Q & A with physiotherapist, Joanne Tishenko

If you’ve checked out Joanne’s bio page, then you know that Joanne intended to be a physiotherapist since she was in grade school. Having been involved in athletics since she was young, Joanne grew up with an understanding – and firsthand experience! – of the benefits offered by physiotherapy, which inspired her to pursue a career in this field.

Holding a Bachelor of Human Kinetics from Trinity Western University and a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy from UBC, Joanne has gone above and beyond in her training by obtaining even further qualifications. For example, Joanne is qualified to treat pelvic girdle pain or dysfunction during and after pregnancy through the Rost Therapy program, as well as being a certified Fit to Deliver instructor and a Level 3 trained Manual Therapist with the Orthopaedic Division of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association.

Here at City Sports & Physiotherapy, we are thrilled to have a dedicated team member like Joanne!


Read on to learn more about Joanne’s passions as a physiotherapist, what she does personally to stay injury-free, and what she loves about living in Vancouver.

  1. What is your primary area of interest within the field of physiotherapy?

After working for 11 years, I still love seeing a little bit of everything, but have developed an interest in treating women with pre- and post-natal related issues.

  1. Why did you choose this profession?

I choose to become a physiotherapist because I had a fascination with sports-related injuries. Being quite active throughout my youth, through to university (competing year-round in basketball, swimming in the summer, field hockey in the fall), I experienced the benefits of physiotherapy personally as a result of various injuries. As an example, while in grade seven, I was participating in an overnight basketball camp and broke a finger on my left hand. Despite the injury, I begged my parents to let me stay because I was having so much fun. Since I am right-handed, I was still able to participate in some drills – including winning the free throw shooting contest one-handed! – but spent a lot of time shadowing the camp’s trainer/first aid attendant. I was fascinated by the injuries and decided then and there that I wanted to become a physiotherapist.

After graduating high school, I entered into University with that goal in mind. Unfortunately, first year chemistry stood in my way and I thought my dream of becoming a physiotherapist was over. Following some well-timed advice from a family friend, however, I decided to return to university and complete the courses that I needed to apply for Physiotherapy: chemistry, statistics and physics!! After much hard work, I passed my courses and was fortunate to get into the UBC Physiotherapy Program.

Physiotherapy is an amazing profession and I’m proud that I followed my dreams because I couldn’t imagine doing anything else – I love what I do!

  1. What is your favourite body part, injury or condition to treat?

Like I said before, I enjoy seeing a little bit of everything throughout my day; however, treating women who are pregnant with pelvic girdle pain is particularly rewarding. That being said, it’s fun assessing and treating an injured knee or sprained ankle.

  1. What do you do to keep fit and stay injury-free?

Being a working mom with two small children (girls – age 3.5 and 5.5), I often find it hard to carve out a big block of time to exercise. Because of that, I try and work in any type of exercises I can throughout my day. My family and I live in a neighbourhood that allows us to park our car for most of the week, and the girls and I walk everywhere: to and from school, to the park, and we do our grocery shopping on foot.

As much as possible, I ride my bike to and from work, or do a workout in my living room after the girls are asleep. Whenever I can carve out the time to do more, I like to attend a pilates class (reformer, if possible), swim in the pool, or go for a hike.

Joanne and her two lovely daughters!

Joanne and her two lovely daughters!

  1. Do you have any favourite exercises or stretches for yourself and/or your clients?

Personally, I enjoy a good piriformis stretch (I call it the “Figure Four” stretch), as well as stretching out my pec muscles by lying down on a 1/2 roll, letting my arms hang out to the side. For clients, I love teaching them how to roll out sore and tight muscles using a myoball or tennis ball against the wall, as it provides a way for people to get relief on their own. After a long day at work, you can find me up against the wall rolling out my muscles.

  1. Tell us one of your favourite memories or a highlight of working in the physiotherapy industry.

Working at City Sports for as long as I have has provided me with the ability to really connect with my clients and develop a relationship with them. I feel privileged that, year after year, they return to me with their new injuries, aches and pains. I’m particularly honoured when they refer spouses, children, relatives, friends and co-workers to me because they were happy with the treatment and personal connection.

  1. What is the most rewarding thing about what you do? What motivates or inspires you to be a great physio?

The most rewarding thing about what I do is being able to actually “fix” someone. I love those times that a client will come to me as a last resort, saying, “I don’t think you can do anything about this, but….” and then return after treatment saying that they no longer have the pain – that they are “fixed”!

Being able to see people regain their quality of life and be able to do what they want to do – that’s what makes me love what I do. Enabling someone to no longer have to live with their pain, or help them recover from an injury motivates me to constantly learn and continue to develop my skills.

  1. What makes City Sports & Physiotherapy Clinic a unique place to work for you?

I have worked at City Sports and Physiotherapy Clinic for the last nine years, and I love it! The staff that I have the honour to work alongside, and the clients that I interact with on a daily basis, make this a very positive work environment. There is much laughter throughout the day, great camaraderie; I enjoy coming to work everyday.

  1. In your opinion, what makes Vancouver a great city for (safe!) sporting and fitness challenges?

There are just so many options and opportunities to try different things. Where else can you ski and golf on the same day?! Our temperate weather allows us to be active year round – there really is no excuse to not get outside and enjoy some form of physical activity.

Joanne trying stand-up (kneeling?) paddle boarding for the first time!

Joanne trying stand-up (kneeling?) paddle boarding for the first time!

  1. What’s your favourite thing about living in Vancouver?

Having been fortunate to travel a lot throughout this world, I am still amazed, whenever I come back home, how beautiful Vancouver is. The mountains, the water, the flowers, the trees, the weather – we really are spoiled! 

Joanne works Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 6:40 am and 12:40 pm. To book an appointment, contact joanne[at]citysportsphysio.com.

Read Joanne’s full biography.

Credit to Little Goblins Press  for this blog post.

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