields and thus have an abundance of clinical experience,knowledge and creativity in their integrative approaches.
SPC offers their clients nutritional counseling and dietary counseling provided by experienced practitioners. i. These nutritionists work hand in hand with the personal training specialists and therapists at SPC to assist clients with goals such as weight loss, gaining lean muscle mass, performance enhancement, or general health and wellness through diet analysis and planning, as well as supplement and vitamin prescription.
Whether you want to gain lean muscle mass, improve performance, lose weight, or stay healthy, nutritional planning is vital to achieving your goals. Speak to one of our team members regarding how we can help.
Custom Orthotics & Bracing
When required SPC practitioners utilize the most technological advanced techniques in creating custom orthotics (custom orthopedic inserts) as well as athletic braces in order to ensure proper fit and function. Custom braces can be made for biomechanical errors of the feet and ankle, , Anterior Cruciate Ligament tears (ACL braces), Posterior Cruciate Ligament tears (PCL braces), Medial Collateral Ligament tears (MCL braces), Lateral Collateral Ligament tears (LCL braces), and knee arthritis (unloaders).
SPC’s Sports Specialist practitioners take the time to first analyze your biomechanics, and diagnose the problem before creating the brace or support that is right for you.
With the level of competition ever increasing in sports, it is important both to perform, and train with sound biomechanical form and technique. . This will help ensure that you can continue to compete injury free, and perform at your highest potential. With experience in a variety of sports, the sports medicine and conditioning specialists at SPC’s training centres are experts in analyzing movement and motor control as it pertains to various sports activities.
How is a Biomechanical Analysis performed?
One of SPC’s specialists will observe, and often record the athlete performing various specific sports skills and movements. Then, by careful analysis the skill is broken down into its fundamental components in order to find any biomechanical or movement limitations in the technique that may lead either to injury, or a decrease in performance.
After analysis, SPC’s sports medicine and training specialists develop and recommend a program to correct the abnormality. This might include a combination of manual treatment to correct for soft tissue dysfunction (Chiropractic, FR Release, Functional Range Conditioning, Active Release Techniques, Physiotherapy, Acupuncture, Stretching, Massage Therapy) and training recommendations (sports specific training, core strengthening, proprioception training, balance training, agility training, kinetic stretching).
Some examples of analyses that can be performed include:
- Golf swing
- Running gait
- Baseball pitch
- Mixed Martial Arts techniques
- Boxing strikes
- Power lifting form
- Swimming form
Concussions occur when a blow to the head/neck or even body interrupts brain function. The effects of these concussions vary between individuals, and many concussions are undiagnosed and unreported. Signs and symptoms of a concussion include:
- Blurred Vision
- Sensitivity to light or noise
- Neck pain
- Nausea or Vomitting
Most athletes recover from concussions completely and can return to play following an appropriate period of recovery. However, knowing when it is safe to return to play / return to work / return to learn is quite important in order to avoid serious brain injury sequelae..
The Sports Specialists at SPC have an abundance of experience with sports concussion management. In fact, some of SPC’s practitioners have been involved in sports concussion research and continue to stay involved in concussion prevention, education and management organizations. Our multi-disciplinary team of specialists utilize up to date evidence best (concnesus statements) standards to deal with the comprehensive needs of the athlete who has sustained a concussion, in order to facilitate his or her recovery and a safe, confident return to their activities.
Functional Range Release Technique (FR)®
A system of manual musculoskeletal assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation based on sound scientific principles.
Functional Range Release technique, or FR® Release is an advanced, and comprehensive system of musculoskeletal assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation utilized by leading manual medical practitioners and therapists around the world including Physical Therapists, Chiropractors, Registered/Licensed Massage Therapists, Registered Nurses, Osteopaths, Athletic Trainers, Medical Doctors, etc.
Unlike many manual therapy systems which are created based on trial and error and passed down over the years, FR® Release was created out of the most current scientific literature. It therefore represents a cohesive system of manual care using the best evidence, and most effective strategies currently available to assess, diagnose, treat, and rehabilitate musculoskeletal disorders, pain, and movement dysfunction.
Functional Range Conditioning (FRC)®
A system of mobility training based on scientific principals and research.
Developed by world-renowned musculoskeletal, and human movement expert Dr. Andreo Spina, Functional Range Conditioning (FRC®), is a system of joint health, and mobility training based in scientific principals and research. Mobility refers to the amount of USABLE motion that one possesses across a particular articulation (joint). The more mobile a person is, the more they are able to maximize their movement potential safely, efficiently, and effectively.