Mask Update

Effective August 10th, 2021 our chief medical officer has lifted the requirement to wear a mask while indoors. Given the size of our clinic and the nature of our treatments we have decided that our practitioners will continue to wear a mask. We ask that all clients and patients continue to wear a mask when entering our clinic. This decision was made with safety as our main concern and we appreciate your support. As always we will have masks available if you have forgotten yours.

Re-opening March 2021

The St. John’s Back Pain Clinic will be re-opening as soon as the Avalon peninsula moves to Level 4. This is currently expected to happen on March 13, 2021. We have begun contacting patients and clients to schedule appointment for March 15th and onwards. Of course you are welcome to request an appointment as well.

Our clinic will continue the recommended safety measures. Please remember that masks are required at all times in our clinic, that anyone visiting our clinic must complete a prescreening survey and to arrive exactly on time for your appointments, not early. Patients and clients can read more detail on our safety changes for June 2020 and onwards.

This was not as long as our first lockdown but we are just as excited to see all of you again!

Re-opening in Level 3

The St. John’s Back Pain Clinic will be re-opening as soon as Newfoundland & Labrador moves to Level 3. This is currently expected to happen on June 8th, 2020. We will begin contacting patients on June 1st to schedule appointment for June 8th and onwards. Of course you are welcome to request an appointment as well.

Our clinic operations have been adjusted to increase safety. We have added time between appointments to allow proper cleaning of our treatments rooms and common spaces. Patients and clients can read more detail on our safety changes for June 2020 and onwards.

Most importantly we are looking forward resuming our work helping people overcome injuries and get back to doing the things they love.

Covid-19 Update April 1st

With the ongoing closure of most businesses and facilities in the province the St. John’s Back Pain Clinic will remain closed until we are given clearance to re-open. Our first priority once we re-open will be to get in touch with all of our patients and clients to help them resume treatment as soon as possible.

It is very challenging as a practitioner to be unable to provide care for our valued patients and clients. We trust that the approach put in place by our healthcare leaders is absolutely necessary and in the best interest of the people of our province and country. Please do everything you can to follow their guidance. Stay home except for essentials like medication and food, keep 2 meters social distance, avoid public gatherings of any size, wash your hands often and stick to national and provincial health authorities for accurate information.

Health Canada

Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

Hang in there and stay safe from Aleasha, Carmela, Erin, Judy and Ken.

Covid-19 update March 24

With the evolving developments in the spread of covid-19 in our provincial and nationally we have decided to temporarily close our clinic. We have set a tentative re-opening date of April 6th, 2020. All patients with existing appointments will be notified. Please stay tuned to our website and social media for updates.

Closing the clinic is challenging choice but the right one. It is a critical time when the recommendation of our provincial and national health and political leaders must be followed to the letter. This is our opportunity to show our resolve as a community and flatten the curve before it is too late. Please stay home. Please wash your hands. Please follow the direction of our leaders. Do it for your families and your community.

Hang in there and stay safe from Aleasha, Carmela, Erin, Judy and Ken.

Covid-19 Update March 18

To best support the prescribed practices of social distancing while still serving patients and clients in need of care we are changing our hours of operations. We will be checking in with all patients/clients about their upcoming appointments.

Our practitioners will be available for those patients seeking care for conditions or symptoms that will worsen without continued treatment. To minimize the number of people in our clinic at any given time our practitioners will hold clinic hours on the following days to provide care.

Dr. Ken Budgell will be available on Mondays and Thursdays.

Dr. Erin Hoffe will be available on Fridays.

Judy Batten will be available on Wednesdays.

This schedule will remain in place until April 6th but may extend further if warranted. In addition to these changes we will continue the following precautions. If you have travelled out of province in the last 2 weeks, feel any cold or flu symptoms or have been in recent contact with people who have please contact us to reschedule your appointment. There is no penalty for cancelling an appointment if you feel the onset of cold or flu symptoms, please just email to let us know.

During your visit please make an effort to arrive on time rather than early or feel free to wait in your car if you are early. All patients are welcome to use our washroom to wash their hands before and after their visit. We will be allowing time between visits to clean our tables, equipment and surfaces.

