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Women’s College Hospital’s certified athletic therapist is here to help you move safely and efficiently

June 16, 2014

Heather Robinson
Heather Robinson, certified athletic therapist

Understanding how to exercise safely, while managing conditions such as arthritis or osteoporosis, can be difficult. Luckily, Women’s College Hospital (WCH) patients with such conditions have access to a certified athletic therapist who can not only help them understand their conditions, but keep them moving as well.

Heather Robinson is the hospital’s only certified athletic therapist. As part of her role at WCH, Robinson works with patients from several programs including rheumatology (arthritis and back pain patients), osteoporosis and environmental health (chronic fatigue syndrome patients).

“I assess patients’ fitness levels, prescribe individualized exercise plans and provide orthopedic bracing,” said Robinson. “My role also allows me to educate patients about their musculoskeletal conditions and emphasize the importance of staying active, despite such diagnoses.”

Robinson also uses her expertise to run a variety of classes that teach patients about safe exercise in a group setting. Patients in the osteoporosis program have a choice of two classes. The first class, which has six sessions, teaches patients about the correct technique required for effective exercise. The second class provides patients with information about guidelines for appropriate and safe exercise with osteoporosis. Patients from the musculoskeletal program with hip and/or knee osteoarthritis are offered a class which provides them with information about their diagnosis, the causes, and how to manage the condition through appropriate exercise and lifestyle recommendations. One of the more recent classes that Robinson has been offering is an introduction to Nordic pole walking, which provides any patients of WCH the chance to learn about the activity and how to safely start on their own.

Robinson places a strong emphasis on helping patients understand their conditions and why they are told to do certain exercises.

“Knowing what is going on in your body and why doing certain movements will help you is not something that is automatically understood,” said Robinson. “I have found that the more a patient understands his or her diagnoses and prescribed movement, the more willing they are to continue doing their exercises and taking care of themselves.”

To learn more about certified athletic therapists, click here.


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