Physiotherapy is all about making you move better for life. Our physiotherapists will help you restore physical function after an injury and prevent future injuries.

We specialize in assessing, diagnosing, and treating injuries related to muscles, bones, ligaments, joints, and nerves. We help restore physical function with a range of treatment techniques such as manual therapy, injury specific exercise prescription, movement retraining, medical acupuncture, and various electrophysical modalities. Our physiotherapists are highly trained, providing clients with complementary treatment options that involve many of the techniques described below.

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Manual Therapy

Our therapists utilize a wide selection of manual techniques, dependent on the needs of our clients. Manual stretching, friction massage, trigger point, and myofascial release are some of the treatments designed to restore normal length and mobility to soft tissues. Joint mobilization techniques are utilized to restore full range of motion in a joint, following loss of mobility. If required, joint manipulations may also be used provided that the therapist has the appropriate training and the patient’s consent.

Prescriptive Exercise

Prescriptive exercise is highly effective and a key component of injury prevention, recovery, pain management, and general good health. We are very knowledgeable in providing patients with exercises specifically designed for you and your needs. Physiotherapists are experts and training the body to move, and move well. Whether you are pre- or post-surgical, returning to activity or work, improving your ability as an athlete, pre- or postnatal, or managing systemic conditions such as arthritis, our therapists will work with you to design an exercise program to keep you Fit to Play in all situations.

Electrophysical Modalities

Electrical and physical modalities, such as ultrasound, laser, neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES), transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), and interferential current (IFC) are all designed to stimulate tissue healing, reduce pain and swelling, and to restore normal tissue function. We may use a variety of electrotherapy tools during your treatment sessions.

Medical Acupuncture

Encompassing a combination of traditional Chinese acupuncture and Western medical science, acupuncture involves the insertion of very fine needles into the skin at specific points to achieve a variety of effects, including pain relief, reduction of swelling, and improved circulation. Medical acupuncture is not appropriate for all patients and thus a special assessment is required to determine if it is appropriate for you.

Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS)

IMS is a specialized form of needling that differs from acupuncture. It helps to reduce pain and dysfunction by inserting a needle into targeted areas of tightness and trigger points in muscle tissue. The needle produces a reflex response, causing relaxation of the muscle, thus reducing tension on other joint structures. IMS is not appropriate for all patients and thus a special assessment is required to determine if it is appropriate for you.

Functional and Athletic Taping

Injured joints and body parts may benefit from taping in order to protect the area from further injury and allow an earlier return to activity. Applying tape to the affected area may heighten proprioceptive awareness. Taping can also support the area allowing muscles that have tightened to relax and thus facilitating a return of motion.

Vestibular Rehabilitation

Vestibular Rehabilitation is a specialized treatment approach, which involves specific movements, techniques, and exercises, to decrease the symptoms of dizziness, gaze disturbances, and balance impairments. A specific vestibular rehab program is to be completed by the patient at home. Peripheral vestibular dysfunction has been shown to respond well to progressive balance retraining, specific stretching, and strengthening techniques.


Water provides a near weightless environment where individuals can work at a comparable intensity to land based exercise but for longer and without discomfort or post exercise soreness. The specific aim of hydrotherapy is different for each individual and condition or injury. In some cases hysdrotherapy is able to assist with the rehabilitation of musculoskeletal function, maintain or prevent deterioration of function, or prevent the occurrence of an injury. As every case is unique, an initial assessment by our physiotherapist must take place in order to determine if this type of therapy would be beneficial for you.


Registered Massage Therapy

Massage therapy focuses on soft tissue manipulation to enhance muscle performance and promote relaxation of the body’s nervous system. The goal of massage therapy is to restore and maintain optimal health and pain free function of the body. It is a natural form of therapy that promotes healing, circulation, and waste reduction in tissues.

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Registered Massage Therapists (RMT) in BC have the highest level of Massage Therapy education in North America. They are educated and trained to accurately assess and treat with techniques that include massage and manual therapy, joint mobilization, rehabilitative exercises and patient education. They focus their treatment on the soft tissues of the body, including muscles, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments and joints.

All of our RMT’s have completed a diploma program and are in good standing with the College of Massage Therapy of BC.

GLA:D Osteoarthritis Group Exercise program

Do you experience hip or knee pain, possibly associated with osteoarthritis? In Canada, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men have arthritis. Thankfully, this condition can be effectively managed with exercise. But, most of us could use some guidance on what exercises are ideal and how they should be safely performed. The GLA:D Canada Program provides cost-effective group education and exercise to individuals of all ages.

