What happens during the first visit?
During your first visit, you can expect the following:
- Arrive at your appointment 10 -15 minutes early as you will need to complete a medical questionnaire.
- You will provide us with your prescription for physical therapy, occupational therapy, osteopathy or dietetics (if you have one).
- Your therapist will meet with you in a private setting where you will be seen for the initial evaluation.
- During this initial exam, the therapist will discuss the following:
- Your medical history.
- Your current problems/complaints.
- Pain intensity, what aggravates and eases the problem.
- How this is impacting your daily activities or your functional limitations.
- The goals you expect to attain through therapy.
- Medications, tests, and procedures related to your health.
The therapist will then perform an objective evaluation which may include some of the following: Postural Assessment – the therapist will assess the positions of joints relative to the ideal and each other. Range of Motion (ROM) – the therapist will move the joint(s) to check for the quality of movement and any restrictions. Muscle Testing – the therapist will evaluate the strength and the quality of the muscle contractions. Pain and weakness may be noted. Often the muscle strength is graded. Neurological Screening – the therapist may check to see how the nerves are communicating with the muscles, their ability to sense touch, pain, vibration, or temperature. Reflexes may be assessed as well. Special Tests – the therapist may perform special tests to confirm/rule out the presence of additional problems. Palpation – touching of the pain/problem area. This is done to check for the presence of tenderness, swelling, soft tissue integrity, tissue temperature, inflammation, etc. The therapist will then formulate a list of problems you are having, and how to treat those problems. A plan is subsequently developed with the patient’s input. This includes how many times you should see the therapist every week, how many weeks you will need therapy, short-term/long-term goals, and what is expected after discharge from therapy. This plan is created with input from you, your therapist, and your doctor. You will then receive a home exercise program and a detailed explanation on how to do these exercises.
What do I need to bring with me?
Make sure you bring your prescription for physical therapy, occupational therapy, osteopathy or dietetics (if you have one).
Do I need a doctor’s referral?
In Quebec, patients have direct access to physiotherapy (physiotherapy is recognized as a distinct profession). Therefore, a doctor’s referral is not necessary to receive physiotherapy treatments. However, the physiotherapist may suggest that you consult a doctor for their opinion or to get further tests done. It is also worth noting that some health insurance company plan’s still require a doctor’s referral for reimbursement of physiotherapy, occupational, osteopathy and massage therapy treatments. It is the responsibility of the patient to check their coverage.
How should I dress?
At your first appointment, you will head to our locker rooms to change. If future treatments are required, make sure to bring a pair of shorts/leggings and a T-shirt in order to feel comfortable while exposing the problem area accordingly.
How long will each treatment last?
Initial therapy evaluations take approximately 60 minutes. Since clients have a choice in terms of the duration of future sessions, appointments may be made for either 30 or 45 minutes periods.
How many visits will I need?
This is a highly variable question. In essence, it is dependent upon multiple factors including: your diagnosis, the severity of your problem, how long ago you sustained the injury prior to seeking help, your past medical history, etc. Therefore, you may need only one visit or you may require months of care. Your status will be re-evaluated on a regular basis and when you see your doctor, we will provide you with a progress report with our recommendations.
Who will see me at the clinic?
You will be evaluated by one of our licensed and highly trained physiotherapists, occupational therapist, osteopaths, massage therapists or dietitians and he/she will also treat you during subsequent visits. Unlike some clinics, where you see someone different each visit, we feel it is very important to develop a one-on-one relationship with you to maintain continuity of care. Since only one therapist knows your problems best, he/she is the one that will be working closely with you to speed your recovery.
Is my therapist certified?
All of our therapists are licensed by their respective Provincial or National Associations.
Is physiotherapy for me?
Physiotherapy will help any individual with problems affecting the level of function of the musculoskeletal system. The musculoskeletal system includes the bones, muscles, tendon, ligaments, cartilage and joints of the human body. Therefore, physiotherapy will target the treatment of this system when it not functioning properly. Our physiotherapists use a variety of treatment techniques such as: the McKenzie Approach to back and neck care, Manual Therapy, Sports Therapy, the Mulligan Concept, Soft Tissue Releases, Electrotherapy, Therapeutic Taping, Personalized Rehabilitation and Exercise Programs, Pre and Post natal care. Our patients can expect to improve their strength, endurance, balance and coordination, which will help them stay active every day.
What is the difference between a Massage at your clinic and one at the Spa?
A massage received at a spa is mainly geared towards generalized relaxation. The emphasis is placed upon ambiance and relaxation methods used in combination with soft techniques to create a more profound experience. A massage received in a physiotherapy clinic is for customers who have often been referred or seek a therapist with a certain type of massage in mind. Based on the person’s goals, ailments, medical history, and stress- or pain-related problem areas, a massage therapist will conclude whether a massage would be harmful, and if not, move forward with the session while concentrating on any areas of particular discomfort to the client. Typically, the type of massage that is chosen depends on the client’s needs and the client’s physical condition. For example, a massage therapist would use special techniques for elderly clients that they would not use for athletes, and they would use approaches for clients with injuries that would not be appropriate for clients seeking relaxation. There are also some forms of massages that are given solely to one type of client, for example prenatal massage and infant massage. As an accepted part of many physical rehabilitation programs, massage therapy has also proven beneficial for many chronic conditions, including low back pain, arthritis, bursitis, fatigue, and many more.
Is physical therapy painful?
For many patients, one of the primary objectives of physiotherapy is pain relief. This is accomplished with a combination of: hands-on techniques, electrical modalities (such as TENS machines) and heat or cold therapy. Movement often provides pain relief as well. Your physical therapist will provide you with the appropriate exercises that will assist in reducing pain while recovering range of motion, strength, and endurance. In some cases, physical therapy techniques can be painful (as it often is when you are trying to regain motion in a certain joint). It is very important that you communicate the intensity, frequency, and duration of pain to your therapist. Without this information, it is difficult for the therapist to adjust your treatment plan.
What will I have to do after physical therapy?
Some patients will need to continue on with their home exercise program. Some may choose to continue with a gym exercise program. Others will complete their rehabilitation and return to normal daily activities. It is important that you communicate your goals to your therapist, so he/she can develop a custom program for you.
Who pays for the treatment?
In most cases, private health insurance will cover some if not all of the cost of your treatment. You must pay for your treatment in full following each session. A receipt will be issued to you and you will need to send it to your insurance company to be reimbursed.
What happens if my problem or pain returns?
Flare ups are not uncommon. If you have a flare up (exacerbation), give us a call. We may suggest you come back to see us, return to your doctor, or simply modify your daily activities or exercise routine.
How soon can I get an appointment?
Usually within 24 hours.