MOUNT PLEASANT PHYSIOTHERAPYYour local Mount Pleasant Physiotherapy Clinic, we offer one-on-one active physiotherapy and kinesiology services including tele-rehab, IMS acupuncture, vertigo/vestibular, concussion management, individualized running programs and pelvic floor.
What does a physiotherapist do?
A physiotherapist is a key part of your healthcare team. Along your road to recovery, a physiotherapist helps you with the physical attributes of health, wellness and recovery. In other words, they help you get moving safely and effectively either before or after an injury.
However, contrary to what most people think, you don’t necessarily have to have sports injuries or any injury (hip discomfort) to see a therapist. Some people choose to seek physical therapy for other healthcare needs such as sport injury prevention, improved balance and coordination, improved joint range of motion and strength and overall health and wellness.
If you have any specific questions about your particular condition, please book a FREE, no charge 15 minute consultation with one of our physiotherapists online. This is where you will be able to ask a member of our Westcoast SCI physiotherapist team specific questions about how a physiotherapist can help you.
Frequently Asked Mount Pleasant Physiotherapy Questions
How is physiotherapy done?
Physiotherapists use a wide variety of techniques to help you. This can include manual therapy (hands on treatment including, trigger point release, myofascial techniques, joint mobilizations and manipulations, etc), needling techniques (such as acupuncture and IMS (intramuscular stimulation) or dry needling, electric modalities (TENS, ultrasound, IFC, etc), exercise rehabilitation therapy or therapeutic exercise, and perhaps most importantly, a good physiotherapist will spend the time one-on-one and provide you with education about your condition and situation.
How quickly does physiotherapy work?
This is a difficult question to answer as it really depends on the circumstances of each patient or individual seeking physiotherapy care in the Mount Pleasant Physiotherapy Clinic in Vancouver, BC.
For example, an adolescent who suffered a minor ankle sprain playing basketball may recover in only three to four treatment sessions. However, individuals who have several comorbidities (such as cardiac disease, diabetes, obesity, etc) who got into a serious motor vehicle accident and had suffered a stroke, may require months or longer to recover.
Can I do physiotherapy at home?
Absolutely! You can do physiotherapy at home in two ways.
First, during your initial appointment your physical therapist will provide you with a series of physiotherapy exercises that will be given to you as part of your home exercise program. The understanding is that you will perform these exercises regularly at home, between your physiotherapy sessions.
Don’t worry if you’ve never exercised before. During your initial assessment your physiotherapist will work with you to develop safe and appropriate exercises that you can do safely at home on your own. Your therapist will also discuss with you your schedule and time commitments so that you’ll be able to fit these exercises into your busy life. There’s no point in giving you therapeutic exercises meant to get you better if you’re not going to do them, don’t know how to do them, or don’t have time to do them!
Secondly, we offer telerehabilitation (online physiotherapy, telehealth or virtual physiotherapy) for those people looking to optimize their health and who prefer to receive their physiotherapy treatment from the comfort of their own home. There are many benefits to telerehabilitation, especially given the circumstances around COVID 19.
How often should I do my physiotherapy exercises?
This will be determined by yourself and the guidance from your physiotherapist. At your initial assessment, you will be provided with a treatment plan (or plan of care) that will outline exactly what’s expected of you. It will also provide you with a general idea of how long your recovery will take. Finally, you will be provided with a detailed plan of how often you will be required to perform your home exercise program.
Rest assured that between your appointments, should you ever have any questions about your recovery, treatment plan, home exercise program, manual therapy, or anything else related to your physiotherapy care, you are more than welcome to contact your physiotherapists to ask questions.
What can I expect from my first physiotherapy appointment?
When you book an appointment – the first one will be an initial assessment including physical evaluation tests. During this session you will be asked several questions about your current condition, past medical health history, work and leisure history, as well as anything else that your physiotherapist deems relevant to get a better understanding of you and your condition. They will also ask you about your goals for seeking physiotherapy care.
Next, they will perform a detailed objective assessment, whereby they will either physically move your body around and/or have you perform a series of physical movements to assess your physical condition.
After your physical assessment, you will be provided with education regarding your condition and what to expect from your physiotherapy treatment plan. At the same time, you will be provided with some physiotherapy treatment (see question 1).
Lastly, you will be provided with your home exercise program and review your plan of care, outlining what expectations you and your physiotherapist have in order to achieve your desired outcomes and goals.
