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What Is Physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy is a professional healthcare discipline devoted to the prevention and alleviation of movement dysfunction and physical injuries. Education and preventative measures help patients gain the highest possible level of independent function.

A physiotherapist is a graduate of a recognized university program consisting of a minimum of a four year baccalaureate. The Physiotherapy Act permits access to service without the need of a physician referral. Physiotherapists are qualified to practice as primary health care providers and are regulated by a provincial licensing board, The College of Physiotherapists of Manitoba (CPM).

Practicing physiotherapists adhere to a strict code of ethics and rules of conduct outlined by the Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA). Clinical practice requires professional behaviour in accordance with specific standards and principles of care.

How Do I Access Physiotherapy?

The majority of patients accessing physiotherapy are referred directly from a physician, dentist or surgeon. A brief discussion with your caregiver will help determine your need for physiotherapy. Do not hesitate to ask your physician if physiotherapy may be of help to your ailment.

Patients can also access physiotherapy directly by scheduling an appointment. There is no need to be referred from a physician. After the first assessment your physiotherapist may contact or consult with your physician to access important medical information.

Once we have received a written or verbal referral from your physician or you have decided to access physiotherapy on your own, the next step is simple. Simply set up an appointment convenient to you at the nearest location to you.

Do I Need to be Referred?

A referral for service is not required in order to access services. The Physiotherapy Act permits access to service without the need of a physician referral. However, referral from your physician often is important and helpful in the flow of medical information pertinent to your problem requiring physiotherapy. It is recommended that MPI and WCB patients contact their physicians for a referral for service to expedite the processing of their claims.

Who Would Benefit From Physiotherapy?

Individuals of all ages could benefit from physiotherapy services. The physiotherapy scope of practice is extremely diverse in treating functional disorders. Some areas addressed within the physiotherapy scope of practice include:

  • Orthopedics (Muscle, joint and skeletal)
  • Sports Injuries
  • Neurological Disorders
  • Cardiorespiratory (Heart disease, respiratory disorders)
  • Burns and Hand Injuries (Tendon repairs, crush injuries)
  • Amputations
  • Ergonomics (Worksite analysis)
  • Geriatrics

What Conditions Can Be Treated With Physiotherapy?

Many conditions can also be treated by physiotherapy intervention. These may include:

  • Ligament sprains, muscle strains and contusions (bruises) immediately following injury or at any stage of healing.
  • Tendonitis (tennis elbow, etc.).
  • Orthopaedic surgeries (joint replacement, fracture repair, ligament repair)
  • Back and neck injuries of any origin.
  • Rehabilitation of joints and muscles following surgery or fracture.
  • Postural strain from desk or computer work.
  • Headaches.
  • Repetitive Motion Injuries (Carpal Tunnel Syndrome).
  • TMJ (Jaw) injuries, pain, and dysfunction.
  • Strokes, Head Injuries, and other Neurological Disorders

What Services Are Provided By Sage Creek?

The services available at Sage Creek Physiotherapy are extensive. Each service may be utilized separately or in combination with others to provide an individualized treatment program.

Services include:

  • Physiotherapy
  • Massage
  • Nursing Footcare
  • Home Therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Reflexology
  • Brace / Splinting
  • Custom Foot Orthotics
  • Public Education
  • Sporting Events
  • Worksite Ergonomics
  • Electrotherapeutic Modalities
  • Low-Intensity Laser Therapy
  • Exercise Programs
  • Educational Articles

Is Physiotherapy an Insured Healthcare Service?

Physiotherapy provided in a private community based clinic setting, like Sage Creek Physiotherapy is currently not covered by Manitoba Health. This unfortunately is a historical issue ultimately leading to the development of a two tiered system for accessing physiotherapy. Many provinces have healthcare coverage for privately based clinics, Manitoba is one of the exclusions.

Many private insurances and government institutions will cover the cost of physiotherapy services. It is always recommended to investigate your private healthcare needs and to contact your private insurance company to receive specific details on your individual coverage inclusions. The following are examples of third party payers covering the cost of physiotherapy treatments:

  • Blue Cross
  • Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI)
  • Workers Compensation Board (WCB)
  • Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA)
  • Department of National Defense (DND)
  • Other Private Insurance Policies (including Great West Life, London Life etc.)
  • Social Assistance (based on individual circumstances)

What if I need Physiotherapy, but have no Insurance?

Physiotherapy is not a provincially insured service, but is accessed through many private insurance plans. Always double check your insurance options. If you have no insurance the following suggestions may apply:

  • Accessing Sage Creek Physiotherapy a few times may be of great benefit to you and more affordable. A detailed assessment and explanation of findings will be of help in understanding your problem and what measures to take to improve it. A home program is provided to help you "help yourself." Follow-ups can be arranged at your comfort level.
  • Access a government insured service provider at a Winnipeg hospital or at certain rural locations. We can assist you in arranging this.
  • Voice your concern to your local government representative to encourage change.

What Does a Typical Visit Entail?

Your visits to the clinic include a detailed assessment and possible follow-up appointments.

Initial Assessment: Your first visit involves assessing the problem, educating you about the problem and often providing a treatment at the same time. Schedule yourself 45-60 minutes depending on the problem.

The appointment will consist of a detailed history and physical assessment, often providing you with a home program to get you started. All your questions will be answered as clearly as possible. You should leave your assessment with a good understanding of the "problem" and what you can do at home or work to get yourself better.

Subsequent Visit: These visits are considered the "hands on" visits which treat the problem initially identified. Appointment times vary and may consist of many treatment techniques and/or use of exercise equipment available to the physiotherapists. Hot packs, hot tub and massage may be part of your therapeutic regime as well as the use of range of motion, exercises and strengthening techniques. Frequently manual therapy (hands on) techniques are utilized in stretching tight structures or improving joint motion. Remember all treatment techniques are explained to you and performed with your consent.

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