Patient Benefits of a Multidisciplinary Rehabilitation Clinic

This week’s blog is a follow up to the last blog I posted. I’m going to walk through a hypothetical but fairly common type of patient experience at Burlington Sports Therapy. 

Many people call our clinic and explain that they’ve never been to a multidisciplinary rehabilitation clinic and don’t really know how to start, what type of practitioner to see or what is involved with treatment.  Perhaps this blog will help those people get a general idea of what to expect (as an example). I’m even going to delve a little into the subject of finances and how benefits work! 

Please keep in mind this is an example. Carl will be a hypothetical patient and we do much more than what he encounters at our clinic, but this should give you an idea of how this all works. 

Carl has been experiencing shoulder blade pain for several months. It occurs most commonly when he sits at his desk during the workday, usually only painful on his dominant side and he often gets headaches when the symptoms get really bad. He did a Google search for “shoulder pain exercises” and has been doing them on a self-directed basis at home. He thinks they may have aggravated his pain levels. He then decided to stop the exercises and call our clinic for treatment of his shoulder pain.

Initial Examination

When he called the clinic, he asked to see someone for his shoulder pain. He found us online and saw that we had chiropractors, physiotherapists, massage therapists, and an athletic therapist. He also saw that we offer active release technique, graston technique, laser therapy and acupuncture among other things. After giving it some thought, he thought he was really interested in trying active release therapy because he heard about it from his friend at the gym. Our receptionist at Burlington Sports Therapy informed him that he’d then be seeing one of our chiropractors as they are the ones trained in active release technique. This surprised Carl since he thought that chiropractors only worked on the spine and not on the shoulders. Truth be told, Carl was a little hesitant to follow through with scheduling the appointment because he had never been to a chiropractor and didn’t want a chiropractor adjusting his spine. Our receptionist at Burlington Sports Therapy assured Carl that he would never receive a treatment approach that he wasn’t comfortable with and all practitioners explain to the patient their recommendations for treatment, the relevant evidence for that approach and any risks that may be involved. The decision for what treatment approach is used always includes patient input. 


After the examination with the chiropractor, Carl learned that his neck was likely part of the problem. The reasoning for this was explained to Carl as the relevant orthopaedic tests in the clinic made it quite apparent. The chiropractor decided that x-rays weren’t necessary and that treatment using active release technique (a form of manual muscle release) was appropriate. Chiropractic adjustments were not part of the treatment plan because the chiropractor determined it wasn’t likely to help Carl’s condition. Since he wasn’t too comfortable with the idea anyways, both Carl and the chiropractor agreed to focus on muscular based treatment of the neck, the muscles of the shoulder and the muscles inside of the shoulder blade. 

After three weeks of treatment, Carl was doing quite well. He figures that he had improved by around 65% from when he first walked in the door. His treatment evolved over the three weeks and was now comprised of active release technique, graston technique and some home exercises that the chiropractor reviewed with him.


Carl had been seeing the chiropractor three times each week and found that he had utilized most of his extended health insurance that he got through his employer. He was worried that his funding would run out, yet he wasn’t completely recovered from his injury.  Carl and the chiropractor discussed this predicament and Carl soon learned that this was very common. Thankfully, at Burlington Sports Therapy we have a multi-disciplinary team that is able to co-manage many different conditions to assist patients in the best way possible. The chiropractor suggested to Carl that he continue with some muscular based treatment through the massage therapist since he still had insurance coverage for this treatment type. 

After several massages over the next few weeks, Carl returned to “check in” with the chiropractor (since he did the initial examination of Carl’s injury).  At this point in time, he was around 80% better. The massage therapist did acupuncture, and he found it very beneficial. Again, with regards to the ugly subject of funding, Carl didn’t want to use up his massage coverage for the year since he likes to go for a massage on his lower back every once in a while. It was then recommended that Carl consult with one of our physiotherapists who also does acupuncture. 

Back in the Game

Over the next few weeks, Carl attended his physiotherapy appointments. As expected, Carl achieved complete resolution from his pain and was able to return to his normal activities. He was ecstatic! Carl’s case is a hypothetical example but is a very common experience for patients at Burlington Sports Therapy. After seeing three different practitioner types he completely understood his condition, the ways to prevent it, different perspectives on his injury, the relevant home exercises and the different treatment approaches that work well for him. He believes that communication among the different practitioners was the key to allowing him to recover so quickly. He was able to utilize his extended health in a way that didn’t cost him anything too! Carl was indeed ecstatic. He hopes that he doesn’t need any treatment in the future, but should the need arise he has a team that can get him back in the game as quickly as possible.

Call us at 905-220-7858 or email to book your appointment today with Burlington Sports Therapy