Recover from your Motor Vehicle ICBC Accident with our active based approach. We will prescribe and guide you through individually tailored therapeutic exercises so that you can return to life before your accident safely and swiftly.

Don’t let your motor vehicle injuries hold you back any longer, take control of your recovery and book an appointment today.

kinesiologist doing active rehab for icbc injuries

What does ICBC care look like at Westcoast SCI?

During your initial assessment, our team of clinicians will meet with you to provide a thorough evaluation of your symptoms. We will provide treatment to get you back on your feet as quickly as possible. In addition, we will design a personalized home exercise program to get you moving safely. The end goal will always be reducing pain and restoring functional movement so you can get back to the things you love as quickly as possible.

All of your sessions at Westcoast SCI are one-on-one with just you and your therapist. We will never juggle multiple clients at the same time. This way, you will have our complete attention and care at all times during your treatment. We find this approach allows us to build a trustworthy relationship with you so that we can help you get back to your regular routines as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Our clinicians use an active-based approach where we will prescribe and teach you individually tailored therapeutic exercises. With our hyper-focused guidance, support and motivation, you will have the accountability required to return to life before your accident safely and swiftly. You will also be empowered with the knowledge to safely continue your home exercise program on your own.

During the early phases of recovery from your motor vehicle accident, you may require more hands-on treatment from your physiotherapist. Although our philosophy is an active-based model, our physiotherapists are extremely well versed on manual treatments and modalities. Our evidence based treatment will assure that you get the proper care to expedite your recovery.

    ICBC Injuries Care and Treatment Timeline

    What is covered when I get in an ICBC car accident?

    Within the 12 weeks following your motor vehicle accident, you are automatically pre-approved for the following:


    Type of Service Number of Pre-Approved Sessions
    Physiotherapy 25 sessions
    Kinesiology Active Rehab 12 sessions
    Acupuncture 12 sessions

    Other healthcare providers beyond Westcoast SCI that are also pre-approved

    (including chiropractors, registered massage therapists, psychologists and ​clinical counsellors)

    Please contact these providers should you have further questions.

    Anyone sustaining a motor vehicle accident in BC who has ICBC insurance is qualified for care, regardless of who is at fault for the accident. This also includes a pedestrian or bicyclist struck by a vehicle. Our Physiotherapy, Kinesiology and Acupuncture services are 100% covered by your ICBC insurance. If you were a pedestrian or a cyclist, you will be covered by the insurance of the motorist who struck you.

    Your team consisting of your physiotherapist, kinesiologist and acupuncturist will stay in communication with your ICBC case manager (or legal representative if you choose that route) to provide progress reports, treatment extension requests, and any other documents required to ensure a smooth and stress-free recovery.

    The goal with ICBC active rehab is always to:

    • Provide education and exercises to optimize posture

    • Identify and reduce muscular imbalances

    • Address and decrease soft tissue pain

    • Reduce and prevent injury occurrence or re-injury

    • Return to activity, sport, leisure and work

    What should I bring to my first appointment (initial assessment)?

    Please bring the following to your first appointment:

    • ICBC claim number

    • Comfortable clothing

    • A doctor’s referral is NOT required to start physiotherapy, kinesiology or acupuncture treatment

    What does an ICBC physiotherapy session look like?

    Your initial ICBC physiotherapy appointment will begin with an in-depth discussion regarding your current concerns, medical history, past and present lifestyle, as well as your goals. Following this, your physiotherapist will conduct a comprehensive physical assessment to gauge your range of motion, flexibility, movement patterns, neurological condition, and may also palpate the soft tissues of the relevant body area.

    With their expertise, they will collaborate with you to formulate a personalized treatment plan with an emphasis on active strategies. This plan will encompass educating you about your condition, aiding in symptom management through movement, incorporating strength-building and potentially hands-on techniques, and furnishing a tailor-made exercise regimen that gradually advances you toward resuming your prior level of activity and/or work.

    Your path to recovery will entail a coordinated partnership between your Physiotherapist, Kinesiologists and Acupuncturist. We work as a team to ensure you receive the most comprehensive care possible. Through our multidisciplinary approach, we strive to expedite your return to your cherished activities as quickly and safely as possible.

