David Swagar

Contact Info

Manual Movement Based Therapist

CrossFit MOST

542 42Ave SE

City: Calgary

Alberta, Canada T2C 5E5


 Academic Background

  • Bachelor of Kinesiology- University of Calgary 2001
  • RMT- Professional Institute of Massage Therapy Calgary 2011
  • Canadian College of Osteopathy-Vancouver (Thesis Defence in April 2016)

 Specialties & Certifications

  • ART Masters Cert
  • Graston
  • SFMA
  • Corrective Exercise Specialist-NASM

 Athletic & Training Background

  • University of Calgary Football- 4 year starter, 3 year defensive captain
  • Participating in CrossFit since 2007
  • Recreational weightlifter

 Current Role Working With Athletes

I treat athletes from many different sporting backgrounds. I currently treat CrossFit athletes, weightlifters, powerlifters, speed skaters, swimmers, football players, motocross athletes and more.  I currently coach weightlifiting and football.

 Professional Philosophy

My treatment philosophies are as follows

i. Evaluation of the body as a functional unit

I embrace the osteopathic principle of the body functioning as a "unit", meaning that breaking evaluation down into isolated structures is not as beneficial as looking at the way the body functions as a whole. Pain is not a good indicator of the cause of an injury but rather a symptom of the problem. As such, I do not chase pain but attempt to determine what is causing the pain.

 ii. Importance of assessment cannot be overlooked

I generally perform postural assessment followed by general high level movement screen looking for initial insight into asymmetries/imbalances/motor control issues. After the global assessment I watch the athlete move though sport specific movements and/or the movements/positions that provoke pain. I then move to more specific orthopaedic assessment as my funnel narrows.  

 iii. Treatment must be individualized

I strive to correct movement dysfunction by choosing an appropriate intervention. I attempt to determine whether the root of movement dysfunction is rooted in tissue extensibility, joint dysfunction or stability and motor control origins and choose an intervention strategy appropriate to the individual case. 

 iv. Patient Education

I do not believe in developing treatment dependance.  I endeavour to educate patients as to what is occurring in their individual case and how they can assist in their healing by performing homework in between sessions.  Most of my patients are very compliant as they are looking to optimize performance in their chosen sport. I often program individualized corrective exercise plans for patients. 

 v. Integrated Sports Model

I believe in working with an integrated team whenever possible. I subscribe to the "coach-athlete-therapist" triad advocated by Altis (formerly the World Athletics Centre) where the coach should have a better than average understanding of what the therapist is doing and the therapist should have a better than average understanding of what the coach is trying to achieve. They work together with the best interest of the athlete in mind. As such I work with many local strength and technical coaches to educate them on the clinical aspect of their athlete and learn the technical requirements of their sport.

 “No citizen has a right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training… what a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.” – Socrates