Sports physiotherapy is a field of expertise in physiotherapy. The Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA) recognizes 3 skill levels, Level 1, the Certificate and the Diploma. Only physiotherapists who have passed the national exams can be identified as sports physiotherapists.
The sports physiotherapist prepares pre-season assessment programs, implements prevention procedures, performs first aid on the field, offers treatments of injuries and provides education to the athletes, coaches and others involved in sports. They can work directly with athletes or they can act as an advisor to sports organizations.
Some of our physiotherapists have obtained the diploma and some have begun the process of obtaining it.
Here is a brief description of a physiotherapist's journey to obtain a degree in sports physiotherapy:
Students or a graduates in physiotherapy, Sports First-Respondent course successfully completed (30 hours of theory and practice, given by the Red Cross, St. John Ambulance or others.)
Level II or Certificate in Sports Physiotherapy includes:
A minimum of 200 hours of experience in 2 different sports including 75 hours with a contact sport.
Having skills to respond to field emergencies and apply preventative, proprioceptive, McConnell taping etc.
To have a good understanding of sport-specific musculoskeletal disorders as well as the ability to prescribe a sport-specific rehabilitation program
To successfully pass a national written and oral exam covering all of these subjects.
Level III or Diploma in Sports Physiotherapy must:
Have accumulated a minimum of 200 hours of experience in 6 different sports.
Have been involved for 2 full seasons with two of these sports and he must have traveled and practice on the road on 2 occasions.
Demonstrate knowledge of exercise physiology, pharmacology in sport, nutrition
Demonstrate ability to assess conditions on the field and in the clinic
Successfully pass a written and oral national exam covering all of these subjects
Sarah Gagnon Martin