Here are some questions that our clients have asked. If you have any other questions or concerns that are not addressed here, please do not hesitate to email or call us and we will be glad to help you.
1. What is physiotherapy and how can I benefit?
Physiotherapy is the science of movement and function. Physiotherapy will help anybody who experiences difficulty with movement, strength and pain. It is especially helpful for clients who have sustained injuries, strains, fractures or any loss of movement. Physiotherapy will also help anyone looking to improve their endurance, mobility and strength.
Physiotherapists utilize many skills to help our clients. These include: manual therapy, exercises, acupuncture, ergonomic changes, bracing and/or orthotics. Your physiotherapist will explain each option prior to administration and inform you of its benefits or harm.
2. Can I see a physiotherapist even if I’m not injured or I don’t have any pain?
Yes! We encourage it. At Physiotherapy First, we believe in preventative health. The stronger and more mobile your body is, the less likely you are to sustain injuries. We can help with improving your flexibility, improving your posture, enhancing your sports performance, preparing you for your next race/tournament or just staying fit. Just as you would visit your dentist regularly, we stress the importance of maintaining good physical health and encourage everybody (injured or not) to be assessed by a physiotherapist regularly.
If your job consists of maintaining the same position throughout the day (i.e. lab researcher, office worker, assembly line worker), we encourage that you have an ergonomic assessment conducted by one of our physiotherapists. This will ensure minimal repetitive strain as well as optimizing your body mechanics while at work.
3. What is involved in the initial consultation?
During the initial consultation, we assess you, not your injury. Beginning with a detailed interview, your physiotherapist will learn about you, your physical health, your body mechanics and your symptoms. We then use specific assessment methods to observe how your body moves and determine all possible causes of your symptoms. We will provide you with a diagnosis if one applies.
This will be followed by your first treatment session (included within the initial consult). Finally, you will be educated about your body and your symptoms, as well as provided with some advice on how to move and what to avoid.
The initial consultation is in private. It is one on one with a registered physiotherapist and is mandatory before beginning any physiotherapy program.
4. What is involved in a treatment/follow-up session, and how many do I need?
Your follow-up frequency and duration is determined at the end of your initial consult. Keeping your goals and barriers in mind, we work together to come up with a suitable timeline. As a rule of thumb, frequency is high (2-3 times/week) during the first few weeks of the program. This is to ensure that your symptoms are controlled and that the exercises and advice are being followed. Frequency usually drops as you become stronger, more mobile and are able to maintain your goals.
Follow-up sessions consist of a variety of therapeutic options that could include manual therapy, education, exercises, personal training and/or acupuncture. All follow-up sessions are with a registered physiotherapist.
5. Does insurance cover your services?
All of our services are provided by registered physiotherapists (PT), registered massage therapists (RMT) or registered Chiropractors (DC). They are licensed and follow practice regulations set out by the College of Physiotherapist of Ontario or the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario. As such, our services are covered by insurance plans that offer physiotherapy, massage therapy and chiropractic benefits.
You are expected to check with your insurance provider regarding the amount and frequency of coverage you are entitled for. The sooner you know this information, the better we can develop your program with respect to frequency and duration.
6. Does OHIP cover physiotherapy?
We wish it did! Unfortunately, the government delisted physiotherapy in 2005. Only certain clinics, called Designated Physiotherapy Centres, offer physiotherapy through OHIP. Moreover, OHIP coverage at these clinics is only accessible to Ontario residents below the age of 19, above the age of 65 and receiving benefits through Ontario Disability or Ontario Works programs.
Hospitals with an outpatient physiotherapy department may also take new clients, however, there is a potential for prolonged wait times.
7. Can you bill my extended health insurance company directly?
Unfortunately, at this time, we are unable to bill your insurance company directly. You are required to pay us directly and we will provide you with an official receipt with all the required information (including your therapist’s license number) to collect your reimbursement. If any other information is required by your insurance company (i.e. notes, diagnostics), please let your therapist know and we will be glad to provide it.
8. I cannot afford to pay up front. What can you do for me?
If paying us directly is not a viable option for you, we would still like to help. Please call and speak with our clinic director. We will make arrangements for your care.
9. I feel like I really need physiotherapy, but I do not have any insurance coverage, nor can I afford to pay out of pocket. What can you do for me?
As advocates for our profession, we want to ensure that physiotherapy is available to everyone. Please call and speak with our clinic director. We will make arrangements to guarantee that you will be well looked after.
10. What if I was injured at work or through a car accident?
We accept clients who have claims under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board of Ontario (WSIB) and clients who have claims under a regulated auto insurance company.
WSIB: If you were injured at work, you are required to complete a WSIB claim with your employer immediately. When your claim is approved for physiotherapy, you are welcome to make an appointment for an initial consultation. Please let our client care representative know your claim number, name of your adjudicator and employer. We require this information when booking your initial appointment. We can bill WSIB directly.
Auto Insurance: If you were injured through a motor vehicle accident (MVA), please call to speak with our client care representative. At the time of booking, we require your claim and policy number, name of your adjudicator and your auto insurance company. Barring any extraneous circumstances, we can bill the auto insurer directly.
11. Do I need a doctor’s referral?
Great news…NO! Physiotherapists are primary health care providers who are now able to diagnose your condition. No referral or requisition is needed to be assessed and treated by a physiotherapist. Although this is changing, a few insurance companies still require a physician’s referral in order to get physiotherapy costs reimbursed. Please check the details of your extended health benefits if this is the case.
12. I was referred to another clinic by my doctor, but I would prefer to come to Physiotherapy First. Can I do that?
Of course you can! Clients have the right to choose the physiotherapist that is right for them. If you are unhappy at your current clinic and want to try another clinic, you are entitled to. Your insurance provider will still cover you, despite the name of the clinic on the referral form.
Your physician will be sent a letter about the details of your assessment, along with your prognosis and treatment options. This allows your physician to be involved with your program at Physiotherapy First. We also provide them with progress and discharge updates. We will contact your doctor if we require any test results or documentation.
13. I’ve tried physiotherapy, massage therapy and anything else you can think of, but still can’t fix my symptoms. How are you different and why will it work?
As stated in our philosophy, we focus on determining the foundation of your injury and then working to re-build it. Your symptoms may be persisting because the root cause has yet to be addressed. Treating the symptom may mask the pain, but it does not cure it. By learning about you and conducting a detailed assessment, we can discover the source of your condition.
Our treatment approach is very unique. We focus on education and physical activity. We provide you with the tools to strengthen your body, change your posture, and improve your body mechanics. If you make the effort to instil these tools into your daily life, you will see some positive changes. Our physiotherapists are more than “pain-relievers.” We are life coaches and motivators, encouraging you to practice better physical health.
14. Okay. You’ve got me convinced! What should I bring/wear to my appointment?
Please wear clothing that is conducive for exercising. Shorts, t-shirt, tank tops and sports bras are sufficient.
Bring any test reports, physician referrals or medical documentation if necessary.
If you have a WSIB or auto insurer claim, we require your case manager’s name and contact information, your claim number and extended health benefits information.
Finally, bring an open mind, a positive attitude, and we’ll take care of the rest!