HELLO, I'M GREG STERN, HERE IS MY STORY

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My passion for movement and helping others along their own health journey developed from my own physical struggles. In 2013, I sustained an ankle injury that would forever change my life. What appeared to be a routine ankle sprain while playing football, developed into a chronic problem in my foot that caused me constant pain for 4 years.

 

I consulted and worked with many different rehab professionals to no avail and eventually underwent surgery. Unfortunately, this was only the beginning of my journey, as compensatory patterns triggered hip and back pain that had not been there prior to the operation.

 

I had reached a low point and was struggling for answers. It was at this point that I knew I needed to dive deeper in order to understand my body if I was ever going to escape the pain I was experiencing. 

 

While my professional education includes a Bachelor of Science in Physiology and Kinesiology, and Masters in Physical Therapy at McGill University, my curiosity has always extended far beyond the classroom. I have spent thousands of hours learning from books, coaches online, attending courses and trying to gather as many perspectives on different therapeutic approaches, researching and experimenting which methods work and which don’t.

I began to incorporate a comprehensive approach that looked at the root causes behind my pain and considered the environmental factors—shoes and chairs to name a few—that were continuing to contribute to my poor movement behaviour. Over time, I diligently and methodically applied the concepts that I learned to slowly restructure my body. Thankfully, I am now able to experience life pain-free, play the sports I love unimpeded by fear and go for long hikes barefoot after not being able to stand for more than few seconds without pain.

With From the Ground Up, my aim is to help guide people through their own path of self-discovery on their health journeys and guide people to not only be pain-free, but to thrive in their everyday lives. Injuries are not only a process of recovery, but discovery; an opportunity to learn, be curious, to better understand your body, to correct issues and improve efficiency and performance.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q: I am in pain, it’s getting worse and it is affecting every aspect of my life. What is the first step?


A: Booking an initial consultation by phone, email or online. We are happy to answer any questions specific to you that you might have prior to booking, but we're hoping this FAQ can be of help as well.




Q: What can I expect from the initial consultation?


A: We take the time to get to know you and to understand your pain experience:
-We will listen to you tell your story about your problem -We will review the intake form that you filled out online prior to the session -We will ask you to do some basic movements to assess how you are loading your body to establish the starting point for your recovery -We will sit you back down and explain the problem in simple terms what is going -Together, we will design a step-by-step treatment plan based on your goals -We will start some hands-on treatment and/or begin learning exercises to help ease your symptoms -You will receive a follow-up email after the session which includes detailed instructions and YouTube videos demonstrating the movements practiced during the session




Q: How many treatments does it take to get better?


A: This is a common question which no one can answer with 100% accuracy (unless they have a crystal ball). No two problems are the same as every client is unique. This is why having a detailed assessment is so critical to help identify all the factors involved in the problem. Frequent re-assessment is necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of the treatment interventions as well as to progress the treatment appropriately. The total number of sessions will vary by the individual and will depend on factors such as age, motivation, natural history/progression of the problem, occupation, hobbies and activites, psychosocial factors, etc. Our goal is not only to get you out of pain, but to help you build resilience so that the pain is solved for the long term.




Q: How long does a session last?


A: The initial evaluation lasts 75 minutes in order to give us adequate time to go through a detailed assesment, as well as have time to begin some treatment.

Follow-up sessions are typically 60 minutes, but we also accommodate 45-minute sessions.




Q: What should I wear?


A: Loose comfortable clothing that does not restrict your movement. Please bring shorts for any lower limb issue. If you have a shoulder injury, wear a loose fitting t-shirt or tank top




Q: Is physiotherapy covered under medicare?


As with most Quebec clinics, physiotherapy is not covered by Medicare, however, almost all extended health benefits plans provide varying amounts of coverage for physiotherapy services.




Q: Can you bill directly to my insurance?


A: We do not direct bill private insurance companies. After every visit, we will provide a detailed invoice that can be submitted to your insurance company for reimbursement.




Q: What if I'm unsure/hesitant to commit to physio?


A: We offer a free 30 minute discovery session to those who have failed traditional approaches or who are unsure about committing to physiotherapy. Please explore: https://www.groundupphysio.com/discovery-sesion to learn more.




Q: Do I need a doctor’s referral for physiotherapy?


A: No, you can access physiotherapy without a doctor’s referral.




Q: My doctor told me I have [X] diagnosis? Are you able to help with this?


A: When it comes to musculoskeletal pain, a diagnosis is just a label. The medical world often focuses on diagneses. We’re led to believe that we can’t understand our ailments until it has a nice, neat label.

The reality is that a diagnosis will only get us so far. In fact, many patients might even think that this label is something they now have have for rest of their lives and define themselves by it.
At Ground Up Physio, we focus on getting you back to your goals whatever the condition or diagnosis. This is accomplished by educating on the contributing factors causing you to overload the painful body part and teaching how to load your body properly by distributing the load through your whole kinetic chain so everything does its job well. Our bodies are resilient and those labels usually hold little actual value in your recovery process! We will never tell you to stop doing the sports or activities you love.Our role is to help you find a way of doing them without the worry of pain or injuries stopping you!




Q: What does "From the Ground Up" mean?