What physiotherapy exercises can I do to strengthen my knees?
This really depends on why you want/need to strengthen your knees. Is it because you have chronic pain (hip pain, knee pain, ankle pain, shoulder pain)? Osteoarthritis? Want to return to a sport? Want to run faster? Jump higher? Pick up your grandchildren pain-free?
In other words we really need to understand your goals before providing you with an exercise program. However, in the meantime, have a look at our blog for some helpful education, exercise tips and suggestions.
Should I rest after physiotherapy?
This really depends again on the reasons you are seeking physiotherapy care. Typically, it will be a good idea to take it easy after your physiotherapy sessions, depending on how vigorous the sessions are. You’ve already done a wonderful job being committed to your care and attending your physiotherapy sessions. However, there may be some circumstances where you will be advised to go for a walk or other forms of exercise throughout the rest of your day.
As always, your physiotherapist will advise you on what to do and what to expect (outlined in your plan of care). However, if you have any questions between your appointments, you are always welcome to contact your physiotherapist near Mount Pleasant, Vancouver BC, via email or call our office.
Do you directly bill my extended health provider?
Yes! As long as your extended health provider allows us to direct bill your plan. There are some plans out there that unfortunately, do NOT allow this. We always advise that you contact your extended health provider prior to your initial assessment so that you may ask these questions directly to them and you won’t be unpleasantly surprised.
What is Physiotherapy?
Physiotherapy (aka physical therapy) is assessment and treatment of the body to improve, renew, and make the most of a person’s mobility, functional movement, and well-being. Physiotherapy helps through active rehabilitation, exercise therapy, injury prevention, and health and fitness. Physiotherapists get you involved in your own recovery by providing patient education to empower individuals to reach their top physical potential.
When should I see a physiotherapist?
There are many benefits of physiotherapy. A physiotherapist is a human movement specialist. They help you discover the source of what’s ailing you.
The scope of practice of physiotherapy services is wide and varied. People with injuries (motor vehicle accident or work related accidents, sports injuries, general aches and pain, soft tissue injuries, post surgical or joint replacements) or chronic pain that prevents you from living your life typically understand physiotherapists can help.
However, many people don’t realize that physical therapists can also help with ergonomic assessments, stroke patients, creating individualized exercise programs, dry needling, joint mobilizations, athletic injuries, sport injuries, soft tissue work, in-home physiotherapy, virtual care and much more. Your doctor may recommend physiotherapy to help manage chronic illness such as diabetes or obesity or after a traumatic event such as a heart attack, stroke or broken bone. However, a doctor referral is seldom necessary in order to visit a physiotherapy clinic.
Is physiotherapy covered by my health insurance?
Most extended health providers will help cover the cost of your registered physiotherapy assessment and treatment. However, it is highly recommended that you check with your extended health provider first to confirm the amount of coverage and to ask if a doctor referral is required for insurance coverage. Our office provides the convenience of direct billing to your insurance company.
If you’ve been in a motor vehicle accident (ICBC claim) or have been injured at work and have a WorkSafe BC claim, you will be automatically covered to receive physiotherapy and rehabilitation. Please make sure you have a claim number prior to your visit.
For those clients seeking virtual care, please make sure to ask if these physiotherapy services are covered by your extended health insurance.
What is physiotherapy treatment?
Physiotherapy treatment is difficult to define because your assessment and treatment will be as unique and individual as you are.
Physiotherapy treatment includes many things and will vary depending on your needs and goals. First off, in order to get an understanding of what physiotherapy treatment you need, you will receive a thorough assessment from your physiotherapist including taking a detailed history of your issue at hand and your past medical history. You will also be asked about your overall health, including stress, leisure activities, sports injuries and work. We will also spend time asking about your goals of physiotherapy: if you didn’t have pain, what would you be doing? This is key to helping you reach your goals.
Next, your first physiotherapy treatment will involve a physical examination. The physiotherapist will need to have a look at your injury and how you’re moving. They may also need to have a feel of the soft tissues of the body part in question.
Your physiotherapist now has the information they require to begin your physiotherapy treatment. This will vary the most from client to client and from session to session. This may involve manual therapy (soft tissue treatment), joint mobility, strengthening, stretching, and/or functional mobility, exercise therapy, dry needling (acupuncture or IMS – intramuscular stimulation), vestibular rehabilitation, in-home physiotherapy (home care or virtual care) and patient education. Many people don’t realize that patient education is usually the most important aspect of your physiotherapy treatment. If you understand why you are injured and how to prevent it from happening again, you’re already halfway to recovery.
