Sport Medicine and Sport Therapy are both crucial aspects of the training, performance, and recovery stages of an athlete’s career. At the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario athletes have access to expert sport medicine and sport therapy practitioners and services to help them throughout their athletic career. The Sport Medicine and Sport Therapy Team’s primary focus is to help keep athletes healthy and on top of their game as they train, perform, and recover.
Staying health is an important pre-requite for podium performances, and the Sport Medicine & Sport Therapy Team provide different roles and services to athletes – all of which are aimed at preventing and/or treating health related problems that might interfere with athletic performances.
CSIO’s Sport Physicians provide annual physical exams, blood monitoring, baseline ECG, and pulmonary function testing to ensure that our athletes are healthy and well prepared each season for the demands of high performance training. In the event of an injury, Sport Physicians can provide acute care visits to ensure accurate diagnosis of injury/illness, as well as the appropriate referrals and follow-ups required.
CSIO’s Sport Therapy Team consists of three physiotherapists, an athletic trainer/registered massage therapist with extensive experience in daily training environments (DTE), and a registered massage therapist/certified sport massage therapist with extensive experience providing DTE, camp, and competition-based care for athletes.
The Team’s philosophy and practice is guided by the principles of injury prevention. The focus of the team is to provide screening and monitoring throughout the season to identify potential risk factors of injury and illness, as well as limiting factors on performance. This includes:
- Annual Athlete Medicals (include ECG and PFT) and periodic health checks
- Sport Physician injury and illness assessment and treatment
- Blood monitoring
- Concussion baseline testing and management of concussion
- Movement screens
- Individual pre-habilitation and sport specific warm-up programming
- Daily training environment, camp-based, and competition therapy coverage
- Physiotherapy/Athletic Therapy assessment and treatment
- Massage Therapy
- Hydrotherapy programming in the Hyrdoworx 2000 pool
- Anti-gravity treadmill programming
Care in the Daily Training and Competition Environments
For sports that train at a CSIO facility, Toronto Pan Am Sport Centre (TPASC) and/or Mattamy National Cycling Centre in Milton, CSIO provides onsite care in the DTE. This typically means having a team therapist, and occasionally a physician or an alternate health care provider, attending training sessions. A member of the Sport Medicine team is there for multiple reasons: to help prevent problems by assisting athlete preparation (taping, bracing, warm-ups, etc.), to respond to any problems that may occur (expert first response, immediate treatment), and to provide restorative support after training to help prepare athletes for the next session.
As a multi-sport training environment, CSIO’s therapists and physicians can see athletes from a variety of sports, with a typical week including support to athletes from such sports as athletics, swimming, cycling, wheelchair basketball, boxing, sailing, badminton, and canoe/kayak.
Care in the ‘Clinic’
When not in the DTE or competition environment, the sport medicine and sport therapy practitioners can be found providing their expertise in the treatment rooms at CSIO. Athletes registered with CSIO can book an appointment to access these services for further monitoring and assistance in injury and illness prevention.
Healthy Athlete Program
In cooperation with other institutes in the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Sport Network (COPSI Network), CSIO has implemented a proactive program which encompasses preventative medicine to keep athletes healthy and deter them from potential injuries before they occur. This program involves regularly-scheduled medical examinations and tests aimed at detecting potential dangers that could deter health and performance before they become a large scale issue.
The first step of this program is the Athletic Health Questionnaire with questions from all health disciplines at CSIO: medicine, therapy, nutrition, and mental performance. Athlete health profiles can be made available to medical mission staff at major games which ultimately improves the care of Canadian athletes while performing at these critical competitions.
Following the questionnaire, athletes undergo a comprehensive medical evaluation conducted by one of CSIO’s physicians. Each medical evaluation is unique and varies by sport. In addition to seeing a physician, athletes are assessed by one of CSIO’s therapists and sport nutritionists.
Once Healthy Athlete assessments are complete, the results are communicated to both the athletes and the Integrated Support Team (IST) made up of the athlete’s coaching staff and sport science and sport medicine practitioners. Action plans can be developed and implemented working with relevant members of the sport medicine team all with the common goal of maximizing athlete health to facilitate top performance.
Aside from the Healthy Athlete Program, the sports medicine team services extend to include immunization and travel medicine advice for athletes travelling to compete at foreign venues. This has been prevalent as many athletes gear up to head to Rio; they have received relevant information about Rio ranging from water, food, and how to avoid mosquito bites!
Sport Massage is the latest discipline to be included in multidisciplinary Sport Medicine & Sport Therapy Team at CSIO. It is interwoven with the other therapies to provide the best care possible for all athletes in the DTE, at camps and competitions, and in educating athletes on injury prevention. Educating athletes on when massage techniques and protocols are indicated and contraindicated is crucial in their success heading towards Rio, and for future competitions too. As a whole sport massage aids during training, performance, and recovery of athletes.
Access to regular sport massage provides:
- Customization and familiarity of massage treatments thereby being aware of each athlete’s anatomical, physiological, and psychological considerations
- Optimization of training by keeping athletes in peak condition and preventing injuries, which will in turn increase the athlete’s capacity to train
- Early detection and collaboration with the Sport Medicine Team (sport physiotherapy, athletic therapy, and sport medicine) in dealing with injuries
- Streamlining and proficiency of treatment and training in collaboration with the IST staff
- Utilization of special techniques, applied within specific timing parameters, to help athletes prepare for optimal performance during training and competition
Sport massage is a welcomed new addition to the world-class services CSIO provides athletes both in training and performance.
The health and well-being of the athletes is the primary focus for all of CSIO’s expert practitioners and the services they provide, but the Sport Medicine and Sport Therapy Team are the multidisciplinary tandem for injury and illness prevention, treatment and education, keeping the athletes at the top of their game for Rio and the future.
About Canadian Sport Institute Ontario
Canadian Sport Institute Ontario (CSIO) is a non-profit organization committed to the pursuit of excellence by providing world-class programs, services, and leadership to high performance athletes and coaches to enhance their ability to achieve international podium performances. CSIO offers athletes a range of sport science and sport medicine services including nutrition, physiology, biomechanics, strength & conditioning, mental performance, sport therapy and life services. CSIO also delivers programming and services to National and Provincial Sport Organizations and coaches to work towards building a stronger sport system in Ontario and Canada.
CSIO services approximately 700 high performance athletes and 250 coaches, at its main facility at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre, its satellite location at the Mattamy National Cycling Centre in Milton, and in daily training environments across Ontario. CSIO is part of a larger network of 4 institutes and 3 multi-sport centres across the country known as the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Sport Institute Network, working in partnership with the Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee. CSIO is further supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Sport Canada, Own the Podium, and the Coaching Association of Canada, along with the National and Provincial Sport Organizations within the sector. www.csiontario.ca
Dr. Doug Richards, Chief Medical Officer
Remo Bucci, Registered Massage Therapist/Certified Sport Massage Therapist
Mackenzie Hamlin, Communications Coordinator