Rehabilitate with Physiotherapy
Physiotherapists provide services that develop, maintain and restore people’s maximum movement and functional ability. They can help people at any stage of life, when movement and function are threatened by ageing, injury, diseases, disorders, conditions or environmental factors.
Physiotherapists help people maximise their quality of life, looking at physical, psychological, emotional and social wellbeing. They work in the health spheres of promotion, prevention, treatment/intervention, and rehabilitation.
- Muscular Strains
- Repetitive Strain Injuries
- Sporting Injuries
- Tension Headaches
- Neck Pain and Stiffness
- Manual Therapy
- Dry Needling
- Soft Tissue Mobilization
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Chronic Pain Syndrome
- Dizziness, Vertigo, and Imbalance
- Frozen Shoulder
- Golfer’s Elbow
- Heel and Foot Pain
- Low Back Pain
- Motor Vehicle Accident Injuries
- Neck Pain
- Pediatric Conditions
- Pelvic Floor Conditions
- Post-Surgery Rehab
- Rotator Cuff Injury
- Running Injuries
- Tennis Elbow
- TMJ Dysfunction
Treatment may include moving joints in specific directions and at different speeds to regain movement (joint mobilization and manipulation), muscle stretching, passive movements of the affected body part, or having the patient move the body part against the therapist’s resistance to improve muscle activation and timing. Selected specific soft tissue techniques may also be used to improve the mobility and function of tissue and muscles.
Range of Motion (ROM) Exercises
Although rest is often prescribed during preliminary stages of recovery from broken bones or surgery, extended periods of immobility may prolong or thwart the healing process. For this reason, physiotherapists often prescribe a range of motion exercises to promote movement, encourage joint mobility and facilitate circulation. Frequently moving the affected joints and muscles will prevent muscle atrophy and related postural problems.
Therapeutic grade radial shock waves are generated by compressed air, which then pushes on a metal projectile in the hand piece that is held by the physiotherapist against the patient’s skin. The projectile in the hand piece hits up against a shock transmitter at the end of the hand piece. At that point the energy is converted into acoustic energy pulses, or radial “shock waves”. These shock waves travel into the underlying tissues (skin and muscle) up to 5 cm deep.
For optimal results, it is usually necessary to receive 3 to 5 sessions of the shockwave therapy and maintain any recommended exercises given to you by your therapist.
Shockwave therapy stimulates the healing process by increasing the blood flow to affected areas, which accelerates healing and often results in quicker relief from pain. It also helps heal chronic inflammation, stimulates collagen, which connects and supports tissue, and also breaks up calcium deposits.
It’s a good technique for a range of complaints divided into several categories including:
- Tendons (Achilles, Patellar, Tennis Elbow and more)
- Bones (Shin splints, GTPS)
- Muscles (Trigger points, muscle pain, hypertonia)
- Connective Tissue (plantar fasciopathy, trigger finger, scar tissue)
Dry needling can be a valuable and effective treatment for musculoskeletal pain. The needles are very thin and there is no injectable solution. A needle is inserted into the skin and muscle directly at specific points and this process is usually painless. The aim is to cause small muscle cramps called ‘twitches’ in order to release muscle tensions. Some patients may find this procedure uncomfortable. Dry needling is not the same as acupuncture. Acupuncture needling is often more superficial and several needles are used. The needles remain in for some time and have an effect on the ‘energy’ in the body. Dry needling on the other hand uses one needle at the time to briefly stimulate the muscle; it is not an ‘energy’ treatment. What does a physiotherapist check for? The physiotherapist will talk to you first, then conduct an assessment. Your muscles will be checked for ‘trigger points’ that may be part of your problem.
What is a trigger point?
A trigger point is a ‘knot’ in a muscle that can cause local pain and often also ‘referred pain’. The therapist will look for these spots because they can be one of the causes of your symptoms.
Trigger points can lead to:
- Pain and/or stiffness locally in a muscle;
- Pain at a distance, or so called ‘referred pain’;
- Mobility restrictions in nearby joints;
- Less strength in the involved muscle;
- Pain avoidance behaviour; and/or
- Tingling in the arm/leg, headaches or dizziness.
How can trigger points start?
- Acute moment e.g., a wrong move (lifting), an accident, or a sports injury.
- Chronic cause e.g., prolonged poor posture and/or repetitive strain.
- Prolonged lack of movement e.g. in a brace or sling or frozen shoulder.
- ‘Slack’ ligaments in e.g., ankles or knees.
- Psychological factors such as anxiety or depression.
- Instability or leg length difference or foot problems.
- Tight clothing or improper ergonomics e.g., wearing a heavy backpack or purse
What is the treatment aimed at?
Treatment is aimed at eliminating these trigger points through targeted insertion of a tiny needle. In the case of chronic complaints, the therapist will often treat several muscles in your arm or leg, as well as some muscles along the spine.
What does dry needling feel like?
The needle used is very thin and not a hollow needle used for injections or blood samples. You should not feel the needle entering your skin. If your muscle is affected; you may feel a peculiar sensation much like a small muscle cramp. This is a distinctive sensation caused by the muscle grasping the needle. The muscle then releases, followed by relaxation. It is important that you experience these sensations to gain lasting effects. Please consult with your therapist if you have any questions or concerns.
Do I need a referral from my family doctor to see a physiotherapist?
Physiotherapists are university trained medical professionals and primary care practitioners. This means that you have direct access to physiotherapy without a doctor’s referral.
In some circumstances, such as publicly funded community physiotherapy clinics, or certain extended health plans, a doctor or nurse practitioner referral is required to access funding. Consult your insurance provider to learn whether a referral is needed in your specific case prior to commencing treatment. (Do you want this added?)
How are physiotherapy fees covered?
Extended Health Insurance: Coverage can range from $200 to $500 per person, per year, and up to $750 for some plans. You can contact your provider directly for more information on your plan’s coverage.
MSP: provides partial coverage for patients who qualify for premium assistance for up to a limit of 10 combined visits per year (if using in combination with massage therapy, chiropractic, naturopathy, acupuncture, physiotherapy).
ICBC: provides coverage for motor vehicle accident patients with a valid claim number.
You are eligible to access 25 pre-authorized physiotherapy sessions within the first 12 weeks from the date of the accident without ICBC approval (no referral needed).
After 12 weeks of the MVA, all physiotherapy treatments must be approved by the handling ICBC Claims Specialist PRIOR to starting treatment and in most cases, require a doctor’s note or referral. Please contact us for more information or to find out if you qualify.
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