Athletic Therapy is for Everyone
Carleton Place is home to Lanark County’s only athletic therapy clinic.
Operating since the fall of 2013 in the Heritage Mall at 130 Lansdowne Ave., Unit 9, ProActive Athletic Therapy is a dream come true for its founder and owner Valerie Beaulieu.
“I had been practising as a Certified Athletic Therapist in Carleton Place for five years,” she shares. “It had been a lifelong dream of mine to open my own athletic therapy clinic so when the perfect location came up, I just made the jump.”
Certified Athletic Therapists specialize in the prevention, assessment and treatment of all orthopaedic sport related injuries whether it be acute or chronic injuries to muscles, joints and bones. And, as Valerie is quick to point out, they don’t just treat professional and elite athletes. In fact, clients of ProActive Athletic Therapy range from children to the elderly.
“We do use it for every day active people,” she notes. “Your sport or activity can be on the field or at work or playing with your children – anything that is a physical movement. Whether it is lifting an infant out of a high chair or running for the bus, we are always moving and exerting our bodies constantly.”
The treatment process used at ProActive Athletic Therapy by Valerie Bealieu and Paige Martin who is also a Certified Athletic Therapist is very much hands-on. That consists of patient education, contemporary manual therapy techniques such as soft tissue release, myofascial release, joint mobilization, muscle energy, muscle testing and therapeutic modalities, as well as a personalized home exercise program.
The Certified Athletic Therapists collaborate with Registered Massage Therapists Jennifer Payne and Courtney Craig who also work in the clinic to ensure patients received the most personalized healthcare possible.
“We really emphasize and encourage our patients to be active throughout their recovery, whether through their activity or a home based exercise program we give them” Valerie adds, “The more involved they are, the faster they are going to get better.”
The list of conditions treated by Athletic Therapists is extensive, including back and neck pain, ligament sprains and muscle strains, carpal tunnel syndrome, concussions and vestibular disorders. Utilizing Valerie’s expertise as a Running Specialist with The Running Clinic, ProActive Athletic Therapy also specializes in the prevention of running injuries. The clinic offers a biomechanical assessment program for running enthusiasts, whether beginner or elite.
“We look at the running biomechanics – the technique, cadence and any muscle imbalance,” she explains. “Whether you are injured or not, it is learning how to run the right way.”
Patient referrals to the clinic both come through word of mouth and Family Physicians. Currently, ProActive Athletic Therapy has patients from throughout Lanark County, as well as Ottawa, with some even coming from as far away as Kingston. A doctor’s referral is not required to make an appointment although some insurance companies require such a referral in order to make a claim. For patients whose insurance plans do not cover athletic therapy, a letter is available from the Canadian Athletic Therapy Association, through which Valerie and Paige are both certified, asking that this coverage be added.
As its name suggests, ProActive Athletic Therapy takes a proactive approach to athletic therapy. In keeping with this approach, the clinic is looking at offering more sports clinics to increase awareness of athletic therapy. As well, with Valerie and Paige both being Certified Sports First Responders, they have contacted local sports clubs and organizations to let them know they are available to provide on field emergency care.
In their work with athletes, many of which are competing at the professional and elite levels, the two Certified Athletic Therapists are experienced in treating injuries in a wide variety of sports. That ranges from football, rugby, soccer and hockey players to runners to equestrian riders. The list just keeps on growing.
Since 2010, Valerie has been a Medical Team Therapist with Para-Athletics Canada. She has accompanied the Canadian team to various National Para-Athletics Training camps in Florida, in addition to World Championships in France and New Zealand and the Swiss National Championships in Switzerland.
This summer, the owner of ProActive Athletic Therapy will be working as a Certified Athletic Therapist at the 2015 Parapan Am Games taking place in Toronto from Aug. 7-15. Meanwhile, Paige will be in Toronto a few weeks earlier volunteering at the Pan Am Games scheduled from July 10-26. As Paige is also the Athletic Therapist for the women’s soccer team at Carleton University, she has provided athletic therapy field coverage for various teams throughout her career, including the Ontario Women’s U20 Storm Rugby Team, Toronto Scottish Women’s Rugby Team, Seneca College Women’s Rugby and Men’s Basketball team, and the Six Nations Junior B Rebels Lacrosse Team.
Despite being open less than two years, Valerie says the response to ProActive Athletic Therapy has exceeded expectations.
“It (the clientele) has been growing quite fast,” she says. “It seems the general public is really open to alternative types of medicine.”
Based on this growth and a desire to give clients the most comprehensive treatment possible, the clinic is looking to expand its staff. Valerie would like to add to the team other health care professionals such as a Nutritionist, Sports Medicine Doctor, Naturopath and Osteopathic Practitioner.
“For the overall well being of the individual when someone is injured or in pain, I think it is important, not only to look at the physical importance, but also nutrition and mental health aspects,” she notes. “There are so many techniques and specialties out there that need to be part of the rehabilitation plan to get the best result.”
In addition, as Valerie points out, the Heritage Mall, which is also home to an optometric clinic, dental clinic, chiropractic clinic and a family physician office, it is becoming “a little health village.”
Valerie is glad that she decided to set up business in downtown Carleton Place. “I love being in a smaller community,” she remarks. “We have a great healthcare network that works well with the support we have for each other.”
To book an appointment at ProActive Athletic Therapy or to find out more about the clinic, contact 613-276-8884. You can also visit their website at www.proactiveathletictherapy.com.