Covid-19 Update

The World Health Organization has declared covid-19 a pandemic. Dr. Theresa Tam, the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada has urged everyone to help Flatten the Curve. This means slow the inevitable spread of this virus. Health Canada‘s Covid-19 site is an excellent resource for current and accurate information. Please don’t trust unaccredited sources of information to guide decisions that could impact the health of your family and community.

The St. John’s Back Pain Clinic is committed to supporting this process with the following measures.

  • (as usual) Handwashing between every patient encounter
  • Frequent cleaning of all treatment equipment, door handles, payment terminals and counters
  • removal of magazines and shared items from the waiting room
  • We invite all patients to use our washroom to wash their hands before/after their visit

If you have recently travelled (within Canada or abroad) and/or feel flu like symptoms prior to your appointment please contact us to reschedule.

We will do our best to make this process as easy as possible for you. There will be no penalty for cancelling or rescheduling your appointment for this reason. Please refer to Health Canada for more information and contact your family doctor or call 811 for more direction if you have symptoms.

We are updating our fees

We are moving

1A Anderson Avenue


After 5 wonderful years in Churchill Square it is time to move the St. John’s Back Pain Clinic to it’s new home at 1A Anderson Avenue. We will be sharing space with the Podiatry Associates. You will be able to access our clinic through the entrance at the right side of the building near the main parking lot entrance. The new clinic space is clean, bright and easy to access. There will be plenty of parking available and thankfully there are no meters.

The grand opening is October 25th, 2016. If you have an appointment scheduled on that day or after you can find us at 1A Anderson Avenue. If you have an appointment before October 25th please find us at our current location on the second floor of the terrace on the square. You will be able to contact us as always at 722-2300 or our usual email address

So where is 1A Anderson Avenue? It’s 1.9 kilometers from Churchill Square. Head west on Elizabeth Avenue past Memorial and towards Freshwater Road. Take a left onto Anderson Avenue as you approach Summerhill Plaza. You’ll see us on your right as you reach Freshwater Road. You can view the map below to view the surrounding area. We’re looking forward to the move and are excited to show you our new space.

Clinic Map

You Have Arthritis

With a look of resignation my patient explains that their family doc told them their knee pain was arthritis and they could only manage it with anti-inflammatory meds and eventually surgery. I asked them, as I ask many patients, “what do you think arthritis actually is?”. Most patients look at me, somewhat perplexed, and give a variety of answers hovering around the idea of joint damage. In the most simplistic terms osteoarthritis is excess wear and tear on a joint, it’s not congenital, auto-immune, infectious or most importantly it is not an uncontrollable condition. For the average person (average meaning without major trauma, surgery etc) it’s the result of their sports, work and day to day activities compounded over their lifetime. Excess wear and tear.

Early signs of arthritis in the knee

Patients actual xrays with subtle loss of space between her femur and tibia. Thicker white lines on the joints surface of the femur and tibia.

Luckily this patients had been referred for knee xrays, so we took a look at her films together. I showed the patient the space between the bones in her knees and where I’d look to see bony indicators of degenerative change. We could both appreciate that the changes were subtle. We read the report together, “signs of early arthritic change” was the key line in the two sentence report on otherwise normal knees. So I asked another question “do you think arthritis is still the only reason you might have knee pain”. With a little more optimism she started to question the original diagnosis. For the sake of comparison the image on the right shows moderate to severe osteoarthritis.

This is more significant arthritic change. There is an obvious difference when comparing to our "arthritic" patient.

This is more significant arthritic change. There is an obvious difference when comparing to our “arthritic” patient.




Let’s look back at that simple definition, osteoarthritis is the result of excess wear and tear. Excess wear and tear is often the result of poor joint movement. Maybe the balance of leg/hip strength, flexibility and coordination has forced or allowed her knee to move poorly and now painfully. Maybe she wasn’t feeling the pain of worn cartilage but the pain of stressful movement.


What’s the point?

Worn cartilage and arthritis feels very much out of our control. Strength, flexibility and movement is something we can control, work on and ultimately improve. Arthritis is an effect of poor joint movement.  If you feel like throwing in the towel because you’ve been told or think you have arthritis it might be time to reconsider your understanding of this process. Take charge by truly understanding the source of your pain, not just the symptoms. Invest time moving your body and getting stronger.