Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Because you asked
Frequently Asked Questions
What is involved in my first Physiotherapy appointment?
Your first physiotherapy session is all about you! As a Registered Physiotherapist, I will ask you to tell me, in your own words, what you think the injury is and how it happened. Then I'll perform a physical exam, exploring your mobility limits and looking for trouble spots. I'll also use the time to make sure we both understand what is holding you back and to get a baseline of your goals and challenges as we get started together.
After I complete this full observation of your movement patterns, I will begin to treat the problems I have identified. At the end of our appointment, I will work up a home program with you to make sure you can that you can continue treating your injury.
The appointment will last around 40 to 60 minutes. Make sure you wear clothes, like shorts and shirts that you might wear to the gym, to make sure that what you are wearing does not restrict your movements. And make sure you're ready to have some fun! Really!
Just to be clear, I will sit down with you one-on-one. First, we'll just talk. Then I'll perform a physical exam to figure out how we can work together and get you back to achieving your life and fitness goals!
Will insurance cover my Physiotherapy appointment?
If you have physiotherapy coverage through your benefits package, then your sessions will be at least partially covered. Check how physiotherapy is covered in your benefits plan because some insurers require a prescription from a medical doctor (MD) before you begin receiving treatment. Contact your insurer to see what you need to do and to figure out what your coverage is. For example, some plans offer a total value of $500 for physiotherapy for the year, while other plans provide $40 per visit, no matter what the actual cost of the session might be.
To summarize, yes - if you have Physiotherapy Coverage you're covered!
Is acupuncture covered by my insurance?
As a physiotherapist trained and certified in acupuncture, I can offer you acupuncture as part of your treatment. But only if I determine that it is warranted. Since acupuncture is a treatment technique actively used in physiotherapy, it is covered as part of your physiotherapy appointment.
But some insurers list a separate category for acupuncturists, and this is different than a physiotherapist. To use that funding, you have to get the treatment from a Registered Acupuncturist.
To summarize, when a physiotherapist performs acupuncture you are covered under the physiotherapy portion of your insurance, not the acupuncture portion (unless that physiotherapist is also a registered acupuncturist).
Does OHIP cover Physiotherapy?
Unfortunately, physiotherapy at our clinics is not covered under OHIP. There are a limited number of clinics, called Designated Physiotherapy Centres, that can offer physiotherapy through OHIP. And coverage is limited to Ontario residents under the age of 19 or over the age of 65, or to those receiving benefits through Ontario Disability or Ontario Works programs.
Hospitals with outpatient physiotherapy departments may also take clients. However, often these clinics have very long wait times. You might have to wait as much as 12 months to get an appointment. Follow this link for more information about OHIP clinics in Ontario.
And given the demand, OHIP covered service providers are often rushed, seeing as many as 5 or 6 patients an hour. When you see me, I provide you with individualized one-on-one care, addressing your needs and helping you get back to your goals faster.
To summarize, our physiotherapy services are not covered by OHIP.
How long does it take for Physiotherapy to work?
The short answer? It depends. The human body is a complex and amazing piece of equipment. Timelines can vary, depending on the parts that are involved and the things that are preventing you from fully achieving your goals. I've seen a full recovery in a single visit, I've seen things return to normal in a few weeks, and I've seen injuries that have take weeks, even months, to fully recover.
To help you understand your situation a little better, here are some general guidelines:
- For soft tissue injuries: Expect 6 to 8 weeks for a full recovery.
- For fractures and broken bones: Healing the bone itself takes about 4 to 6 weeks. Then after the cast or sling is removed then physiotherapy can begin. At this stage, it can take anywhere from 8 to 12 weeks to fully recover and for you to get back to your regular activities.
- For surgical repairs: Timelines can vary widely, depending on the procedure you have undergone.
To summarize, like all good things in life, it depends.
Do I need a doctor to refer me to physiotherapy?
No, you don't! Physiotherapists are direct access to practitioners. I can see you without a referral. I can even assess you and then recommend a course of action that can include the involvement of other practitioners. In fact, I have direct access to many of the other practitioners you might need right here at my clinic. That includes Sports Medicine Physicians, Physiatrists, Injection Specialists, Osteopaths, and Massage Therapists.
But, as I outlined earlier, check how physiotherapy is covered in your benefits plan because some insurers require a prescription from a medical doctor (MD) before you begin receiving treatment. Some insurers require a physician's prescription for physiotherapy before they will provide reimbursement for the service.
To summarize, you do not need a referral to see your physiotherapist, but your insurance provider might need it for insurance.
Does Physiotherapy hurt?
Physiotherapy is not usually painful. But some exercises and techniques may feel uncomfortable.
Most of the time, my goal is to make our work painless. I want you to leave feeling better than when you walked in and to be closer to your goals. Some techniques, such as dry needling and deep tissue work, can be uncomfortable. If I think these techniques would be useful, I will discuss them with you and together we can decide if it is the right option for you.
In rare situations, things may get sore before they get better. If this might be the case for you, we'll discuss your options beforehand to make sure that you understand the plan of care.
To summarize, in general physiotherapy shouldn't hurt and should be an awesome experience for both of us.
How long will each treatment last?
Treatment time can vary depending on the condition being treated and the goal of the therapy being provided. The treatments are provided one-on-one and last for 30 minutes. But sometimes appointments may be booked for 30 minutes, 45 minutes or 60 minutes depending on your goals. Your initial assessment will be booked for 60 minutes so that we can fully review your case.
As your physiotherapist, I will work with you to develop a plan that suits your needs. Together we'll put together the treatment plan and treatment times that work for you.
To summarize, sessions usually last 30 minutes and new assessments are booked for 60 minutes, but this can vary depending on your specific needs.
How should I dress?
In physiotherapy, I want to help you move more freely, without pain or discomfort. So, come ready to move! In most cases shorts and a t-shirt are a great idea. Think about how you might dress when you go to the gym. Depending on what you need help with, your clothing should provide easy access to that part of your body.
For example, if you want to improve shoulder performance, I need to be able to see both your shoulder blades. If your problem is with your lower back, make sure I'm able to see your spine. If your knee is the issue, you should change into a pair of shorts at the clinic so we can examine it properly.
To summarize, come ready to move and make sure the affected area can be easily exposed.
I have a disc problem that has been diagnosed by MRI. Can I be helped by Physiotherapy?
Yes, yes, a million times yes! Lower back pain and disc problems are issues I see every week. I will assess your lower back, your mobility and your ability to function. Then we'll work together to make sure you reach your goal, whatever that might be.
If you have had MRI, bring your findings with you to our session, or have your family doctor fax it to us before our consultation and your assessment. This will make us have all the information we need to address your issue!
To summarize, yes!
What happens if my problem or the pain returns?
The goal of physiotherapy is always to resolve your injury and address your challenges for the long term. I want to make sure you get the tools you need and set you up with the program that addresses your issues so that you can stay strong and awesome.
Problems can return months or even years later and if they do I am here to help! Sometimes the answer can be as simple as reintroducing your home program. At other times the problem may stem from changes in your workplace or home life.
My goal is to resolve your pain so that you can return to your life comfortable and pain-free!
To summarize, no worries - we will make sure we get to the bottom of what's going on!