“From the beginning; starting with the basics, foundation”

Our philosophy at From the Ground Up Physio revolves around optimizing WHOLE body movement patterns starting at the foundation (feet, pelvis & ribcage).
We place a big emphasis on getting people to master the basics:

✅Can your feet pronate AND supinate?
✅Can you breathe expanding your ribcage in all directions?
✅How well can you control your pelvis and ribcage?

🔑These are the fundamentals when it comes to movement, pain & performance.

If you have pain and these components have not been addressed, reach out to learn how we can help you solve your long-standing issues that others have struggled to help you with.




Q: What are the education or training requirements to become a physiotherapist in Canada? What specific training do you have as a physiotherapist?


After completing an undergraduate degree, students are required to complete a Masters level education program that involves classroom theory as well as practical internships working under the supervision of a qualified physiotherapist. Once graduated, physiotherapists are required to complete 45 hours of continuing education every 2 years. In my case, I completeled Bachelor of Science in Physiology before going on to complete my Masters in Physical Therapy (both at McGill University). My 4 clinical placements were at the Royal Victoria Hospital in the Internal Medicine Department, Kinatex Sports Physio & Physio Mieux-Être working with orthopedic patients, and Catherine Booth Hospital in the outpatient department working with post-operative hip and knee replacement patients. Like most professions, the true learning begins after you graduate and begin to work with clients and attend continuing education courses. I have attended many different workshops and seminars including:
-The Movement Fix Foundational Movement Concepts
-Optimize Acdemy Fundamentals Seminar: A movement and mobility based approach to Rehab and Training (Ottawa) -Optimize Academy Running Workshop (Ottawa) -Anatomy in Motion: Closed Chain Lower Limb Mechanics (UK) -The Human Matrix; The Code for Maximal Health and Performance - Zac Cupples (NYC)
-Prosport Academy Mentorship (UK)




Q: How long will it take?


Every person is unique and every problem is unique. Some of our clients eliminate their pain and restore their function in 2 to 3 weeks. Some problems take 6 to 8 weeks. Unfortunately, some can take a few months, and in rare cases, longer. Treatment should only be continued if it is helping. If our treatment plan isn’t helping, it should be changed. The treatment response is highly variable and depends on: -How complicated and difficult the problem is -How did you develop the problem (acute vs chronic) -How long you have had the problem -How significant the structural damage is -How committed you are to solving the problem -Your motivation -Your ability/willingness to modify your activities, aggravating factors, etc.




Q: How much will it cost?


Again, this is variable and is based on the total number of treatments required (which is not the same as how long it will take). Our goal is always to provide the solutions in the most time efficient and cost effective manner. There will always be open, transparent communication with the client. If the treatment plan isn’t working, the plan needs to be modified to engage the client and make it realistic for their lifestyle. We strong believe that you commit genuine effort and are dedicated to getting better, this will be one of the best investments you will make with your money. You will learn more about the body you inhabit and learn life long skills to keep your body moving well. In some cases, there are other factors and/or other providers that can help (eg. physicians, massage therapists, psychologists, coaches, etc). Feel free to discuss alternative/additional service providers.




Q: What's with the foot?


Did you know that your feet contain a quarter of all the bones in your body!? 😮👣 The foot is an incredible piece of technology. With 33 joints, 26 bones, 4 layers of muscles, and 107 ligaments, the human foot is a fascinating biomechanical structure. One of the primary roles of the foot is to act as a sensor for the physical environment we stand on. With over 200,000 nerve endings (same quantity as our hands), they receive incoming stimuli and send the brain crucial information needed to guide optimal movement. They are our connection to the environment. Our feet act as our foundation and their proper function determines the health status of our knees, hips, backs, and even upper extremities. Building a strong, resilient body starts with a strong foundation at the feet. Unfortunately, we tend to think of our feet as two pieces of meat that get shoved in our shoes and forget about them for the rest of the day. It is often only when they hurt, do we begin to appreciate our feet for the workhorse that they are. Our goal is to convey to you why healthy foot function is the foundation of movement freedom! Check out our blog to learn more: https://www.groundupphysio.com/post/understanding-foot-health




Q: Do I need to wait until I have the results of my diagnostic test (X-ray, MRI, etc) prior to seeing a physical therapist?


In most cases, it is not necessary to have the results of your diagnostic test prior to seeing a physical therapist. The results of the diagnostic tests will not change the initial physical therapy treatment plan. Specifically, if you are awaiting MRI results for a knee injury (ligament and/or meniscus), shoulder injury (labrum, rotator cuff tear), or back injury, the results of the test are not necessary to determine the appropriate physical therapy treatment. One exception is if you are concerned that you have a bone fracture or a muscle/tendon rupture (which would usually necessitate a trauma). These test results are important for making surgical decisions, but general physical therapy treatment is based on improving your primary complaints (pain, loss of function, etc).




Do you offer online sessions? How does it work?


Yes! All you need is a working camera and a small area to move around.

Given the current pandemic, many people are hesitant to receive the treatment they require, delaying or worsening their current condition.
We can provide the much needed relief that you need through effective movement re-education. Online sessions are similar to in-person sessions with the exception of hands-on treatment. In reality, our approach focuses on optimizing movement quality through teaching our clients how to load their body effectively. We have had great success working with individuals helping recover from injury, build back their strength and return to their everyday activities.