FOR HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS

Connecting you to highly trained, credentialed therapists with specific expertise in spine care

For several decades Nationally and Internationally recognized organizations have trained and credentialed therapists in spine therapy. Although these various certifications are highly regarded within the profession they are not well known by the public or by other health care providers. The Spine Therapy Network (STN) identified a need for a single source to identify these practitioners and to help consumers determine the type and breadth of a therapist’s expertise in relation to their condition. The formation of the Spine Therapy Network brings these resources into a single location.

Why Register? More information to come Register Here

Connecting you with spine therapists in your community, the Spine Therapy Network (STN) has developed a process to identify highly trained spine therapists. Membership requires that credentialing remains current and our registry includes only those practitioners who are registered with their respective licensing body. The STN website is designed to connect you with these highly-trained spine therapists. By identifying geographic location and types of condition, we help you to find therapists who understand your patient’s specific condition and are located in your patient’s community. This website enables you to make a referral to a specific therapist by way of an electronic referral form and to communicate directly with these therapists.

What does this Credentialing Mean to your Patient’s Care?

These credentials identify professionals who are committed to spinal care. It indicates that the therapist has pursued advanced certifications and training which enhances their abilities to deal with a wide variety of spinal conditions. The complexity of spinal conditions means that each therapist may have a slightly different expertise and that not all therapists will be able to deal with every spinal condition. We suggest that you review the bio’s of the therapist in your area and/or speak to them directly to determine their specific skill-sets in relation to your patient’s needs.

Collaborative spine care

STN’s mandate is to raise the bar of spine care. By connecting highly trained therapists with the medical and surgical spine community we are fostering a collaborative approach to spine care. Through these initiatives we will help to drive best practice protocols and promote evidence based practices. This collaborative approach also enhances the awareness within the medical and surgical spine community of the skills that an advanced spine practitioner brings to a spine patient’s recovery. Through educational opportunities and interactions with the Scientific Advisory Council, STN is providing unique opportunities which foster the interchange of ideas and knowledge.

Connecting the Spectrum of Spinal Care

STN is unique in its recognition of a broader perspective to spinal care. By bringing together clinicians who practice in orthopaedics, neurosurgery, neurology, physiatry, rheumatology and oncology we are extending the knowledge base of our membership and their ability to provide assistance to spine patients with a wide range of diagnoses and conditions.

Furthering Spine Care Education

STN provides education through conferences and information posted on our website. This information is targeted for advanced spine care practitioners, health professionals and patients who are interested in increasing the depth of the awareness of options for treatment. Our next initiative is to extend our education initiatives to provide credentialing for professions working in spinal care who have not yet developed an advanced certification program.

Advocating for the designation of Therapeutic Spine Specialist

In the past many spine practitioners are unidentified and included generically within orthopaedic or musculoskeletal groups. This differs greatly from spine surgery organizations. There are many organizations with membership for spine surgeons alone such as: The Canadian Spine Society, North American Spine Society, AO Spine North America and the Cervical Spine Research Society. STN recognizes that the time has come for the public and other health care providers to be aware of therapists with exceptional skill-sets in spinal care and to advocate for the designation of therapeutic spine specialists.

Credentials and Types of Conservative Treatment Offered:

IFOMPT

The International Federation of Orthopaedic Manipulative Physical Therapists provides worldwide promotion of excellence and unity of clinical and academic standards in manual/musculoskeletal physiotherapists. IFOMPT is a non-government International Manipulative Physical Therapy Federation representing international collaboration in manipulative therapy. It is concerned with manipulative therapy and physical therapists, and is a recognised sub group of the World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT), which in turn is a part of the World Health Organisation (WHO). IFOMT recognizes that Orthopaedic Manipulative Therapy (OMT) is a specialisation within physical therapy, which is concerned with the prevention and conservative management of pain and other symptoms of neuromusculoskeletal (NMS) dysfunction in the spine and extremities. In Canada the IFOMPT designation is provided through the Canadian Academy of Manipulative Physiotherapy (CAMPT). In the USA the IFOMPT designation is provided through the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists (AAOMPT). Physiotherapists who are Fellows of the Canadian Academy of Manipulative Physiotherapy (FCAMPT) or the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists (AAOMPT), have completed extensive post-graduate education in the area of orthopaedics and have achieved internationally-recognized qualifications in hands-on manual and manipulative therapy. Physiotherapists with the FCAMPT designation are committed to providing the highest level of quality, patient-centred care combining clinical experience with evidence-based practice. FCAMPT physiotherapists’ knowledge and skills enable them to treat complex pathology and movement disorders of both the spine and extremities, which can cause both acute and chronic pain and disability.

The McKenzie Institute Approach

This website lists therapists with a diploma from the internationally recognized McKenzie institute, IFOMT certified. Their approach to therapy is as such:

  • Most lower back pain is “mechanical” in origin, meaning that an applied force caused the pain. A basic philosophy of McKenzie’s Theory is that the reverse force can probably abolish the pain and restore function.
  • McKenzie credits the patient’s ability to learn the principles and empowers them to be in control of their own symptom management, which can reduce dependency on medical intervention. The McKenzie Method promotes the body’s potential to heal itself without medication, heat, cold, ultrasound, needles, surgery or a force dependent on the practitioner. It also addresses a growing demand from patients and third party payers for professional rehabilitation services that develop the patient’s self-treatment skills in a cost-effective and time-effective manner.

