By Alfred Ball, President and Founder, Practicing Kinesiologist, Fascial Stretch Therapist™, Lifemoves® Health and Rehabilitation
Although, compared to some health and medical professionals the practice and profession of Kinesiology is relatively new, Kinesiologists are an integral part of the rehabilitation puzzle and university programs have been around since the late 60s. Over the last 10 years we have been gaining more recognition by our peers and by government.
In 2013, Ontario will have its own regulated College of Kinesiology, a process that the British Columbia Association of Kinesiologists is closely watching and hopes to follow. In the meantime the B.C. Ministry of Health and the B.C. Medical Association has included Kinesiologists in the Community Healthcare and Resource Directory an online resource that Physicians use to refer their patients to additional treatment modalities and other health care specialities.
During my last 12 years of clinical practice I have been an advocate of Kinesiology because I believe in our value as well as the need to educate the general public about our profession.
What is Kinesiology?
The practice of Kinesiology is the assessment of movement, performance and function and the rehabilitation, prevention and management of disorders to maintain, rehabilitate or enhance movement, performance and function, in the areas of sport, recreation, work, exercise, and activities of daily living.
Who are Kinesiologists?
We all have a minimum of a four year undergraduate degree with core courses of exercise physiology, biomechanics and human anatomy and psychomotor behaviour. Many Kinesiologists also have additional health and fitness certifications. To maintain our professional memberships we are required to obtain 20 hours continuing education per year. Kinesiologists strive to improve the quality of life of individuals through therapeutic exercise and movement correction. We are passionate about enhancing our clients’ quality of life.
Lifemoves® Kinesiologists offer a wide variety of assessments and services to the public to assist with injury/illness prevention and chronic illness, injury and disability management.
Where does Kinesiology Fit in the Rehabilitation Puzzle?
Lifemoves® Kinesiologists work closely with other health and medical professionals including Chiropractors, Physiotherapists, Registered Massage Therapists and Acupuncturists. While a patient may be prescribed a couple of exercises during a treatment from other providers, and Lifemoves® Kinesiologists do have training in specific soft tissue modalities, our expertise and speciality is providing clinically based exercise programs. We communicate with the other practitioners who are treating the same client to co-ordinate a treatment plan.
There are many ways that we fit in the rehabilitation puzzle.
Firstly, clients seek the guidance of a Kinesiologist once the acute stage of an injury has been resolved and they are ready to start to strengthen the tissues and joint previously injured. We reserve referrals either after discharge or while the client is receiving treatment from for example a Chiropractor.
The second way, we fit into the treatment puzzle is that clients want to stay active while resolving an injury. We help clients adapt their current training program so that they don’t lose fitness in non-involved areas. Clients also provided them with movement education to prevent further re-injury or injury aggravations.
Thirdly, our clients also have chronic medical conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis, Osteoarthritis, Parkinson’s Disease and Diabetes.
Fourthly, we assist in pre and post rehab for surgeries. For surgeries such as total joint replacements we prepare clients for surgery to speed up their recovery as well we see them after they have been discharged from Physiotherapy. We also have experience with many other surgeries such as labrum repairs, ACL repairs and disectomies.
Because the human body is a series of connected joints and integrated systems there are often loses of proprioception (awareness) and strength as well as movement compensations that still exist in non-involved and involved joints once injured tissues are healed (think of the limp after a twisted ankle).
Are Kinesiology Sessions Approved by Medical Benefits Plans?
Our Canadian Kinesiology Association has been working diligently with health and medical benefits plans to have our services covered under the paramedical section, however it is very dependent on the insurance company and what the employer has negotiated. Start by obtaining a referral for Kinesiology services for a specific condition then check into your individual plans.
We do accept ICBC claims and are often sought to help manage disability claims by providing supervised work conditioning sessions.
What is Involved in Kinesiology Sessions?
A Kinesiologist first obtains a health history, performs a movement assessment and then performs any special tests like muscle strength testing to determine an individual’s starting level of function. Aprogram to restore proper movement patterns, increase strength, flexibility, cardiovascular fitness and durability is then created. We do this by augmenting the exercises given by other practitioners with additional exercise s. Clients are taken through progressive and systematic program based on their needs, motivations and needs. Under supervision clients learn how to lift and move properly. We correct postural and muscle imbalances, improve strength and increase fitness. This results in reduced recovery time and risk of re-injury.
Through a combination our programs such as Active Rehabilitation, Medical Fitness Training, Occupational Rehabilitation, Fascial Stretch Therapy™ and Myofascial Release our goal at Lifemoves® is restore function so that our clients are able to participate in the sports they enjoy, be productive employees and complete their daily activities.
Lifemoves® is located at 203 – 777 W Broadway in Vancouver. If you are interested in finding out more of how we can work with your team at Moveo Sport and Rehabilitation please call us at 604.568.5484 or find us on the web at www.lifemoves.ca