Our Team

Don Charbonneau

Don Charbonneau has been treating patients at River East Physiotherapy for 25 years.  Don also plays a lead role in our Functional Abilities Evaluations and Reconditioning Programs. 

Training and Qualifications

Don graduated in 1996 with a Bachelor’s of Medical Rehabilitation in Physical Therapy from the University of Manitoba.  On top of his university education, he is also trained in:

  • Advanced Orthopaedic Manual and Manipulative Physiotherapy (Levels 2 & 3, Upper & Lower Quadrant Diplomas, Canadian Physiotherapy Association)
  • Acupuncture (Acupuncture Canada)
  • Dry Needling (Gokavi Transverse Technique Program)
  • Jaw / Temporomandibular (TMJ) dysfunction - Evaluation and Treatment.
  • Mckenzie Method for Treating Low Back Pain - Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (The Robin McKenzie Institute Canada, Levels A & B)
  • Functional abilities problem evaluations and reconditioning programs
  • Custom orthotics
  • Parkinson’s Disease - Exercise as Primary Treatment (Neurofit BC)
  • Manual Therapy of the Thoracic and Pelvic Outlets

Don’s Approach

In the clinic, Don takes a hands-on approach to physiotherapy, customized to each client.  He uses manual therapy, therapeutic exercise, and education, so his clients understand how they can best help themselves on their path to recovery.  He also uses “modalities,” including acupuncture, dry needling, and low level laser to facilitate healing and restore normal biomechanics.

Don is skilled at providing physiotherapy via video call.  

What his Colleagues Say

At River East Physiotherapy, we work as a team and learn from each other.  Other physiotherapists who have worked with Don over the years have said:

  • “Don has the most incredible knowledge of the musculoskeletal system. I’m pretty sure he remembers every fact he ever learned in University and post-graduate training.”
  • “I admire his leadership skills. He always seems to have a thought-out solution to every problem that arises.”
  • “Don is great at communicating with his patients and he’s very articulate with his explanations. I think this goes a long way with his treatment effectiveness.”
  • “I admire how knowledgeable Don is in treating a wide range of orthopaedic conditions.”

More About Don

What do you like best about being a physiotherapist?

“I love having the skills and training to help improve the quality of life of people in our community,” says Don.  “I find it so rewarding to help them achieve their goals and their best level of function.  It’s awesome working with people from all walks of life and helping them on their journey.”

What do you like best about working at River East Physiotherapy?

“It’s all about the people.  We have always been able to recruit and surround ourselves with a great group of caring and passionate individuals.  It makes our work environment a fun and exciting place to be.  It’s also a very clean, efficient and extremely well-organized facility.”

Tell us about why you became a physiotherapist.

“My interest in becoming a physiotherapist started with a keen interest in biology and physical sciences in high school and university.  As I explored career path options, I realized healthcare was something I wanted to be involved in.  Helping others improve their quality of life sounded extremely rewarding, and I learned physiotherapy would allow me to be a front-line service provider.

“I also liked how physiotherapy is a very social job - you really get to know people on a stronger level than in many other health care fields.”

What’s your favourite thing to do at work?

“I love assessing a new patient and making a diagnosis – it’s like putting together pieces of a puzzle.  I also love doing manual therapy.  Hands-on skills can have such a huge impact on the mechanics of the body.”

Is there one clinical area you’re particularly interested in?

“Manual therapy and dry needling.”

What are some compliments you’ve received from patients?

“Patients have told me I’m kind, caring, dedicated and efficient.”

What’s something few people know about you?

“That I am a lot more Type A than I let up to be.”

Someone who knows you well would describe you as…

“Great at multi-tasking.”

What’s something you’re proud of?

“I am very proud of my family and the people they are, how hard they work, and how much they care about the world and the people in it.”

What’s your favourite thing to do in your spare time?

“My favourite spare time activity is spending time with friends and family at our cottage.  Just being outdoors with beautiful surroundings helps give me balance in a busy world.”

Do you have any hobbies?

“I do a lot of project work and carpentry, especially at the cottage.  As any cottage owner knows, the work is never done.  I also like fishing, water sports, and in the winter I play a lot of hockey with my kids.” 

Where are you local?

“I grew up in Somerset, Manitoba, which is about 100 miles southwest of Winnipeg.  I moved to Winnipeg after high school to go to University.”

What’s your favourite book?  Favourite place? Favourite TV show? 

“My favourite book is The Power Of Now.  My favourite place is our family cottage in Grindstone Park.  As for TV, it’s all about Jets hockey!”


Photo credits: Cory Aronec Photography

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