Nicola Robertson, PT
What is Physiotherapy?
Physiotherapy is a health care profession which helps people restore, maintain and maximize their strength, function, movement and overall wellbeing. Physiotherapists have in-depth knowledge of how the body works and specialized hands-on clinical skills to assess, diagnose, and treat symptoms of illness, injury and disability.
Physiotherapy includes rehabilitation, as well as prevention of injury, and promotion of health and fitness. Physiotherapists often work in teams with other health professionals to help meet an individual’s health care needs.
With an intimate understanding of women’s health issues, Nicola brings her professionalism and curative advocacy to Diamond Physiotherapy – Nicola’s physiotherapy practice at She Thrives.
Nicola is a well-respected orthopedic, vestibular and pelvic floor physiotherapist. She is a member of the International Pelvic Pain Society and International Continence Society. Nicola earned a BSc in Sports Science and Physiology (2002) and a BSc Hons Physiotherapy (2006) at the University of Glasgow. After an official move to Canada in 2008, Nicola joined a multidisciplinary health team in Nova Scotia, which initiated an extensive foundation of diverse health care practices.
Nicola’s passion for treating and advocating for women’s health assisted in her decision to establish Diamond Physiotherapy at She Thrives. Nicola recognized a need to provide women with access to safe, proven and individualized treatments unique to a woman’s physical well-being.
When not busy with her practice, Nicola assists with rehabilitation services as the Team Physiotherapist for the Trenton Golden Hawks (OJHL). She is also the District President, Quinte and St. Lawrence Region of the Ontario Physiotherapy Association, Member of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association Orthopedics, Private Practice and Women’s Health Division.
Nicola lives in Belleville with her husband and two young children where she shares her love of being active.
“I believe that an investment in women’s wellbeing has a lasting and profound effect on the overall health of our community.” ~ Nicola Robertson
Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy
Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy focuses on the muscles, connective tissues, and structures that make up or affect the pelvis. These muscles have five primary functions; movement of the pelvis, trunk and legs, continence of the bowel and bladder, sexual function, supporting our organs (bowel, bladder and uterus in women) and circulation to and from the legs to trunk.
These muscles are also the most ignored in the body. Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy can help with treating the following in women: stress, urge and mixed incontinence, vulvodynia, vaginismus, vestibulodynia, painful bladder syndrome (interstitial cystitis) prostatitis and chronic pelvic pain syndrome, painful periods, coccydynia, pelvic organ prolapse, pelvic floor and pelvic girdle dysfunction in pregnancy, pelvic floor trauma in labour and delivery.
Men’s pelvic health is often overlooked yet is equally as important for the maintenance of their overall wellbeing. Nicola treats male clients at She Thrives and focuses on the unique challenges specific to men’s physiology including post-prostatectomy incontinence, erectile dysfunction, pelvic pain including chronic prostatitis, testicular and penile pain syndromes, Nocturia (frequent urination at night), and chronic constipation.
Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy is a specialized area of physiotherapy treating injuries and conditions which affect the muscles, joints, and soft tissues. These can be new injuries or long standing issues. Typical conditions treated are: acute and chronic back pain, including sciatica and disc problems, neck pain and whiplash, headaches, shoulder, elbow and wrist pain, repetitive strain injuries, post orthopedic and spinal surgeries, hip, knee and ankle pain, rheumatoid arthritis, sports injuries, strains and sprains.
Physiotherapists are experts in movement, physiology and anatomy. We look at your entire system to identify where there are imbalances and changes affecting your function.
Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy can relieve and reduce your pain, provide you with strategies to manage your injury or condition, help you recover quicker and return you to your normal activities, improve your flexibility, muscle strength, and quality of coordination. You will be prescribed exercises to do at home, work and in the gym to enhance your recovery and prevent future injuries. We work with you to reach your goals and return you to health and happiness.
The vestibular system is better known as the inner ear and brain that help control balance and eye movement. Many people experience issues with balance at some point in their lives. An injury, illness or physical change to these systems can lead to vertigo, imbalance, hearing problems, nausea and vomiting, headaches, motion sensitivity and intolerance of crowds.
You may not realize that the source of your balance disorder may be due to an easily treatable condition in your inner ear.