    Our team of therapists will maintain communication with ICBC (or your legal representative if you opt for that route) to provide detailed progress reports and request extensions for treatment when necessary. This ensures that you receive the necessary assistance to return to your previous level of activity and/or work. It’s important to reiterate that, as customary with ICBC claims, these services are 100% covered by your motor vehicle insurance.

    What does an ICBC active rehabilitation session with a kinesiologist look like?

    Your first appointment begins with a comprehensive functional assessment, aimed at evaluating your existing limitations and addressing your primary concerns. This evaluation encompasses various factors including range of motion, joint stability, muscle strength, and overall functional movement patterns relevant to your specific needs. Collaboratively with your clinician, you will identify and establish goals, forming the foundation of your personalized treatment plan.

    Your clinician will collaborate closely with you during each session to design a tailored exercise regimen, aiming to target the issues stemming from your motor vehicle accident as identified in the initial assessment. Throughout this process, regular reassessment of your functional abilities and goals will take place, allowing for necessary adjustments when required. This comprehensive approach will encompass all facets of your physical rehabilitation, helping you return to your pre-accident routine. This includes resuming day-to-day tasks, engaging in recreational activities, participating in sports, and proactively averting potential future injuries.

    Your kinesiologist will seamlessly integrate within your care team, ensuring effective communication with your ICBC (or legal representative, should you opt for that route). This will involve sharing progress reports and requests for treatment extensions, to ensure that you receive the support you need to aid your transition back to your daily activities. As is customary with ICBC claims, these services are 100% covered by your motor vehicle insurance.

    What can we help you with?

    • Managing and alleviating your pain
    • Boosting your confidence in resuming activities, while tackling avoidance behaviours that might hinder your return to daily life
    • Improving your mobility, flexibility, strength and postural control
    • Facilitating a return to your pre-accident lifestyle and activities
    • Minimizing the risk of recurrence of injuries through education and targeted exercise progressions
    • Addressing any muscular imbalances that were triggered by the car accident

      What does an ICBC acupuncture session look like?

      When you come in for your initial ICBC acupuncture session, the acupuncturist will begin with an in-depth consultation. This allows them to understand the extent of your injuries, pain areas, and any other concerns you might have. It’s crucial to discuss the specifics of the car accident, such as the impact’s angle, your position in the car, and the immediate symptoms you experienced. This detailed history will help the practitioner tailor the session to your unique needs.

      After understanding your medical history and current concerns, the acupuncturist will develop a tailored treatment plan. This plan aims to address pain points, improve energy flow, and accelerate recovery.

      As you settle onto a comfortable treatment table, the ambiance will likely be serene with soft lighting and possibly calming music. This environment helps foster relaxation, making the experience more effective. The acupuncturist will start by cleaning the areas of the body where the needles will be inserted. Though the idea of needles might sound daunting, most patients describe the sensation as a mild prick or tingling. Depending on your specific needs, the acupuncturist will leave the needles in place for anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes or longer, depending upon your needs. During this time, it’s not uncommon for patients to experience a deep sense of relaxation or even drift off to sleep. This is a testament to the therapy’s ability to promote a state of balance and tranquility.

      After your session, the acupuncturist will provide guidance on aftercare. This might include recommendations for follow-up sessions, complementary therapies, or exercises to enhance the benefits of the acupuncture treatment. Remember, the healing process after a car accident is often multifaceted, and acupuncture serves as one part of a broader recovery strategy.

      Serving Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam & Port Moody Areas

      Frequently Asked ICBC Questions

      I got in a car accident, what do I do now?
      1. Contact ICBC to report your accident and file a claim. This can be done over the phone or online. 
      2. Once you have a claim number give Westcoast SCI a call or book an appointment online as soon as possible. 
      3. In most cases, you will want to request an appointment for a physiotherapy ICBC initial assessment, a kinesiology ICBC initial assessment AND an acupuncture ICBC initial assessment.
      4. Once you’ve booked your appointment, you will receive a confirmation email with more information (location, COVID protocols and more).
        – If you’d like more information about what to expect, please contact our office directly
      5. When you come for your appointment, remember to wear loose fitting or athletic clothing so that you’re comfortable moving around.
      6. Prior to your appointment, you’ll also be required to fill out an in depth intake form detailing your injury and any relevant medical history.
      What is ICBC medical coverage?

