Frequently Asked Questions
What is Physiotherapy?
Physiotherapy is the treatment and prevention of physical injuries and movement problems. Education and prevention measures help patients gain the highest possible level of independent function.
A physiotherapist is sometimes called a physical therapist. The terms mean the same thing.
What is the difference between Physiotherapy and Athletic Therapy?
Physiotherapy and Athletic Therapy are two separate professions, with very similar training and certification for treating bone, joint and muscle (“musculoskeletal”) conditions. Learn about the similarities and differences between physiotherapy and athletic therapy here.
At River East Physiotherapy & Sports Fitness Clinics, our therapists work as a team to ensure clients receive the most appropriate care for their condition. Choosing which profession is right for you usually depends on your injury or condition and your insurance coverage.
Do I need a doctor to refer me to physiotherapy or athletic therapy?
Patients do not need a referral to be treated by a physiotherapist or athletic therapist. However some private insurance companies do require a doctor’s referral before they will cover your therapy. Please check with your private insurance company before making an appointment.
What does physiotherapy and athletic therapy cost?
Neither physiotherapy nor athletic therapy 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, Athletic Therapy and Massage Therapy are covered under many extended health benefits plans. Learn more about insurance coverage here.
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 or athletic therapist?
Here are some conditions treatable by both physiotherapists and athletic therapists:
- 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)
- Tendinitis (any joint)
Since physiotherapists have additional medical training in neurological, cardiorespiratory, and complex conditions, physiotherapists also treat:
- Headaches or persistent (chronic) pain syndromes
- Pelvic Health Conditions
- Neurological conditions (e.g. Parkinson’s disease, stroke, Multiple Sclerosis, Bell's Palsy)
- Vestibular conditions
- Cardio-respiratory conditions (e.g. Cystic Fibrosis)
- Cancer rehabilitation
- Clients with multiple conditions or complex medical histories.
What do physiotherapy and athletic therapy programs include?
Your physiotherapist or athletic therapist will take a medical history, perform a physical examination and develop a treatment plan with you. Your treatment plan may include customized exercises, hands-on therapy, education, electrotherapy, thermotherapy, low level laser, acupuncture, dry needling and more.
What training do physiotherapists and athletic therapists have?
Physiotherapists must graduate from an accredited university program in medical rehabilitation. They 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.
At River East Physiotherapy, our athletic therapists are always Canadian Certified Athletic Therapists, registered with the Manitoba Athletic Therapy Association. They hold university degrees in an accredited athletic therapy program, and are registered with the Canadian Association of Athletic Therapists. This professional association requires them to meet high professional standards throughout their career.
Is physiotherapy or athletic therapy appropriate 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.
- An examination to assess your injury or condition. This can sometimes temporarily increase your pain.
- 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.
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.
What kinds of questions does a therapist ask?
Your physiotherapist or athletic therapist 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 or athletic therapist 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. If you are happy with our physiotherapy service, we encourage you to tell others. If you are not satisfied, please tell us!
Successful physiotherapy and athletic therapy 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 contact our Physiotherapy Manager or Clinic Manager.