Hosted at our clinic in downtown Vancouver, our first program in the Fall of 2018 was a huge success!  All participants improved in their strength and function and reported significant pain relief.  Programs are running regularly throughout the year.  The 8 week long programs are all run by Physiotherapist, Sarah Paterson. Contact her for more details

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Program Details
8 week program including:
  • 2 formal education sessions with focus on symptom management strategies
  • 12 group neuromuscular exercise sessions with focus on functional strength
  • Data collection for quality monitoring
  • Cost: $540 (paid up front, $45 per exercise session, Physiotherapy receipt issued at each session, education sessions free)
Participation Criteria
  • Knee and/or hip OA (radiographic diagnosis not required)
  • Knee and/or hip pain (not related to soft tissue issues or inflammatory joint disease)
Referral and Registration
  • Doctor or healthcare professional referral NOT required.
  • Imaging (xray or MRI) or formal arthritis diagnosis NOT required
  • New clients: book initial assessment with Sarah to determine if you are appropriate for the program and for baseline testing
  • CSPC clients referred by other physios or RMTs in the clinic can be directed to Sarah for additional information and program scheduling – in this case, the initial Physio assessment with Sarah is NOT required

For more information about GLA:D, click here.


Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy

What to Expect from your Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy Assessment

Pelvic floor issues are incredibly common. In fact, recent statistics suggest that 1 in 4 women suffer from pelvic floor dysfunction. Some conditions treated by a pelvic rehabilitation therapist include:

  • Musculoskeletal aches and pains (involving the back, hips, sacroiliac joint, groin, abdomen and sometimes limbs)
  • Bladder and bowel issues
  • Incontinence
  • Prolapse
  • Painful sex or an inability to have penetrative sex
  • Pregnancy & postpartum recovery
  • And much, much more
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So, you’ve been referred for a Pelvic Health Assessment. Here’s an overview of how your first session will go:

History: Just like any other Physiotherapy assessment, we’ll go through a history of your symptoms, so we know exactly what your goals are, and to guide the rest of our exam. These conversations may include topics that aren’t easy to talk about – your bowel and bladder habits and sexual health and history are of particular importance in order to get a complete picture of your pelvic health. Rest assured, we do all of our assessments in a private room, and have ample time to chat about those less comfortable topics.

External Exam: We take a look at your posture, the health of your low back and hips, as well as the muscles around the abdomen/pelvic region.

Internal Exam: The muscles in your pelvic floor are just like any other in your body – they can be tight or weak, causing pain and dysfunction. Unfortunately, this can be difficult to assess as we can’t see/feel them outside of the body – therefore, we need to assess internally. This is not a gynecological exam – a speculum is not used for assessment. All steps will be explained throughout the exam – typically we are assessing the strength of the pelvic floor muscles, tone/tightness, coordination of the muscles, and tenderness or soft tissue restriction. Be sure to ask any questions you may have, and be certain to tell your Physiotherapist if you have any pain or discomfort during the session.

Education: We will review the key findings of your assessment so that you have a thorough understanding of your condition. Knowing what is going on is key to feeling in control of your body. We use pictures, models and whatever else is needed to ensure your understanding.

Homework: You didn’t expect to leave a Physiotherapy session without homework did you?? Based on our findings you will be prescribed some home exercises to help improve your condition. During your session we will have determined the strategies that allow you to best connect with your pelvic floor, and you will go home with these exercises to practice.

Follow Up: The frequency of your treatments will depend on the assessment findings and severity of your symptoms.

If you have any more questions about this service before booking your first appointment, please contact us at your convenience.

Contact:  If you have any further questions before booking an appointment, please contact Joanne Tishenko at joanne[at]


Pilates, originally, was developed by Joseph H. Pilates during World War I, as a way of exercising against resistance in an attempt to help bedridden soldiers of the war. It evolved over the years into a practice very commonly used by the dance community. Today, Pilates is more of a concept and the exercises have modernized, as has the equipment, to be more individually directed to suit the needs of the person practicing it.  Pilates continues to have a strong connection in the world of physiotherapy and rehabilitation.


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Pilates is not just about “the core” but yet, it is all about the core and the mind-body connection.  Using a variety of equipment that is often spring-loaded, the exercises are low impact in nature making them safe for most joints throughout the healing process from injury.  Pilates is designed to build strength, endurance, body awareness, balance and good posture.  It improves flexibility, joint mobility, and breathing control.  Exercise quality is the focus rather than quantity.  And, as you’ll discover, sometimes the lighter the resistance, the more challenging the exercise!

