Get Well, Move Well . . . Let’s Get Physical For National Physiotherapy Month

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Get Well, Move Well . . . Let’s Get Physical For National Physiotherapy Month

Physiotherapists have long played an important role in the healthcare system of a community by helping injured clients return to their workplace, and enjoy fulfilling active lifestyles.

To recognize the work being done by these professionals, the month of May is celebrated as National Physiotherapy Month across Canada. To read about the theme for 2022 visit the Canadian Physiotherapy Association website.

Physiotherapy treatments help clients increase mobility, endurance, confidence and independence, in all areas of their lives.

All Registered Physiotherapists (RPT) are university-educated health professionals, able to assess, diagnose and treat a vast range of ailments.

National Physiotherapy Month focuses on how members of the profession help people living with chronic pain to live more pain-free lives and reduce the need for prescription drugs, such as opioids.

While injuries are often unavoidable, how they are treated can change a life and return the injured party to a normal healthy existence.

Keeping your body in tip top condition is the #1 priority always, so you can continue to work, pay the bills, look after your family and have a whole lot of fun as well — right?

According to the Canadian Physiotherapy Association, more than 20,000 Registered Physiotherapists work in Canada, in private clinics, general and rehabilitation hospitals, community health centres, residential care/assisted living facilities, home visit agencies, workplaces, and schools.

In past May issues, Biz X magazine has recognized Speech & Hearing Month in 2021 and Vision Health Month in 2019.

Now, this year, we turn our attention to local Registered Physiotherapists and Physiotherapy Assistants, in honour of their special month.

Following is a brief overview of some of the physiotherapy clinics (many also offering other healthcare services) across the Windsor Essex region.

Pinnacle Physiotherapy

Former University of Windsor Lancer athlete Ritch Coughlin launched Pinnacle Physiotherapy, with one location, 23 years ago.

Grant Gagnon (Registered Physiotherapist) came on board one year later and Mario Ruggirello (Registered Kinesiologist), who had worked at the clinic since 2005, became a partner 11 years ago.

Pinnacle Physiotherapy — which now has three locations — has nine Registered Physiotherapists and one Kinesiologist on staff, along with an Ergonomist to help people set up work stations properly.

“We handle all types of injuries, from workplace accidents to sports mishaps and motor vehicle accidents, along with back and postural issues resulting from so many people working from home during the pandemic,” explains Ruggirello. “We also deal with the after-effects of hip and knee replacements and, for a lot of people, it means education and a change in lifestyle habits.”

In addition to helping patients live life to the fullest, Pinnacle Physiotherapy also has a working partnership with hospitals in Windsor, Chatham, Leamington and London, to bring patients a hospital-funded program of rehabilitation and physiotherapy.

If a patient undergoes a hip or knee replacement at an affiliated hospital, they are eligible for post-operative treatment at any Pinnacle location at no charge.

“We also offer pre-operative treatment for those scheduled for surgery,” says Ruggirello. “Going into surgery the strongest you can possibly be, is known to greatly enhance surgical outcomes.”

The types of injuries dealt with at Pinnacle Physiotherapy vary by the season. In winter, it’s back injuries from hockey, skiing or shovelling snow, while in the summer, the injuries are more likely to be caused by outdoor activities such as running, soccer and baseball. And for the 50-plus crowd, injuries are more likely to be associated with knees and hips.

Ruggirello notes that Pinnacle prides itself on having an upbeat atmosphere, from the front desk all the way through its various treatment rooms where the adage “Laughter is the best medicine” is put to the test every day.

“It all helps patients, who are putting in the hard work towards recovery, have something they can look forward to,” adds Ruggirello. “We recognize we are treating the whole person, not just an injury.”

In making the clinic more welcoming to clients, Ruggirello points out work stations have been spaced out, so that clients feel safe and comfortable.

“We have also made it a happy and jovial place to work for our staff, because that’s passed along to our clients,” states Ruggirello. “It’s hard to recover when you’re in pain.”

In accordance with what are now long-established COVID protocols, clinic staff work with clients in individual zones and use thoroughly sanitized weights and any other required equipment, so clients feel safe and protected. There are also virtual treatment options for those clients who wish to remain at home.

Pinnacle Physiotherapy has locations at 1270 Walker Road in Windsor, 5935 Malden Road in LaSalle, and 1303 County Road 22, Unit #2, in Lakeshore (Belle River).

Loaring Physiotherapy & Health Centre

When patients arrive at the Loaring Physiotherapy & Health Centre, they’re not only going to receive treatment for their aches and pains, but they’ll also get advice about making lifestyle changes.

“We treat more than the injury itself,” expresses centre owner Charlotte Loaring, RPT, who has been practicing for 20 years and is the recipient of two Windsor Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce awards. “If all we do is deal with the current injury, we will likely see the patient again. We want to make sure all the parts of the body and mind fit together harmoniously so we can create long-term healthy outcomes.”

Her 13-person staff, includes four Registered Physiotherapists, two Registered Massage Therapists, one Registered Kinesiologist/Personal Trainer, one Kinesiology Graduate/Administrative Assistant, two Physiotherapy Assistants, two student Physiotherapy Assistants, and one office manager. The 5,400 square-foot clinic is ideally suited for dealing with all kinds of injuries caused by sports, workplace accidents and auto accidents, for clients between the ages of six weeks to 90 years.

There are also acupuncture treatments available, focusing on integrated dry needling, along with virtual therapy sessions, for those unable to attend the clinic in person.

“We see a lot of weekend athletes and we try to impress upon them how important it is to warm up properly, but, at the same time, we try to explain what the root causes are so that they don’t undergo the same problems again,” adds Loaring.

When a patient arrives at the clinic, the first step is an hour-long private assessment designed to create a balanced treatment approach and that’s followed by individual treatment sessions.

“While we appreciate repeat business, we also like to think we are helping make a positive impact on the health and wellness of all our patients,” explains Loaring. “We try to help our patients remain motivated because they also have a role in creating the best possible outcome.”

In order to keep up to date with the latest in treatment options, clinic staff all receive an education allowance to pay for courses, many of which are offered virtually.

There are monthly meetings of the entire staff and also monthly meetings of the clinical team to discuss how best to treat individual patients.

The clinic was closed for the month of April in 2020, just after pandemic restrictions were put in place, in order to prepare the clinic properly, and many of those protocols remain in place.

All staff members are registered in their particular specialties and belong to associations that govern those specialties, including physiotherapy, massage therapy, acupuncture, and personal training.

Loaring Physiotherapy & Health Centre is located at 13126 Tecumseh Road East in Tecumseh.

Cover story continues on page 18

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Dave Hall is a former reporter for The Windsor Star who contributes monthly features to Biz X magazine. Dave spent almost 40 years at the paper, covering sports, general news, municipal politics and business. Prior to that, Dave worked for The Brampton Times where he covered general news and sports.