Practitioners at Lead the Way Clinics are experts in their field and our physiotherapists, chiropodists, occupational therapists, kinesiologists and massage therapists are regulated health practitioners.
Why Regulation Matters
The regulation of health professionals matters because it protects you and your loved ones. In Ontario, Regulatory Colleges work to support health professionals to provide you with safe, competent and ethical health care.
HOW DO THEY DO THIS?
Health regulatory colleges have the responsibility and legal authority to protect you by:
- setting standards and guidelines for health practice and conduct of their members
- making sure that regulated health professionals meet their training and educational standards before they can practise or use a professional title
- developing programs to help members continually improve their skills and knowledge
- acting when you have a concern about your health care
Regulated health professionals are regulated by law and must belong to a regulatory health college. Only regulated, highly trained health professionals can use protected titles such as Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapist and Physician or Massage Therapist.
Unregulated care providers are not accountable to a regulatory body for the quality of care they provide. There are no mandatory mechanisms to ensure unregulated care providers have appropriate training or education, or practice safely. Complaints about unregulated care providers can only be dealt with by their employer or through the courts.
To ensure you are consulting with a regulated health professional, check that they belong to one of the regulated health professions.
Follow the links on the right to view the regulatory Colleges' websites.
Physiotherapy and injury rehabilitation services are performed by a Registered Physiotherapist. In Ontario, Physiotherapists are regulated by the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario.
A Physiotherapist is a graduate of a recognized university-based school of physiotherapy who is qualified to provide preventative, and therapeutic services aimed at restoring function and preventing disability arising from disease, trauma, or injury. Physiotherapists have a detailed understanding of how the body works, knowledge of disease, injury, and the healing process and ability to distinguish what is normal from abnormal in posture, balance and movement, and function.
In Canada today, a Physiotherapist is a university graduate with a minimum of four years of academic training plus clinical internships completed in recognized health care facilities across the world.
As leading health care providers, Registered Physiotherapists practice in many specialty areas including gerontology, orthopaedics, sports, neuroscience, paediatrics, cardio-respiratory, and women's health. The focus is on drug-free pain relief and maximum function.
Foot Care and Orthotics services are performed by a Registered Chiropodist. Members of the College of Chiropodists of Ontario are your regulated foot medical specialists in this province. They are designated as primary health care professionals, and they are the only practitioners in Ontario trained and regulated exclusively to provide advanced foot care and orthotics.
Chiropodists' wide scope of practice makes them uniquely qualified to assess and treat foot problems. Thanks to years of intensive training, they are licensed to perform "regulated" or "controlled" acts ranging from advanced general foot care techniques to soft tissue surgery, biomechanical assessments (the science of body movements), gait analysis, and the prescription and provision of custom orthotics.
Members of the College of Chiropodists of Ontario include Chiropodists and Podiatrists. Practitioners using either title have the same regulated scope of practice in Ontario. However, the term "Podiatrist" is more commonly known around the world today. In fact, Ontario is the last jurisdiction anywhere to use the word "Chiropodist" to indicate a foot specialist.
A few practitioners in Ontario are classified as "Podiatrists". This is because they were educated outside the province and opened their practices before the Chiropody Act came into existence in Ontario. Graduates of the Chiropody program and Podiatrists new to the province from other areas must call themselves Chiropodists.
Registered Massage Therapists
Massage therapy is performed by a Registered Massage Therapist. Massage Therapists in this province are regulated by the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario.
Therapeutic Massage is often beneficial in relieving a number of conditions, such as:
- Inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and tendinitis
- Stress relief and associated conditions
- Headaches and migraines
- Muscle and related conditions such as spasms, strains, and sprains
- Back pain
- Repetitive strain injuries
- Circulatory and respiratory problems
- Pregnancy and labour discomfort
- Post-injury and post-surgical rehabilitation
Sometimes massage is used in complement with physiotherapy as part of an overall rehabilitation program for certain ailments such as those associated with automobile and sports injuries.
Massage Therapists complete a 2-3 year diploma program from a recognized Massage Therapy school.
Registered Occupational Therapists
Occupational therapy is performed by a Registered Occupational Therapist (OT). OTs in this province are regulated by the College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario.
OTs are health care professionals who help people learn or re-learn to manage the every day activities that are important to them, including:
- Caring for themselves or others
- Caring for their home
- Participating in paid and unpaid work and leisure activities
The people occupational therapists work with may be having difficulties because of an accident, workplace injury, disability, disease, emotional or developmental problem, or change related to the normal aging process.
Occupational Therapy is a university degree program. Their education includes over 1,000 hours of practical intern-style experience before graduation of the program.
Certified Athletic Therapists
Registered with the Canadian Athletic Therapist Association (CATA), a Certified Athletic Therapist must have successfully completed a comprehensive theory exam and a subsequent oral/practical exam developed and administered by the certification board of the CATA.
The scope of practice of a Certified Athletic Therapist includes the assessment, prevention, immediate care, and reconditioning of musculoskeletal injuries. Prevention includes musculoskeletal and posture evaluation, equipment selection, fitting and repair, warm-up, conditioning programs, prophylactic or supportive taping, and adapting to the activity environment and facilities.
The provision of on-field immediate care of athletic injuries by a Certified Athletic Therapist includes: injury assessment, basic emergency life support, recognition and management of acute traumatic neurological dysfunction, provision of first aid, preparation for entrance into appropriate health care delivery systems, or, where appropriate, utilization of techniques facilitating a safe return to participation.
A Certified Athletic Therapist assesses injuries and conditions, utilizes contemporary rehabilitative techniques, therapeutic modalities, soft tissue mobilization, physical reconditioning, and supportive strapping procedures to promote an environment conducive to optimal healing in preparing the individual for safe reintegration into an active lifestyle.
The Athletic Therapist, in co-operation with all performance enhancement personnel and members of the health care delivery team, is an integral part of a total service to maximize the performance and welfare of the individual. As part of this role, the Athletic Therapist nurtures an attitude of positive health.
Kinesiology is a science that includes study in anatomy, biomechanics, physiology, and psychomotor behaviour (how your brain affects motor skills). Kinesiologists study and evaluate human movement and functional motor performance.
- Kinesiology is practiced by Registered Kinesiologists (RK). Kinesiologists in this province are regulated by the College of Kinesiologists of Ontario.
Registered Acupuncturist and Registered Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner
All Acupuncturists and Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners are regulated through the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario (CTCMPAO). The College sets the standards and scope of practice, and ensures that practitioners are providing safe, professional, and ethical health care to patients. Only registered members of the CTCMPAO may use the title of Acupuncturist (R.Ac) and Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner (R.TCMP).
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a comprehensive holistic medical system which not only alleviates the symptoms of disease, but strives to treat the underlying cause of disease to improve quality of life. Acupuncture, medicinal herbs, cupping, and nutritional therapy are some of the tools used to restore health. TCM enhances the body’s natural healing ability by reducing inflammation, improving circulation, boosting immune function, and alleviating pain and stress.