Kinesiology is the scientific study of human movement and performance.

It incorporates various disciplines such as anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, biomechanics, neuroscience, psychology, and sociology in order to understand movement and health from a broad and holistic perspective.

In 2013, Ontario became the first jurisdiction in the world to regulate the practice of kinesiology as a healthcare profession.

This means that kinesiologists practicing in Ontario must be registered with the College of Kinesiologists of Ontario.

The practice of kinesiology in Ontario is defined as:

“The assessment of human movement and performance and its rehabilitation and management to maintain, rehabilitate, or enhance movement and performance”.

Kinesiology training involves at minimum a 4-year bachelor’s degree.

Kinesiology education endorses a biopsychosocial approach to movement, health, and wellness.

Interdisciplinary coursework and practical training focus on:

  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Neuroscience and motor control
  • Biomechanics and ergonomics
  • Psychology and health behaviour change
  • Fitness assessment and exercise prescription
  • Injury rehabilitation
  • Research and statistics

Behavioural and lifestyle interventions are among the most effective concussion management strategies, many of which align well with the field of kinesiology.

At TCC, we incorporate elements of kinesiology in several aspects of our program.

Exercise Coaching: Strategic exercise therapy after concussion is an evidence-based, solution-focused, and goal-oriented intervention. We offer individual coaching and group counselling to help patients incorporate exercise in their rehab plan and achieve the many benefits of an active lifestyle.

Vestibular Therapy: Dizziness after concussion is often caused by the brain having difficult integrating signals from the various sensory systems that help maintain proper balance. We train patients to recognize and optimize how they utilize the visual, vestibular, and somatosensory systems to support balance and postural control.

Neuromuscular re-training: Improving neuromuscular control means learning the most efficient way to coordinate your the way your muscles fire, and the way you move your body. To do this well, you have to learn to use many senses efficiently (musculoskeletal, vestibular, visual) and integrate them together using mindfulness to find the best “formula” or approach for what you aim to do. Through injury, the body’s ability to coordinate the various systems can be compromised which can lead to injury after exercise, and as such, may require neuromuscular retraining. An examples of how we neck neuromuscular control re-training can be seen here.

Neck and ergonomics: Neck issues are common post-concussion. This can be due to whiplash, post-traumatic headache, poor environmental setup, inefficient use of the muscle, etc. This, in turn, can lead to neck discomfort causing sleep disturbances, post-traumatic headachedizziness, visual system strain, and influence our cognition, and much more. Through biomechanical retraining and investigating one’s ergonomics, one can teach the proper positioning for the neck, and reap related more benefits for the entire body.

Respiration training: Everyday life stressors (and injuries like a concussion) can change the way we breathe by altering function of the autonomic nervous system. Stress often leads to faster and more shallow breathing that is driven by muscles in the chest, rather than the diaphragm. This may have negative consequences by changing blood chemistry and/or increasing neck tension. Respiration training teaches the patient to be mindful of their breathing patterns and learn to engage the proper respiratory muscles in order to breathe properly and improve autonomic function. Biofeedback equipment can be further added to help progress this into Heart Rate Variability (HRV) training.

Behavioural and lifestyle counselling: A healthy lifestyle is vital to support optimal neurological recovery. We work with patients to implement optimal lifestyle habits such as sleepexercise, diet, relaxation, and mindfulness.

Writing: Josh Shore & Mojtaba Garshasb

Last update: April 2021