Finally, your physiotherapy treatment will conclude with a treatment plan. This will outline the expectations of how often you’ll need to come back as well as laying out how long it will take for your recovery. You will receive a treatment plan and exercise program (if indicated) at the end of your physiotherapy treatment.
Does physio really work?
If we could get a nickel for every time someone asks: “does physiotherapy really work”, we wouldn’t have to have a clinic! This question is much more complicated than one would imagine.
First off, physiotherapy, just like any other profession has it’s “good apples and it’s bad apples”. It really comes down to clinic philosophy. Unfortunately, there are still clinics out there that treat clients like a fast food assembly line. They squeeze in as many clients an hour as possible and give everyone the same treatment, regardless of the reason. You will see the physiotherapist jumping from client to client in this scenario. Although this way of providing physiotherapy treatment is much cheaper to the consumer, is there value if the physiotherapist only spends 10 to 15 minutes providing treatment, education and reaching your goals? At Westcoast SCI, we only see our clients 1-on-1 and for a minimum of 30 minutes. It’s like getting a meal at a fast food restaurant vs a gourmet restaurant. You get what you pay for and will gain the benefits of physiotherapy.
Second, the use of passive modalities, especially heat (or ice) pads and buzzy machines. Again, and very unfortunately, there are clinics out there that rely heavily on heat pads and buzzy machines. Worse off, they will apply these techniques to every person that comes in for physiotherapy treatment. Typically the clinics that use this approach also try to squeeze in as many clients as possible, that’s why those of you who have been to a place like this have been left on your own for 15-20 minutes with the buzzy machine while they rush off to see the next person in line! At Westcoast SCI, we very seldomly, if ever use buzzy machines. We don’t even have heat pads or ice packs. If you require these things, you’d be much better off using them at home and not “wasting” your valuable time and money doing these things in our clinic. Instead, you should use the expertise and knowledge that our physiotherapists provide in the form of patient education, hands on soft tissue treatment, and evidence based functional movement exercise therapy.
Third, clients who are required to come in 2-3 times a week “until it gets better” should be a red flag. This is typically recommended at a clinic who spends 15 minutes with you and the rest on a machine and heat pack. Wouldn’t it make more sense to come in less often and spend more time with the therapist? True, each session would cost a bit more, but being provided with better education and home treatment options should significantly reduce the number of visits required to help you reach your goals quicker.
Our goal is to empower you with the tools you’ll need to have control over your symptoms and manage your recovery.
What are your hours of operation?
Our physical therapy clinics are open for in-person and virtual care Monday through Friday from 8am to 8pm and Saturdays from 9am to 3pm (except Statutory holidays).
How many clinic locations does WestcoastSCI Physiotherapy have?
We have 2 clinic locations in the Greater Vancouver area: the city of Vancouver, BC and Port Coquitlam, BC where we offer in-person physical therapy.
If you prefer, you can always receive a telerehabilitation (virtual care) appointment from the convenience of your own home.
Is Registered Physiotherapy covered by extended health insurance?
Yes, Physiotherapy services are covered by your extended medical health insurance benefits. We always recommend that you check with your extended health provider to confirm:
- If they require a doctor’s referral
- If they cover virtual care (if you plan to come for telerehabilitation services)
- How much your total coverage is for physiotherapy services (per year and per session)
Do you provide in-home physiotherapy?
At this time, we can provide in-home physiotherapy in rare cases. Because of COVID19 protocols, our ability to enter into a person’s home is very limited.
A great alternative and to close the gap left by our inability to provide in-home physiotherapy is telerehabilitation (also known as online-physiotherapy, telehealth or virtual care).
Should I come for an in-person visit or a telehealth (aka virtual care, telerehabilitation service or online-physiotherapy) appointment?
Our team of Registered Physiotherapists and Kinesiolgists can provide excellent healthcare both in person and virtually.
This really can depend on several factors. Although in-person visits have their place, Telerehab has provided excellent health care for many individuals. Given the COVID 19 situation, some people may feel more comfortable in the safety of their own homes. Additionally, if individuals have symptoms of COVID 19, or are in self-isolation, they could still access the benefits of physiotherapy sessions while in quarantine. The physical examination and physical intervention can all be done virtually.