Top
 

Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

What is the difference between sports physiotherapy and orthopaedics physiotherapy?

Physiotherapists are university trained members of the health care team and with our in-depth knowledge of anatomy, physiology and pathology, we have specialized hands-on clinical skills for assessment, diagnoses and treatment of musculoskeletal injuries. There are many practice areas in physiotherapy; sports physiotherapy and orthopaedic physiotherapy are areas of physiotherapy practice in the community. Sports Physiotherapy is physiotherapy treatment for sports injuries while orthopaedic physiotherapy is the treatment of muscle and joints injuries which is not exclusively caused from sports injury. See our services page for a list of the treatment options.  Sports Physiotherapists can work directly with athletes or can provide consultations to sport organisations.

How many sessions of treatment do I need?

Depending on the injury with respect to severity, acuity, and individual progress this question cannot be answered with a specific number. On your first session at our Burnaby Physio office a thorough examination will be done to determine the nature of the injury. This will allow the therapist to give you an estimate on how long it will take to rehabilitate your injury.

Does physiotherapy really work?

Individual progress is variable with treatment, but the majority of patients respond well to physiotherapy. Constant reassessment and re-evaluation is done by the physiotherapist to determine the most appropriate course of treatment. Physiotherapy is a joint effort between patients and their therapist. Our therapists are here to treat musculoskeletal injuries, but are also there to provide you with the tools to help you be an active participant in your rehabilitation.

Do I need a referral for physiotherapy?

Physiotherapists are primary health care practitioners and no referral is needed for physiotherapy treatment. However individual insurance companies may require a physician’s referral for reimbursement. Please check with your insurance company (Sun life, Manulife, Green Shield, Pacific Blue Cross, etc..) to see what their requirements are.

Do I need to bring anything for my treatment?

Doctor’s referral if you have one

Care card number

ICBC claims: ICBC claim number, doctor’s referral, and contact information for your adjuster

WorkSafe BC claims:  WorkSafe Claim number, Date of injury, Employer contact information

Will physiotherapy help with my arthritis?

Physiotherapy treatment is well supported in literature with helping people with Osteoarthritis manage their symptoms. Arthritis can be a debilitating condition, as joint inflammation causes your joints to be painful, which can gradually decrease your mobility. Maintaining strong and flexible muscles will help decrease the load on your joints, which will help decrease pain. Different types of braces and splints can also help decrease the load on your joints. Various hand splints are useful to improve the alignment for hand function for people who have rheumatoid arthritis. Using ice, contrast baths, and paraffin wax for arthritic hands are also helpful strategies to manage pain.

Third Party Payment Questions

Will MSP pay for my physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy was delisted from MSP in 2002 for all those who are not on premium assistance. If you have premium assistance you may qualify for physiotherapy coverage. The BC government has combined all practitioners as part of a 10 visit per year limit. These practitioners include acupuncturist services, physiotherapy, massage therapy, chiropractic, naturopathy and non-surgical podiatry. We do have a user fee for MSP premium assistance patients as MSP does not cover our full private rate. A user fee will be applied for each visit, please see above fee schedule. If you are not sure if you have premium assistance, contact us, and we can check for you.

Will Work Safe BC pay for my physiotherapy treatment?

We are now part of the WorkSafeBC Physiotherapy Network. We are able to bill WorkSafeBC directly as long as you have an accepted claim. If your claim is pending, your first session of physiotherapy is still covered. If your claim is still not accepted before your second appointment, you can either wait until you claim is accepted before coming for more treatments, or you can pay upfront for your treatments and we will reimburse you when your claim is accepted. If your claim is not accepted we cannot reimburse you for the treatment fees, but you can claim your physiotherapy treatments through your extended health benefits.

Can my coverage through Extended Health Benefits be billed directly?

Unfortunately we are unable to bill individual insurance companies at this time. You will have to pay for your session and we will provide you with a receipt to claim for physiotherapy benefits. Individual plans may vary, please consult with your insurance provider for more information.

Can my coverage through the RCMP or Candian Military be billed directly?

We are able to directly bill the insurance companies for these two groups.

My doctor has told me to come for physiotherapy treatment after a motor vehicl accident. What steps do I take to make sure ICBC pays for it?

Firstly, you need to make a personal injury claim with ICBC. If you don’t have an ICBC claim with them they won’t be able to authorize any treatment benefits.

My doctor has given me a referral for another physiotherapy office. May I still come to your office if I choose to?

You have the choice to come to our North Burnaby Physio office or any other office that you feel would be most appropriate for you.

How do I get ICBC to approve treatment?

Once a personal injury is made you are automatically approved for an initial 20 visits. A valid claim number is required. If more than 20 visits are required a doctor’s referral is required for ICBC to approve additional visits.

What is the ICBC user fee?

Our clinic is able to bill ICBC directly for a portion of the physiotherapy services with a valid claim number. Unfortunately they only pay for a portion of our fees. We are required to bill the patient a user fee to recover the rest of the costs of our private fee. A user fee of $40 dollars applies for each visit.

Do I get the ICBC user fee back?

This will depend on the liabilities of the claim and the specifics of the accident, but the majority of the time this fee can be recuperated from ICBC or your extended health insurance. Please ask your ICBC adjuster to clarify for your specific ICBC claim.

The doctor says I have whiplash after my car accident, what is whiplash exactly?

Whiplash is an injury caused by an acceleration/deceleration. When you are in a motor vehicle accident the force of the impact accelerates your body, deceleration occurs when your body strikes a part of the car. For example, whiplash is a common term for having a neck injury after a car accident. If you are rear ended your body goes forward initially and your head stays back and extends potentially hitting the head rest during the acceleration phase. Then the forward motion of the body is rapidly stopped by your seat belt and your head goes forward during the deceleration phase.  This causes the muscles in the neck to be strained and can also sprain ligaments in your neck.