Exercise an effective treatment for long-term health care

One of the expected goals of the new College of Kinesiologists of Ontario (CKO) is to make it easier to directly pay kinesiologists for their treatment services.

A recent Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care pilot project for low back pain provides funding for aboriginal health access centres, community health centres, family health teams, and nurse practitioner- led clinics to develop an interdisciplinary health program.

They can use the funding to hire a range of practitioners with the goal of providing better long-term care, better outcomes and decreased reliance on the acute care system.

“For the first time, kinesiologists are included as one of the practitioners,” said Francis Puchalski, who graduated with a degree in kinesiology in 1977 and was one of the first kinesiologists to be registered with the CKO last April.

Including kinesiologists is an important step for patients too, he said, as it helps recognize the kinesiologist’s role in both recovery from an illness or injury, and long-term health care.

“Exercise has been shown to be an effective and safe treatment,” Puchalski said.

But payers, including the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and insurance companies, have to recognize it as such, he said. “Do you want to keep paying these people to take medication, or do you want to pay them to get some exercise assessments and counselling?”

With both the founding of the CKO and recent shifts within the Ontario health-care system towards preventative medicine, kinesiology as a profession is poised to take a larger role in the province.

www.ontario.ca/lowbackpain

Filed in: Complementary Medicine Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

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