Sharina’s story….

I first became intrigued with physiotherapy when I as a teenager and developed knee pain due to running.  I went to a physiotherapist who assessed my biomechanics and explained to me what was happening to my knee.  I found it fascinating that my knee pain likely had a lot to do with muscle imbalance around my kneecap.  She pointed out that both of my legs had differences in muscle bulk and how this factored into my pain.

I was inspired.  From that point on becoming a physiotherapist was always in the back of my mind.  My path to becoming a physio detoured first though; I had some traveling to do and many odd jobs to pay for it! So it wasn’t until a few years after high school that I applied to the physiotherapy program at the University of Alberta.   I was SO excited to receive that acceptance letter in the mail.   After finishing my degree, the travel bug still was there so I took advantage of the fact that there are many great jobs in other countries for physiotherapists.  So off I went and spent 6 months in my second year after graduating, to work in Australia.  This was an amazing experience!

I have taken many post-graduate courses since finishing my degree and many of them focused on manual therapy techniques which led to an Advanced Manual Therapy certification.  I am always curious and interested in learning more and adding more tools to my toolbox. So I became interested in needling and became certified with Gunn Intramuscular (IMS) as well as vestibular assessment and treatment.  Lately, my focus is turning to studying pelvic floor dysfunction, assessment and treatment which is so beneficial to so many women (and men)!

No two patients are alike.  And I realized that, depending on a client`s problem, it’s been extremely beneficial to me to have a skill set of manual therapy, IMS and specific exercise prescription. This combination of skills that I use daily has led to great results with my patients!

After many years practicing, I still love being a physiotherapist for many reasons.  The biggest one is that it is so rewarding to help someone that is in pain.  I have had many experiences where someone has come to me after being in pain for long periods of time and within a very short period of time their pain improves and resolves.    For me, this makes my job SO rewarding.

There are some challenges with physiotherapy; particularly working with those clients that have challenging conditions that don’t resolve so quickly.  However, I enjoy the problem solving that goes along with this and figuring out the pieces in the puzzle.

I also find that educating a patient is invaluable to recovery and working as a team with my clients.  It is often small changes, whether it is postural or lifestyle modifications that, with physiotherapy, are imperative in helping regain improved health and function.   Rehabilitation is a team effort and I am so proud to be able to call physiotherapy my profession.


Sharina Zantingh

Registered Physiotherapist