Ashley Hiscock and Matthew Moore have joined forces to open the province's first athletic therapy clinic open to the public.
Hiscock said athletic therapists like them are so few in this province, she had heard a lot about him before they met in 2011. After finally meeting, they quickly developed a working relationship.
"One day he just came to me and he was like, 'Listen. We can either compete or we can join forces. Two heads are better than one.'"
The idea to open their own St. John's clinic percolated until they opened the doors to Premier Athletic Therapy and Sports Medicine on Dec. 23. The clinic caters to anyone with a sports-related injury - from a five-year-old gymnast to a pro hockey player - with services such as full-body assessments, massage therapy, athletic therapy, first aid and taping classes, concussion testing and rehab.
They specialize in muskuloskeletal injuries common in sports, and respond to such injuries with therapy tailored to the athlete's needs.
"If we had a hockey player or basketball player or volleyball (player), they could all have an ankle injury, but how we approach that and how we determine that they're ready to go back to their sport is different based on the demands of each of their sports."
Hiscock added that needs can vary even within the same sport.
"A goalie would need a different rehab program than a defenceman, who would need a different rehab program than a forward or a centre. It all depends on their position and what their role on the team is," she said.
She recalled being treated for injuries during her days as a gymnast and not getting the help she needed to get back on the beam.
"It was like nobody fully understood what I needed to be able to do, and the things that I was doing didn't seem to make me better, or feel better. Like sure, I could do that exercise, but it didn't help me in my training. Or if I'd go back to gymnastics something would still hurt," Hiscock said.
She said barring a serious injury or concussion, they aim to keep the client in their sport while managing their injury properly.
"The great thing about working with athletes is that they are very motivated to get better," said Moore. "They want to get back to their sport, they want to get back to running or whatever, and so they almost drive you as much as you want to motivate them."
The clinic's focus isn't limited to competitive athletes. Moore said they are open to people who may not consider themselves athletes, but who are active - "whether they're weekend warriors or they run a couple of times a week."
One demographic they're looking forward to serving is adults 50 and older. In their 50+ program, members will be given a full-body assessment and specialized programs to help them achieve their goals. Then they can continue using the gym equipment there under a monthly membership.
"The great thing about it is, one, it's a small gym space and so they shouldn't ever feel intimidated by the huge muscular men and women that are in here. And the second thing is that we're here and we can see what they're doing. So if they do start to cheat a bit on an exercise or they're not sure about something, we can correct it on the spot or give a little feedback for them."
Moore and Hiscock are joined at the Hamlyn Road business by two independent contractors - another athletic therapist and a massage therapist. More about the clinic's services can be found online at www.premierathletictherapy.com.
Note: This is an edited version