      ICBC will cover 100% of your physiotherapy, kinesiology and acupuncture needs. 

      Within the 12 weeks following your motor vehicle accident, from the date of your accident, you are automatically pre-approved for the following:

      Type of Service Number of Pre-Approved Sessions
      Physiotherapy 25 sessions
      Kinesiology Active Rehab 12 sessions
      Acupuncture 12 sessions

      Other healthcare providers beyond Westcoast SCI that are also pre-approved

      (including chiropractors, registered massage therapists, psychologists, ​and clinical counsellors)

      Please contact these providers should you have further questions.

      If you and your healthcare provider determine that further sessions are required beyond what is pre-approved, Westcoast SCI will contact ICBC for an extension request for their approval on your behalf.

      What is an MVA?

      MVA is short form for: motor vehicle accident. In other words, a car accident or accident involving a vehicle and a pedestrian or cyclist.

      How long do you have to do physical therapy, kinesiology and acupuncture after a car accident?

      This really depends on the severity of the accident, speed in which you or the other vehicle was travelling and the point of impact. 

      If it’s a simple “fender bender” in a parking lot where someone was backing up their car and accidently  bumped into your vehicle at very slow speed on the bumper, the likelihood of a prolonged rehabilitation plan is slim. 

      However, if you were travelling at freeway speed and someone stopped suddenly in front of you, the collision would cause a much higher impact potentially leading to much more severe bodily harm and possible head trauma including a concussion. The duration of rehabilitation following such a collision would be much more involved and longer duration as you might imagine. If you require concussion management as part of your physiotherapy treatment plan, this could extend the duration of your physiotherapy treatments

      Much like the motor vehicle accidents themselves, no injuries are the same and will each require their own road to recovery that our health care providers will guide you along. 

      Ultimately, your investment in your recovery paired with our practitioner’s expertise and support will be the cornerstone of getting you back to the things you have been missing out on due to your MVA.

      Do you have to go to physical therapy, kinesiology and acupuncture after a car accident?

      As with many things in life, you always have a choice. No one will force you to seek help after a motor vehicle accident. It is really up to you. However, the benefits of working with a registered physiotherapist, kinesiologist and acupuncturist are that their treatments will be guided by evidence based practice which has shown to have tremendous efficacy for most individuals. This is especially relevant if you are unable to resume the activities of daily living or that you were able to do prior to the accident. 

      The combination of physiotherapy and kinesiology at Westcoast SCI can help you get back to life and the things you love as quickly and efficiently as possible. We are movement specialists as well as healthcare providers. Initially, you may require help with the pain and acute injuries caused by a car accident. However, if you want to get back to going for a walk without pain, the best way to do that is by getting you walking and moving again safely. That simply will not be achieved by lying on a treatment table with a buzzy machine and heat pad. 

      Your healthcare team consisting of a physiotherapist, kinesiologist and acupuncturist will guide you every step of the way, creating a detailed plan of how to reach your goals with you. You are not alone.

      How long is physical therapy, kinesiology and acupuncture for whiplash?

      Again, this is a difficult question to answer because there are many factors that will impact the success and speed of your recovery. To help you find a solution, please contact Westcoast SCI to book a free discovery call with one of our registered Physiotherapists or Registered Kinesiologists. They will be able to help you understand the best course of treatment for your unique situation.

      Is registered physiotherapy, kinesiology and acupuncture covered in BC for motor vehicle accident rehabilitation with ICBC coverage?

      Yes! You are fully covered to begin your road to recovery with our practitioners as soon as you have established a claim number with ICBC.

      After the initial assessment and treatment block, your physiotherapist, kinesiologist and acupuncturist will request continued approval for care and treatment funding as needed.

      Do you need a referral for physiotherapy, kinesiology and acupuncture in BC for a motor vehicle accident with ICBC coverage?

