Route to Recovery

Please click on the topics below to learn more about each phase of assessment and treatment:

Initial Assessment Phase One Physio-THERAPY Phase Two Physio-REHAB Return to Work / Daily Activities Phase Three OTHER PROGRAMS Functional Capacities Assessment Worksite Ergonomic Evaluation Maintenance Membership Employee Work Preparation Program MedX Back Strengthening Program

Thunder Bay Physiotherapy Centre

Initial Assessment

Thunder Bay Physiotherapy Centre provides a comprehensive report including the following information:

  • Subjective Evaluation
  • Objective Assessment Identifying Areas of Weakness and Degrees of Mobility
  • An Outline of Planned Treatment (Phase I and II)
  • Estimated time frame of treatments

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Thunder Bay Physiotherapy Centre

Phase I PhysioTHERAPY

We strive for early intervention to begin the healing process as soon as possible. Treatment is primarily directed toward the healing of soft tissue injuries, restoring mobility and decreasing pain.

Education is also a strong component during this phase, with the patient taking responsibility for home exercises during rehabilitation.

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Thunder Bay Physiotherapy Centre

Phase II PhysioREHAB

Our holistic and active approach involves stretching, conditioning and specific strengthening in an individualized program. Progressive weekly increases are closely monitored by our qualified staff to ensure optimal recovery.

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Thunder Bay Physiotherapy Centre

Return to Work/Daily Activities

It is our goal to design a program specific to your needs so you can regain your strength and mobility, and ultimately return to your daily activities. Once you have completed all assessments and strengthening programs, and your Physiotherapist has recommended you may return back to work, it is important that you exercise caution to prevent reinjuring yourself.

Back injuries are very common, and are usually a result of improper lifting techniques. You can protect your back against serious damage by incorporating good lifting habits, both at home and in the workplace.

What You Can Do to Avoid Back Injuries

  • Always be sure to check the weight of the load you must lift, and get help, if required.
  • When possible, carry heavy items with a hand trolley, hoist, crane or forklift, depending on your location.
  • If a load containing several items is too heavy, repackage the contents of the load.
  • Wear appropriate and comfortable clothing and footwear (ie: non-slip shoes).
  • For heavy items you must move on a regular basis, store them at waist height to prevent bending your spine or lifting overhead.
  • Always ensure your path is clear of debris, furniture, etc.

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Thunder Bay Physiotherapy Centre

Phase III Other Programs

Functional Capacities Assessment (FCA)

When is a client ready to return to work? What restrictions on physical activity may be necessary? These are questions the FCA is designed to answer. This 5-6 hour test given over two days provides an objective measurement of mobility, strength and endurance in specific activities such as lifting, pulling, walking and bending. The FCA consists of three sections:

  • Preliminary Assessment
  • Objective Observation of 17 Performance Items to Establish Specific Limiting Factors and Performance Abilities
  • Written Report Summarizing the Findings

Employee Work Preparation Program (EWPP)

An individual who has spent many weeks in recovery and rehabilitation from an injury often requires strengthening and preparation to return to the rigours of the workplace. Without such preparation, as well as education on safe practices, the risk of reinjury is high. The EWPP compares results of a functional assessment to a Job Demands Analysis for the client's occupation to create a customized 6-week/4 hours per day program.

Objective: Prepare and condition the client for his/her job requirements.

Components: Flexibility and strength training; endurance training; education on proper body mechanics; lifting techniques; job-specific activities to address identified weaknesses; weekly education sessions; final assessment and report outlining the client's capabilities, limitations and possible modifications to the job.

Worksite Ergonomic Evaluation

We offer on-site evaluation of a client's work space or work-related activities to help facilitate his/her return to work.

Objectives: Decrease risk of reinjury, especially repetitive strain and over-exertion injuries; decrease WCB costs.

Components: identify high risk tasks; assess physical hazards; provide cost effective recommendations; suggest work station modifications; education for employer and employee; comprehensive written report.

Maintenance Membership

For clients who require ongoing guidance and a continuing commitment to fitness and conditioning, a maintenance membership will help maintain their level of recovery for a nominal monthly fee.

MedX Low Back Strengthening Program

Thunder Bay Physiotherapy Centre is fortunate enough to have one of the very few MedX machines in Canada. The MedX Lumbar Extension machine is part of the MedX family which was invented by Arthur Jones, inventor of Nautilus. This ingenious machine allows the user to be tested to determine the overall strength of the low back muscles, as well as going through a vigorous, yet safe low back exercise program. This form of exercise rehabilitation is extremely effective in relieving low back discomfort, improving specifically low back strength, endurance, and range of motion. The 12 week MedX protocol is completely supervised by our Kinesiologist for the full duration of the program. Our Kinesiologist will also provide a low back specific stretching, core stabilizing, strengthening and cardiovascular program to work in conjunction with the MedX machine itself. This program has proven to be very successful at any stage of treatment, however it is most successful after various other forms of therapy have failed. In many cases, the patient will begin to feel stronger and have less discomfort after approximately 8-10 weeks of treatment.

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Thunder Bay Physiotherapy Centre

Contact Us

If you have any questions pertaining to our programs and services, please contact us.


St. Joseph's Heritage
63 Carrie Street
Thunder Bay, ON P7A 4J2
T: (807) 767-2808
Fax (807) 768-0622

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