Q: What is physiotherapy?
A: Physiotherapy is a form of health care that prevents, identifies, corrects and alleviates acute or prolonged movement dysfunction. The primary objective of physiotherapy is to promote optimum health and function. It is one of the oldest healthcare professions, and an important part of total health care. (Canadian Physiotherapy Association)
Physiotherapy is a major healthcare profession practiced by university-educated, highly trained individuals who are active members of the health care team. Physiotherapy is a key to mobility, an independent lifestyle and wellness. (Canadian Physiotherapy Association)
Q: Do I need a doctor’s referral to come to physiotherapy?
A: A referral from your doctor is not required to receive physiotherapy unless you are being treated for a WCB or ICBC claim. Some Private Insurance companies do require a medical referral, it is best to check with your provider prior to your first visit.
Q: How quickly will I be seen for my first appointment?
A: We will make every effort to book an appointment within 24 hours. We always hold back a couple of same-day appointments for emergencies.
Q: How many treatments will I need?
A: Every condition is individually evaluated, based on the person and severity of their condition and patient activity expectations. Your physiotherapist will advise you of an appropriate treatment plan after your initial assessment.
Q: What should I bring to my appointment?
- CareCard (PHN number)
- Suitable attire (i.e. shorts, tank top)
- Doctor’s referral (if you have one)
- Diagnostic test results relevant to your injury (i.e. X-rays, CT scan, MRI results)
- ICBC/WCB clients – referral, claim number, CareCard, case manager’s name and number
Q: How long will I be in the clinic for each session?
A: This depends on the injury and type of treatment you require, but expect to be in the clinic for approximately 45 minutes to one hour.
Q: Does extended health cover my physiotherapy treatment?
A: Although everyone’s health and group plans are different, most plans will cover a percentage. Talk to your health plan provider for more specific details.
Q: Does the government cover any of the treatments?
A: The Medical Services Plan will cover a total of 10 treatments of physiotherapy, non-surgical podiatry, massage therapy, and chiropractic services for those that qualify for Premium Assistance. For further information on Premium Assistance, visit The Medical Services Plan website or to see if you are covered call 604 669-6667 and follow the instructions, make sure you have your care card handy.
Q: I have been in a motor vehicle accident. Should I go to physiotherapy?
A: After you file a claim with ICBC, visit your doctor to discuss whether physiotherapy is appropriate for you. Most soft tissue injuries related to car accidents respond well to physiotherapy.
Q: I injured myself at work, can I have physiotherapy?
A: If you injure yourself at work, you need to file a claim with your employer and WCB. You no longer need a doctor’s referral to initiate physiotherapy treatment, but should see your doctor as soon as possible to get a referral.