What is Physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy is a healthcare profession directed at evaluating, restoring and/or maintaining physical function.

Physiotherapists (or Physical Therapists) have a detailed understanding of how the body works and are university educated. They are trained to assess and improve movement and function. They educate people in how to minimize pain and prevent injury.

Physiotherapists promote good health by encouraging their patients/clients to improve and increase their independence.

What types of coverage are available for physiotherapy?

Extended Blue Cross covers up to 90% of their fee schedule and the yearly maximum is typically $450.00

If you had an injury at work accepted by the Workers Compensation Board your treatments will be covered. Manitoba Public Insurance pays for treatment required as a result of injuries caused from a motor vehicle accident. Sun Life, Great West Life, Manulife and other insurance carriers cover physiotherapy services. Please check you or your spouse’s insurance plans for details.

Manitoba Health only covers physiotherapy treatment in hospital departments and on a limited basis through Home Care. There are unfortunately waiting lists from 2 weeks to three months at hospital physiotherapy departments.

Do I need a Doctor’s referral before I can see a physiotherapist?

No, although it is helpful if you have been to your doctor and they provide their diagnosis and pertinent x-ray or lab results. You can be assessed by a physiotherapist first and the results of the assessment and the recommendations are sent to your doctor for their information and comments.

What type of education does a physiotherapist have?

A physiotherapist (or physical therapist) has a university degree, a baccalaureate.

The courses are very detailed in the areas of anatomy, physiology, pathology in the medical field, cardio-respiratory (heart and lung function), musculo-skeletal (muscle, bones, and exercise), and neurology (cerebral palsy, strokes, head and spinal cord injuries), consulting (return to work, sports injuries) and research (e.g. Muscle strength and rehabilitation).

How do I know if a physiotherapist is practicing legally?

There is a provincial licensing body called The College of Physiotherapists of Manitoba. They may be contacted to ensure that your physiotherapist is registered on the current practicing roster.
Call or visit their website at www.manitobaphysio.com, phone: 287-8502.

How often should you see your physiotherapist?

Everyone is different, but as a general rule an annual appointment prior to your annual doctor’s appointment can be very beneficial. It provides both you and your doctor with current information about your physical health status.

Prior to starting a strengthening program to ensure muscle or joint problems are taken into account to prevent pain or injury.