The Diploma in Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy is awarded to participants who have qualified in accordance with the criteria approved by The McKenzie Institute International Board of Trustees and is designed to assess competencies in relation to the diploma curriculum. The criteria for registration is attendance at the Institute’s educational courses and also a successful pass in The McKenzie Institute International Credentialling Examination.

ISAEC Advanced Spine Practitioners

ISAEC (Inter-Professional Assessment And Education Clinics) is an Ontario designation and is part of a pilot project for the Ontario government in association with the University Health Network. Therapists with advanced spinal diagnostic and treatment skill sets were identified in Toronto, Hamilton and Thunder Bay. These therapists underwent an additional 12 weeks of training with a spinal surgeon, physiatrist and rheumatologist. These therapists provide screening services to determine the need for additional levels of spinal care i.e. imaging or surgery, as well as providing guidance on treatment. In addition to the services they provide for the Government of Ontario, they have practices where they assess and treat private patients.

Hospital Advanced Spine Practitioners

Several teaching hospitals have invested in training therapists in advanced spinal care. These therapists function in the role of triaging spine patients for surgeons. This helps to ensure that the wait time to see a professional with spine care knowledge is reduced. Once seen by the Advanced Spine Practitioner the clients are directed to conservative management or surgical consultation in a much more timely fashion than waiting to see spine specialists. Often these practitioners are linked with existing spine programs that are typically surgical programs. Some of these therapists also have private practices.

Canadian Physiotherapy Association Clinical Musculoskeletal Specialist

Clinical Musculoskeletal Specialist is an advanced designation and is credentialed by the Canadian Physiotherapy Association. The successful candidate has shown advanced clinical expertise as determined by a panel of peers and certified by an external board. This designation does not specifically identify an expertise in spinal care however many of these professionals have an expertise in spine care practice. This website lists only those Clinical Musculoskeletal Specialist’s who have an expertise in spinal care.

Clinical Musculoskeletal Specialist 

About the credentialing organization

Clinical Specialist, Musculoskeletal is an advanced designation, within the scope of practice of a practicing Physiotherapist and is credentialed by the Physiotherapy Specialty Certification Board of Canada (PSCBC) https://physiotherapy.ca/clinical-specialist-program .

Process to achieve this designation

The Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA) is a national membership association for physiotherapists in Canada who have developed and oversee this designation.  CPA’s purpose is to advance the profession of physiotherapy in order to improve the health of Canadians.

The Clinical Specialty Program is targeted to candidates who have a minimum of five years of full-time applied clinical experience in physiotherapy and a minimum of 300 clinical contact hours per year for the past five years in the clinical specialty area.

This self-directed program consists of a written portfolio submission and an oral presentation that is assessed by a panel of peers. The components of the program allow candidates to demonstrate their professional competencies and development as a clinical specialist.

Candidates are recommended based on passing a peer review consisting of a two part submission which includes patient, peer and interprofessional references and clinical case studies.  The successful candidate has shown advanced clinical expertise as determined by a panel of peers and certified by an external board the Physiotherapy Specialty Certification Board of Canada (PSCBC)

Expertise

The CPA Clinical Specialty program certifies physiotherapists who have focused their careers and can demonstrate advanced clinical competence, leadership, continuing professional development, and involvement in research in a specific area of practice. Although this designation does not specifically identify an expertise in spinal care, many of these professionals have an expertise in spine care practice. This website lists only those Clinical Musculoskeletal Specialists who have an expertise in spinal care.

Professional designation

Physiotherapist with this designation are recognized as specialists by the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario, Alberta, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, and Québec which permits use of the term ‘Certified by CPA’.

This Recognition entitles them to use the designation Clinical Specialist (i.e. Clinical Specialist, Specialty area –one of 9) in conjunction with their professional title.

 

Canadian Physiotherapy Association Clinical Oncology Specialist

Clinical Oncology Specialist is an advanced designation and is credentialed by the Canadian Physiotherapy Association. The successful candidate has shown advanced clinical expertise as determined by a panel of peers and certified by an external board. This designation does not specifically identify an expertise in spinal care however many of these professionals have an expertise in spine care practice. This website lists only those Clinical Oncology Specialist’s who have an expertise in spinal care.

NDT and Bobath Concept Certifications

The Canadian Bobath Instructors Association (CBIA) has developed, organized and instructed high quality, standardized Canadian Bobath Courses in the assessment and treatment of adults with lesions of the central nervous system. CBIA ensures all Canadian Bobath courses meet specific standards of practice and are evaluated individually. CBIA teaches both basic and advanced Bobath courses consistent with the bylaws, rules and regulations of the International Bobath Instructors Training Association (hereby known as IBITA). Therapists with NDT and/or Bobath advanced course certification have skills and expertise in the advanced techniques of neurological treatment. In order to attend an advanced course a clinician must have attended a basic course minimum of 1 year prior and therapists working in neurological environments at the time of the course work are admitted into the courses.

Rheumatological Advanced Clinical Practitioners

Several teaching hospitals have invested in training physiotherapists in advanced rheumatological care. These therapists function in the role of triaging spine patients for rheumatologists. This helps to ensure that the wait time to see a professional with spine care knowledge is reduced. Once seen by the Advanced Spine Practitioner the clients are directed to conservative management or surgical consultation in a much more timely fashion than waiting to see spine specialists. Some of these therapists also have private practices.