A snapshot of some of the hands on work that was done to help rural practitioners continue their education at the course taught in Golden last week. (Marie-Michelle Lafontaine photo)

Professional development for physiotherapists comes to Golden

Normally physios and massage therapists have to travel long distances for this kind fo course

Element Therapeutics recently hosted a professional development course for physiotherapists and massage therapists in Golden, to educate on injury prevention in runners.

The goal of the clinic was to bring opportunities to smaller communities in these professions, when typically you would have to travel long distances for the same education.

The course was taught by Jean-Francois Esculier, vice-president at The Running Clinic, who holds a Ph.D. in experimental medicine in patellofemoral pain in recreation runners from Laval University.

Marie-Michelle Lafontaine, a local physiotherapist and clinic director at Element Therapeutics, was the mastermind behind the course, bringing together therapists from across the Kootenays.

She says the course has been a work in progress for almost a year and a half.

“I’m a physiotherapist in a small town and it’s very difficult to get continuing education in our profession, our options are to go to Vancouver or Calgary,” said Lafontaine.

“So I thought why not bring it here so that we don’t have to drive or fly to continue our education.”

According to Lafontaine, the goal of the course was to help enrich Golden and the surrounding area by teaching local practitioners new skills that could help them become better therapists.

“The goal, in the end, is to bring better care to the patient and to these communities,” said Lafontaine.

“Staying on top of scientific evidence and research, it improves our care and then the communities we work in.”

Lafontaine says the course was well received by practitioners. It even attracted a few from larger centres, who were happy for a chance to come to Golden and get out of the city for a change.

“They were so impressed with the town and had such a great experience,” said Lafontaine.

“Some even said that they never want to go to a course in the city again, so I’m pretty excited with how it panned out.”

Throughout the course, practitioners wore masks and followed proper COVID-19 protocols in order to preserve the safety of all those involved.

And while the course was specifically for runners, Lafontaine says the knowledge gained can be used across disciplines and sports.

Lafontaine hopes it’s the start of a series of courses that she can bring to Golden, helping to improve community and patient care.

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