Vestibular rehabilitation utilizes a combination of individualized exercises to improve balance function, decrease dizziness/vertigo symptoms and helps patients gain control of daily activities. The goal of Vestibular Rehabilitation is to improve your safety and confidence as you go about your daily activities.
Therapies Commonly Used
Manual therapy is a specialized form of physiotherapy delivered with the hands as opposed to a device or machine. In manual therapy, practitioners use their hands to put pressure on muscle tissue and manipulate joints in an attempt to decrease pain caused by muscle spasm, muscle tension, and joint dysfunction.
Dutch Physiotherapist, Cecile Röst developed a very practical approach, initially based on personal experience, then consolidated through research, which has helped thousands of women with pelvic girdle pain. Although Cecile Röst’s research focused on peri-partum patients, this approach is also helpful clinically when addressing acute and chronic sacro-iliac and pubic pain in men, as well as in women who are not pregnant.
Acupuncture is an alternative medical technique that involves the insertion of hair-thin metallic needles at specific points on the body in an attempt to relieve tension and pain. Traditional western medicine reasons that acupuncture works by releasing analgesic chemicals in the brain including opioid peptides, neurotransmitters and endorphins that stimulate the central nervous system, particularly the brain and spinal cord, to produce increased sensation, relaxation and energy.
Cupping Therapy is an ancient form of alternative medicine in which a therapist puts special cups on your skin for a few minutes to create suction. People get it for many purposes, including to help with pain, inflammation, blood flow, relaxation and wellbeing, and as a type of deep tissue massage.
Videos with Nicola
Getting to Know Nicola
The Truth about Kegels
Why do an internal exam?
Let’s Talk Prolapse
Knee Pain? A Few Tips to Help
Not sleeping? Try these tips!
Not drinking enough water? Some tips to help.
Assessment and Treatment
Prior to Your Appointment
Prior to your appointment you will be asked to fill out an intake form to share information specific to your problem and prior medical history. This form will be sent to you electronically when you book your appointment. It can be filled in using a computer or mobile device and then submitted electronically to go directly into your chart to be reviewed at your first visit.
For Pelvic Floor Patients
As well as the above-mentioned assessment pieces, we’ll examine the abdominal wall and all the muscles externally around the pelvis for excessive tension. The skin and external musculature of the perineum are examined to look for skin irritation and any other issues. The perineum is examined for any prolapse, either vaginally or rectally. This is the most difficult part of the exam for most people to understand. It’s not like a pap smear as there are no stirrups or speculums used. And gentlemen, it isn’t like a prostate exam, but is equally important. During this specific exam, you will lie comfortably on your back and will be discreetly covered with a sheet. Consent is always required prior to every internal exam.
Your First Visit
At your initial appointment you and Nicola will discuss your concerns and goals. A comprehensive orthopedic assessment will be completed on every client including postural screen, spinal movement analysis, gait analysis, motion and strength testing. At the end of the assessment, the findings, issues and goals are summarized and explained. Nicola will give you specific education, exercises and strategies to help you manage your individual issues and concerns.
For Vestibular Patients
During your first appointment, Nicola will complete an assessment of your eye and head movements, which includes walking and balance as well as a general overview of your musculoskeletal system. Following your assessment, your individualized program may include one or more of the following: balance retraining exercises, specific vestibular exercises, repositioning (Epley’s) maneuver for BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo) – a condition where crystals are caught in the inner ear canals and will conclude with an at-home program of individualized vestibular exercises.
Payment & Fees
Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy
60-Minute Initial Assessment: $120
30-Minute Follow-Up Session: $90
60-Minute Initial Assessment: $80
30-Minute Follow-Up Session: $60
60-Minute Initial Assessment: $210
45-Minute Follow-Up Session: $125
Physiotherapy visits are HST exempt. Payment options include Cash, Debit, Visa or MasterCard.
Insurance Coverage: Physiotherapy visits are not covered by OHIP, however, most insurance companies offer complete or partial coverage for visits. Please check with your insurance provider.
Direct Billing: She Thrives offers direct billing to most insurance companies. Bring your insurance policy number and member ID to your first visit and we can determine if we are able to direct bill for you.
Additional Costs: The cost of any recommended equipment or resources is not included in the visit fee.
Connect with Nicola