Frequently Asked Questions

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Do I need a Doctor’s referral?

No. Physiotherapists are considered primary care providers and therefore you can be assessed and treated without a Doctor’s referral.
Some extended health care plans, however, might require a Doctors referral for reimbursement and therefore you should enquire with your individual provider prior to attending physiotherapy.

If you have an ICBC claim then you will need to provide us with a Doctor’s referral.

What should I bring to my first visit?

This depends upon why you are seeking physiotherapy treatment. Firstly, we need to look at the areas of concern so if you have a knee problem then bringing shorts would be a good idea. If you have a shoulder problem then bringing a tank top for females would also be a good idea. We do have shorts and gowns at the clinic that can be provided if needed.

If you are MSP eligible then we need your BC care card number to assess your eligibility.

If you are a WCB claimant then your first visit is automatically covered but providing your claim number and making sure that your paper work between your employer and WCB has been started will help to expedite your claim. If you have an ICBC claim then please bring your ICBC claim number, contact information for your adjuster, and an updated Doctor’s referral.

What should I expect at my first visit?

The first visit will focus on taking a history of the presenting condition(s) and doing a physical assessment. We will also provide some treatment, education, and any appropriate exercises for your presenting condition. During subsequent visits our focus will be more directed towards treatment and the progression of your recovery.

How long is a treatment?

The length of a treatment depends upon the treatment techniques being used and the presenting condition. We book initial visits into 45 minute slots and subsequent visits into 30 minute slots.

How many treatments will I need?

The number of treatments an individual needs depends on many factors: the severity of the injury, the acuteness of the injury (how soon prior to seeking treatment did it happen), and one’s ability to become involved in their rehabilitation. A thorough examination will help us in determining an appropriate treatment plan and allow us to estimate how long your condition will take to rehabilitate. Most clients can expect to see some positive results after 1−3 sessions.

Are Physiotherapists licensed health care practitioners?

Yes. Physiotherapists in British Columbia are registered and licensed to practice by the College of Physical Therapists of BC. This is our regulatory board. Their purpose is to serve and protect the public by ensuring that Physical Therapists provide safe, competent and ethical services. The college is mandated by the Health Professions Act of British Columbia.

Do I use ice or heat?

After an acute injury there will likely be some bleeding and inflammation around the injured tissues. Bleeding and excessive inflammation can delay healing and possibly increase the amount of injured tissue involved. Therefore, after an acute injury you want to use ice to reduce these effects. The term RICE is used for acute injuries. It means Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Following this protocol will help your tissue heal quicker and allow you to return to your sport or activity sooner. Ice can be applied for 10−20 minutes every hour for the initial 48 hours following an injury. Be careful if applying ice directly to the skin as it can possibly cause freezing to the contacted tissue. If the injured area continues to be warm and swollen then there is ongoing inflammation and ice should be continued.

Once soft tissue has been repaired then heat can be used to increase the extensibility of the tissue and promote circulation which brings further nutrition into the area to help with the final stages of healing. The combination of heat and ice can also be used, after the initial healing stage, to promote a vascular flushing of the area therefore providing nutrients and removing waste.

What is IMS?

IMS stands for Intramuscular stimulation. It is a form of acupuncture using needling techniques from traditional Chinese acupuncture. IMS was developed by Dr. Chan Gunn starting in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1973. IMS is used to treat myofascial pain due to an alteration in the peripheral nervous system. This generally means muscle pain due to nerves. IMS blames the pain on nerves that have become super sensitive and super reactive. This model states that neuropathy occurs at the nerve root level which causes radiculopathic pain and symptoms. An individual can experience many different types of pain syndromes from headaches to tennis elbow, neck and low back pain to Achilles tendonitis.
A thorough clinical examination will determine if IMS is an appropriate treatment choice for you. You can find more information about IMS at the following website:

BPPV and vertigo, what does it all mean?

BPPV stands for benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. Vertigo is the sensation of the room spinning about your body. There are many different reasons for an individual to experience dizziness and vertigo. If your vertigo is due to BPPV then a trained physical therapist can help to resolve your symptoms, often in only one treatment session. This type of vertigo is due to crystals in your inner ear becoming dislodged and moving into one of the semicircular canals. The most common complaint with patients is that their vertigo is triggered by rolling over in bed or moving their head position. A simple test that identifies a relationship between your head position, vertigo, and nystagmus will tell us if your symptoms are due to BPPV.