By Mat Labranche

Vanessa Vilis, a certified Athletic Therapist sits in the Algonquin Sports Therapy Clinic on Jan. 31.

In 2012, Stacey Poapst was diagnosed with a torn disc in her back, an injury that can be extremely detrimental to any competitive sporting career.  “Vanessa [Vilis, certified athletic therapist at the Algonquin sports therapy clinic] and her team enabled me to not only play through the injury, but manage the pain and come back in mobility.  They set me up with stretches and exercises that I firmly believe have allowed me to live relatively pain-free for the past eight months,” said Poapst, former Thunder women’s basketball player and client of the clinic.

“Having attempted physiotherapy before attending the athletic therapy clinic, I can point to the differences in [athletic therapy] technique that allowed me to improve, where physiotherapy just caused more pain,” said Poapst.

The clinic offers a variety of services to its clients in an effort to get them back into the game.

Athletic therapy, massage therapy, braces, on-site medical therapy and custom orthotics are just some of the services used by the clinic to treat patients with a wide range of muscle-related injuries.

“Everyone is so used to using the word ‘physiotherapist,’ they automatically assume that’s where they should go,” said Vanessa Vilis.  “But we’re trying to show people that isn’t the only way to do things.”

While it is a sports therapy clinic with athletic therapists, its cliental is not strictly limited to athletes.  Even if you have never set foot on a basketball court or soccer field, any muscular problems can still be treated with the same or similar rehabilitation processes used for athletes.  “I’ve treated clients from as young of an age as six or seven to an 80-year-old woman with scoliosis,” said Vilis.

The clinic is open Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Appointments can be made by telephone: (613) 727-4723 x6585.