FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How do I make an appointment for physiotherapy? Does my doctor have to refer me?
Physiotherapists in Alberta are primary caregivers in our health care system. This means that you have direct access to physiotherapy without needing to be referred by your doctor. Anyone needing help to optimize their health can phone and book a physiotherapy assessment at our clinic. If you have a complex medical history or a specific medical concern, you may want to first see your doctor to rule out a medical root of your problem.
I’ve never been for physio…what happens during a physiotherapy assessment?
When you first attend our clinic, you will be asked for general information such as address and family doctor by our receptionist. You will then be taken to a private cubicle and introduced to your physiotherapist. Your physio will ask you questions about your injury/problem as well as your general health. You will then be evaluated regarding your specific problem. The therapist will look at such things as your posture, movement, joint and muscle mobility. This may require some disrobing so you may want to bring a tank top and shorts depending on the area being treated.
Once the physical examination is complete, the therapist will explain your diagnosis and discuss the best treatment options. You will talk about your expectations and goals of treatment. Often a treatment is performed with the initial assessment, if time allows. You are always encouraged to ask questions as your understanding of the injury is crucial in allowing you to improve. You may be given a home program and plan for follow-up.
What kind of training do physiotherapists have?
Physiotherapists/Physical therapists in Canada have a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in physiotherapy from an accredited university. Only therapists with these credentials are allowed to call themselves physio/physical therapists. After university, physiotherapists improve their skills through experience, learning from their fellow therapists, and by taking post graduate courses in areas of interest or towards specific skills such as manual therapy or IMS. Physiotherapy is a government regulated profession which means that we have a licensing body that is in place to protect the public. You can find out more about the regulation of physiotherapy through the College of Physical Therapists of Alberta (www.cpta.ab.ca).
How do I pay for physiotherapy?
Many people have extended health benefits through their employment or private health insurance. Most of these plans will cover some or all of your physiotherapy assessment and treatments. You may wish to contact your plan advisor to ask for your specific health benefit plan details. Examples of extended health plans may be Great West Life, Blue Cross, Manulife, ASEBP…to name a few. Venus, our office manager, is also very knowledgeable about these plans and may be able to assist you. Call Venus at 403-356-9789, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Many benefit plans allow direct billing. This means that we will bill your treatment cost directly to your insurer for you. Some insurance plans to not allow this. If this is the case, we bill you for your treatment and you submit your invoice to your plan for reimbursement. We accept cash, visa, mastercard, and debit transactions.
Do I have to do my exercises?
Yes! While therapists at Pursuit Physiotherapy use their manual skills and other modalities to help you with your problem, your active participation in your treatment is crucial to your recovery. We do not pretend to fix people! We want to give you tools necessary to manage your problem. We are more than happy to teach you how to do that and use treatments such as manual muscle or joint mobilization, electrical or thermal modalities, needling, etc to help accelerate your recovery.
How many times will I need to go for treatment?
This varies considerably. Part of the philosophy of the physiotherapy profession is to give the patient tools to be as independent as possible in their treatment. We have you attend for treatments when you need hands-on care or regular follow up. We educate you on exercises and modifications in your movement or activities to allow you to continue to improve at home. We strive to have you back to your activities as efficiently as possible and do not believe that everyone requires frequent or ongoing treatment.
Physiotherapists in Alberta are primary caregivers in our health care system.
You do not need a doctor’s referral.