Using Pilates exercises within our Physiotherapy sessions is referred to as Clinical Pilates. Here at City Sports & Physiotherapy, some of our physiotherapists have studied Clinical Pilates and incorporate it into their treatment sessions.  We also have a Pilates instructor who teaches one-on-one sessions, both for patients who are currently undergoing physiotherapy, as well as for those of you who have been discharged from physiotherapy but want to continue the practice of Pilates as a way of life.

If you have any questions about Pilates at City Sports & Physiotherapy, please contact us!


We provide Medical Acupuncture, performed by trained Physiotherapists.

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Medical Acupuncture

Encompassing a combination of traditional Chinese acupuncture and Western medical science, it involves the insertion of very fine needles into the skin at specific points to achieve a variety of effects including pain relief, reduction of swelling, and improved circulation. Not all patients are appropriate for medical acupuncture and thus a special assessment is required to determine if it is appropriate for you.

Concussion Management

As concussions have become a growing, nationwide concern, we at City Sports and Physiotherapy Clinic feel strongly about doing our part to help manage these injuries by taking a collective and comprehensive approach for the complete management of a concussion injury: Education, Awareness, Baseline Testing, Physical Testing, Therapeutic Strategies and Return to Play Preparation.

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We will work with YOU and your doctor, coach, teachers, employers and other health care practitioners to assist you in your recovery. We will assess and manage each individual as a whole and are committed to developing rehabilitative interventions that are specific to YOU and YOUR injury.

How is our approach different from other treatment programs? We recognize that concussion symptoms can stem from a breakdown in a variety of bodily systems that need to work together in a coordinated manner in order to process and to react to the surrounding environment. Our therapists can assess your cervical spine (neck) to determine if there are issues specific to spinal mobility and stability that may be contributing to your concussion symptoms. In addition, we can assess how well your visual system works with your balance and vestibular systems and its effect on your symptom presentation.

And if necessary, we have access to computerized technology to formally assess your neuro-cognitive abilities (specifically testing visual/verbal memory, visual motor speed and reaction time, etc) and then in turn we can use this technology to monitor progress throughout the course of treatment. Through a variety of screening measures we can determine if referrals to external providers may need to be considered for services such as Optometry, Psychology, and further medical investigation.  All of our therapists who treat concussion have been trained in post-graduate concussion education and treatment.

Here at City Sports & Physiotherapy Clinic we are dedicated to assisting our clients from the elite-level competitor to the recreational athlete to the non-athlete who has sustained a head injury from a motor-vehicle collision or an “ordinary” accident to be able to return to their pre-injury level of activity. Our goal is to provide a high standard of care for ALL of our clients and we are passionate and committed to concussion care and recognize that only through a collective, comprehensive and client-centered approach can we achieve the goal of a safe and expeditious return to being Fit to Play©.

Custom Orthotics

Foot biomechanics play a vital role in how the body moves and functions. A custom foot orthotic is a biomechanical insole achieving alignment of the foot and ankle into an anatomically efficient position.

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Your orthotic evaluation will involve a thorough history and complete biomechanical assessment including a clinical gait analysis. A 3-dimensional mold of your foot will be made and your custom-made prescription orthotic will be unique to your condition, activity level, and to the footwear in which you will use them.

Our physiotherapists have been certified by The Orthotic Group to examine you for the suitability of orthotics and orthotic footwear.

Athlete and Sport Specific Assessments

Our sport based therapists are trained to provide thorough, head-to-toe full body assessments with your specific sport in mind. A Fit to Play Assessment is an essential component to every athletes’ training plan. Whether you are starting a new season, a new sport, or just want to ensure you are fit to play, this assessment is for you.

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This full body assessment is designed to identify your weaknesses that may be predisposing you to injury in your particular sport. We assess flexibility, strength, alignment and muscle balance of the entire body. We will provide you with a summary of our findings and develop an exercise program for you specific to your needs and the demands of your sport. This Fit to Play athlete and sport specific assessment will help you to improve your performance, prevent injuries, and get the most out of your upcoming season.

Ergonomic Workplace Assessments

Whether you are looking for a comprehensive program or a single evaluation of an individuals workstation we can assist. Our ergonomic evaluations begin with an onsite evaluation of the employees workstation and work habits.

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Job tasks are reviewed, occupational risk factors identified, modification to existing workstations are performed onsite. Injury prevention solutions and preventative exercises are provided. A written report follows, containing detailed description of the observed body postures, a job task analysis, recommended workstation changes and equipment if needed. Follow up is always available at no additional charge.

For further information unique to your worksite please contact us.