      No referral is needed for physiotherapy, kinesiology or acupuncture for those injured in an MVA or ICBC claim.

      You are eligible for assessment and care by our registered physiotherapists, registered kinesiologists and acupuncturist as soon as you receive a claim number from ICBC upon reporting of the MVA.

      What are some common injuries from a motor vehicle accident and can you help me recover from them?

      Some common conditions or injuries you might sustain during an MVA include soft tissue injuries that often involve shoulder or neck pain.

      In addition, significant motor vehicle accidents might also involve injuries to the spine and lower limbs including knee pain from jarring or contact forces.

      Some injuries may not resolve with traditional therapy modalities and may lead to chronic pain, through which our team of healthcare providers will look to address the root causes and help you on your road to recovery.

      Lastly it is also important to note that we can also work with you in regards to head trauma and brain injuries such as concussions.

      What is Active Rehabilitation?

      Active rehabilitation is an exercise-based program to improve your function level (work, play, or perform activities of daily living). This program helps with injuries (accident physiotherapy, massage therapy, manual therapy) in joints, post-operative rehabilitation, soft tissue sprains and strains, and post-concussion management.

      A physiotherapist or kinesiologist can treat your less common injuries. If you have motor vehicle accident injuries (including traumatic brain injuries and other injuries), MVA rehabilitation (accident rehabilitation) can help you return to normal.

      What’s the Difference Between Active Rehabilitation & Other Forms of Rehab?

      Examples of active rehabilitation are stretching and light exercises to regain endurance and strength. This program helps clients reach optimal recovery from motor vehicle accidents MVA (pelvic health physiotherapy, dry needling therapy, accident physiotherapy, traumatic brain injury management, car accident injury management, concussion management, custom orthotics, accident rehab, sports injuries management, other related injuries management, and therapeutic exercises). This is performed by physiotherapists and kinesiologists to help patients return sooner to work and play.

      Passive rehabilitation, usually administered by health care providers (kinesiologist, physiotherapist), improves strength, cardiovascular, mobility, and functional therapeutic exercises. Some treatment plans include registered massage and chiropractics.

      Registered massage therapists or manual therapist activities include rubbing, pressing, or manipulating muscles and other tissues with fingers and hands. Examples of massage include Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, sports massage therapy, and trigger point massage. 

      Swedish massage reduces muscle tension, cramping, and chronic pain (knee pain, shoulder pain, leg pain, neck pain, etc.) through low-pressure manipulation. Deep tissue massage uses high-pressure manipulation to improve blood circulation. Similar to deep tissue massage, sports massage therapy maintains flexibility and improves circulation. For idiopathic pain or pain that has no known cause, kinesiologists may use trigger point massage.  

      In chiropractic, some techniques include the Gonstead technique and Activator technique.

      The Gonstead technique includes adjusting the low back to reduce pain, realign joints, and increase mobility as the patient lies on his side. The Activator technique delivers a gentle impulse into vertebral segments of the spine to treat low back pain and headaches.

      Who Designs an Active Rehabilitation Program?

      After assessment and diagnosis, the healthcare providers (physiotherapists and kinesiologists) will design active rehabilitation programs, which can help clients strengthen their muscles and return to activities of daily living.

      What are the four stages of complete rehabilitation?

      1. Rest and protect the injury (sports injury, brain injury, motor vehicle accident injury)

      The first stage is minimizing further damage by controlling pain and regulating inflammation.

      2. Recover your motion

      Start by slowly stretching your body. Stretching too far may slow down the healing process. Follow the exact instructions of your physiotherapist or kinesiologist to prevent further injury. If you’ve been injured, seek the help and advice of a healthcare provider for your safe and therapeutic exercises.

      3. Recover your strength

      After motor vehicle accidents or surgery, you may experience muscle weakness and wasting. Some exercises minimize injury, maintain good form and technique, reduce pain and stiffness, and strengthen muscle groups. As your muscles move more, pain caused by stiffness is expected to lessen.

      4. Recover your function

      The last step is recovering function and return to work or play, such as restoring coordination and balance and improving speed and agility.