Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is “Sport Medicine?”

Sport Medicine would more appropriately be called “Activity Medicine” because it applies to many classes of people – not just competitive athletes. Sport Medicine is a specialty that diagnoses and treats activity-related injuries to muscles, tendons, nerves, ligaments, bones and joints. Injuries can be from a bona fide sport, work or other “non-sport” related causes. Sport Medicine is especially concerned with non-surgical approaches to these injuries, and requires in-depth understanding of nutrition, exercise physiology, exercise prescription, internal medicine, pregnancy, exercise and biomechanics.

2. In Canada, how do I know who qualifies as a Sport Medicine Specialist?

To be a Sport Medicine Specialist in Canada, you must first be a Medical Doctor registered with the local provincial College of Physicians and Surgeons. In addition to basic medical training, you must display an interest in sport medicine and complete a 1- or 2-year sport medicine fellowship. You must then pass a rigorous certification exam administered by the Canadian Academy of Sport Medicine (CASM). If you successfully complete this exam, you will gain the designation of “Diploma of Sport Medicine” after your name, often abbreviated as “Dip Sp Med.” Any doctor claiming to be a Sport Medicine Specialist who does not have this credential is not recognized by CASM.

3. Can anyone besides a medical doctor say that they practice Sport Medicine?

No. Physiotherapists can say that they are “Sport Physiotherapists” who diagnose and treat “Sport Injuries” or that they offer “Sport Physiotherapy.” They must follow their provincial colleges’ rules on making these kinds of claims. Chiropractors can say that they are “Sport Chiropractors” and must follow their provincial colleges’ rules on making these claims. However, if you claim to be a “Sport Medicine” specialist in Canada, you must be a Medical Doctor (designated by an MD beside your name) and you must have the “Dip Sp Med” credential. Any credible clinic that says it offers “Sport Medicine” services should have a doctor with the “Dip Sp Med” credential consulting at its facility.

4. Does GRSM offer Sport Medicine consultation?

Yes. GRSM offers Sport Medicine consultations. Our Sport Medicine Physicians have been certified by the Canadian Academy of Sport Medicine (CASM).

5. Do I need a referral? Should I go to my family physician?

We always encourage involving your family doctor, but you do not need a referral to consult with the professionals at GRSM. Many of our patients call the clinic and make their own appointments while others are referred by their family physicians. Please note that under certain circumstances, a referral from a doctor may be required. As well, a referral is required for consultations with the orthopaedic surgeon.

6. What other services are offered at GRSM?

GRSM is an interdisciplinary Sport Medicine facility. This means that we use a team approach in all that we do, and offer Sport Medicine, Physiotherapy, Athletic Therapy, Massage Therapy, High Performance Training, Custom Foot Orthotics, Bracing and Nutritional Counseling & Services.

7. How do I pay?

If you are a Canadian resident, your provincial health plan (OHIP in Ontario) covers consultations with our Sport Medicine Doctors. Physiotherapy, Athletic Therapy, Massage Therapy and orthotic services are not covered by OHIP. Our fees for these services are due at each visit. Most extended health insurance plans or benefits programs include coverage for these services. We accept cash, personal cheques, VISA, Mastercard or debit.

8. How do I know if I am covered by extended health care?

Contact your Employee Benefits or Human Resource Department to determine what extended health care benefits are. Don’t forget to ask how much coverage you have. Most plans have an annual deductible or co-payment amount that the employee must pay.

9. How do I book an appointment?

Appointments may be made in person or by calling (519) 622-4529 (Cambridge) or (519) 571-7111 (Kitchener-South) or (519) 804-9164 (Kitchener-Downtown). Please give us at least 24-hours notice if you need to cancel.

10. What are your hours?

Our Cambridge and Kitchener – South clinics are open Monday to Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. We are closed Saturdays and Sundays. Out Kitchener – Downtown clinic has varying hours. Please click here for details.

11. What is a sport injury?

We define a sport injury as any injury or condition that prohibits you from participating in your regular sport, fitness or recreational activity. You may or may not have become injured during your activity. Work-related injuries are not sport injuries.

12. Who can attend the sport medicine clinic?

Our Sport Medicine Clinic strives to keep active people active. Although many of our patients are elite athletes, a number of our patients enjoy being active for recreational reasons and are looking for general good health and fitness. Our patients are of all ages and participate in a variety of activities from walking programs to more physically aggressive activities. If your injury is keeping you from your regular activity, then Grand River Sports Medicine Centre can help you.

13. How long is the waiting period at your clinic?

The waiting period may vary from season to season. You can use the following guidelines for non-acute injuries.

Primary Care Sport Medicine Physician appointments – usually less than one week. We strive to treat acute injuries within 48 hours of patient contact at the clinic.
Physiotherapist/Massage Therapist – usually within one week.

14. What is an acute/chronic injury?

An acute injury is an injury that has occurred within 24 hours. A Chronic injury is an injury that may have occurred weeks, months or years in the past. By quickly managing an injury in the acute stage, you may be able to avoid chronic complications.

15. How can I make an appointment for physiotherapy?

You can book an appointment directly with a physiotherapist. Call (519) 622-4529 for the Cambridge clinic or (519) 571-7111 for the Kitchener-South clinic or (519) 804-9164 for the Kitchener-Downtown clinic. Please note that many insurance companies will not pay for your extended health claim without a physician’s referral. If you do not have a referral from a doctor, you can make an appointment at our clinic with a Sport Medicine Physician. The Sport Medicine Physician will send you for x-rays or additional tests (if necessary), diagnose your injury and refer you to physiotherapy, if appropriate.

16. How long are the physiotherapy treatments?

Your first physiotherapy treatment usually takes 45 to 60 minutes. After that, treatments can last between 30 to 45 minutes.

17. What should I wear to my physiotherapy appointment?

Shorts should be worn for lower extremity (below the waist) injuries and tank tops are preferred for upper extremity (above the waist) injuries. We have washrooms and a change room if you need them, and your valuables can be locked safely at the reception desk.

18. How do I find parking at your facilities?

Our Cambridge facility has a private lot beside the building where our clients can park for free. You can also find public parking along George Street, as well as at the Public Library across the street. At Kitchener-South, the Forest Glen Plaza has a large parking lot with free parking. At our Kitchener-Downtown clinic, there is parking available on-site for $2. Free parking is available on streets surrounding the clinic except Andrew Street itself.

19. If my injury was caused by a work-related incident, can I be seen at the clinic?

Work-related injuries going through WSIB (Workplace Safety and Insurance Board) are seen exclusively at our Kitchener-Downtown location. In order to be booked in as WSIB, a letter of approval must be provided prior to making an appointment.

20. Are the physiotherapists at the clinic registered practitioners?

Yes. All of the physiotherapists at GRSM are registered to practice in Ontario.

21. Other questions?

Please feel free to call or email us with your questions.