Frequently Asked Questions
What is Physiotherapy?
Physiotherapists are movement experts. We draw on our university-level training to help our clients get back to their active lifestyles, recover from injury and achieve their physical goals. Learn more about physiotherapy here, and the Top Five Reasons to See a Physiotherapist, here.
A physiotherapist is sometimes called a physical therapist. The terms mean the same thing.
Do I need a doctor to refer me to physiotherapy?
Patients do not need a referral to be treated by a physiotherapist. Physiotherapists are Primary Care Providers, meaning we can be your first stop for healthcare - when it comes to bone, joint, muscle and nerve conditions. Family doctors, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, and dentists are other examples of primary care providers as recognized by Manitoba Health.
That said, keep in mind that some private insurance companies do require a doctor’s referral before they will cover your therapy. Check with your private insurance company about your plan's rules and restrictions before your appointment. Learn more about insurance coverage here.
What does physiotherapy & massage therapy cost?
Neither massage therapy nor physiotherapy in a private clinic are covered by Manitoba Health. Please call our clinic reception for our current fee for service rates. We accept debit, credit card and cheques (no cash transactions please).
Physiotherapy and Massage Therapy are covered under many extended health benefits plans. Learn more about insurance coverage here.
Do you have same-day appointments?
Yes! We almost always have appointment spots for urgent issues, every day. When you're in acute pain, it can be hard to wait for an appointment.
This is also why we ask for 24-hours notice if you need to reschedule your appointment, or if you get better and no longer need physiotherapy. 24 hours gives us enough time to schedule in patients in acute pain, who need your appointment slot urgently.
What do I wear to my appointment?
Dress comfortably. You are welcome to bring your own shorts. We offer shorts and gowns. We ask that you remove your shoes at the entrance, to keep our clinic clean, so consider bringing indoor shoes or slippers.
Why should I see a physiotherapist?
Here are some of the bone, muscle, joint, and nerve conditions treatable by physiotherapists:
- Frozen Shoulder
- Sciatica (nerve pain in your leg)
- Disc Herniations
- Low Back Pain
- Shoulder Pain
- Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (arm & neck)
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Knee/Hip/Shoulder Replacements
- ACL reconstructions (knee)
- Achilles rupture (ankle)
- Meniscal/Labral Tears (knee)
- Sprains (any joint)
- Strains (any joint)
- Tendonitis (any joint)
Physiotherapists have medical training in neurological, cardiorespiratory, and complex conditions, and can also treat:
- Headaches or persistent (chronic) pain syndromes
- Pelvic Health Conditions
- Neurological conditions (e.g. Parkinson’s disease, post-stroke, Brain Injury, Multiple Sclerosis, Bell's Palsy)
- Vestibular conditions - particularly Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo ("BPPV")
- Cardio-respiratory conditions (e.g. Cystic Fibrosis)
- Cancer rehabilitation
- Clients with multiple conditions or complex medical histories.
What do physiotherapy programs include?
Your physiotherapist will take a medical history, perform a physical examination and develop a treatment plan with you. Your treatment plan may include therapeutic exercises, hands-on therapy, education, electrotherapy, thermotherapy, low level laser, acupuncture, dry needling and more.
Your treatment plan is always customized to you and your unique condition.
What training do physiotherapists have?
Physiotherapists must graduate from an accredited university program in medical rehabilitation. In Canada, all new physiotherapists are required to complete a Master's in Physical Therapy, which means they have completed a minimum of six years studying physiotherapy at the university level.
All physiotherapists in Canada must also demonstrate they can meet strict professional standards before they are permitted to practice. Physiotherapists are provincially regulated, and all practicing physiotherapists must be registered with the College of Physiotherapists of Manitoba.
For more general information on physiotherapy, visit the College of Physiotherapists of Manitoba or the Canadian Physiotherapy Association.
Is physiotherapy right for me or my condition?
River East Physiotherapy offers a free 15-minute telephone consultation with a therapist to help you determine whether physiotherapy or athletic therapy is right for you. Just call us to set up your consultation.
What should I expect on my first visit?
Your first visit will usually take an hour. We ask that you complete your intake forms online before your appointment, and arrive in the clinic exactly on time for your appointment. If you're unable to complete your forms online, call us in advance - we may ask you to arrive a bit earlier to fill out paper forms instead.
On your first visit, your therapist will review your injury or condition and plan a treatment program for you. This will include:
- Questions about your injury or condition, your health history, and your goals for therapy.
- A physical assessment to assess your injury or condition.
- A discussion about your assessment findings, how you can start to manage your condition and a treatment plan - including how many visits your treatment may require.
If you'd like to visualize your first visit with us, watch our video walk-throughs of our Henderson Location and our Rothesay location.
For every part of therapy assessment and treatment, we require your informed consent. This means you're always in charge of your care - you can ask questions and take back your consent at any time. You're the boss!
What kinds of questions does a therapist ask?
Your physiotherapist will ask you about your condition and how it came on. Your health history helps the therapist understand what may have contributed to your current condition, and helps make sure we know about any other conditions that could impact our care. Your therapist may also ask you for information about:
- The nature of the pain, such as location and intensity you are currently experiencing or have had in the past.
- Your personal and family history.
- Medications you are taking.
- Treatments you have had recently or in the past.
- The physical requirements of your job, lifestyle or leisure activities and how your injury or condition is affecting your life.
- Your goals and expectations for therapy.
What does the physical exam include?
The physiotherapist does a physical evaluation. Changing or removing clothes may be required to see the problem area.
The therapist may touch the problem area to see if there is any tenderness, swelling, or heat. Using their hands, they may test the problem area to see if weakness exists, if movement is limited, and how much pain there is.
If you're seeing a pelvic health physiotherapist, learn more here about what the physical exam may include.
What if I am not satisfied with the service provided?
We work to exceed expectations and provide an excellent patient experience. If you are happy with our physiotherapy service, we encourage you to tell others. If you are not satisfied, please tell us!
Successful physiotherapy is based on good communication between you and your therapist. Your therapist may not be aware there is a problem unless you tell them.
If you are still not satisfied after discussing your concerns with your physiotherapist, please call our Clinic Manager at 204-982-9191. We'll do everything we can to make things right!