Physiotherapy: how can it help me?

OTC_DynamicExerciseAt the Orthopaedic Therapy Clinic our extensively trained Registered Physiotherapists use a targeted, individualized approach to promote movement and speed recovery from joint, muscle and nerve-related pain and injury.

We recommend physiotherapy for:

  • Injuries or imbalances of the soft tissues or joints that cause pain, restrict everyday activities or change your posture
  • Prevention of injury or repetitive strain recurrence
  • Cancer-related pain, limitations of function and post-surgical rehabilitation

We work with you to help relieve pain, regain motion and restore your function. Our expertise in rehabilitation helps us to find solutions for your musculoskeletal pain whether it is from an accident, a repetitive strain or even when the cause is hard to identify. Although addressing an injury early is ideal, we have the experience to work with you whether your condition is chronic, recurrent or of recent onset. Our extensive experience allows us to find solutions when your recovery is complicated by pre-existing issues or co-existing health concerns i.e. neurological conditions, spinal surgery, etc.

Who will I see?

When you work with any of our Registered Physiotherapists you’ll be dealing with a highly educated professional who has extensive post-graduate experience. Each therapist is a graduate of a Canadian or Internationally recognized school of physiotherapy. All of our therapists have high-level certifications in areas of expertise such as manual therapy or cancer care.

What can I expect at my appointment?

The initial assessment is scheduled for one hour to allow sufficient time to thoroughly understand your concerns. Your appointment begins with a discussion of the key factors in your medical history and a lifestyle analysis to pinpoint the cause of the problem and any factors that may influence your healing.

We will assess the area you’re having trouble with and use our expertise to determine if we need to look beyond the local issue and examine other areas that might be contributing to the problem.

We’ll share the results with you and partner with you to design a treatment program specifically tailored to meet your needs and goals. We will help to determine which treatments are beneficial at your stage of recovery and continue to re-evaluate your needs as you move through the continuum towards better health. Follow-up appointments are scheduled for 30 minutes and all sessions are provided in a private, one-on-one setting.

What techniques do you use?

Our treatments may include the more traditional approaches such as ultrasound or interferential therapy as well as state-of-the art approaches such as surface EMG, force dynamometer strength testing and advanced hands-on therapeutic skills.

Manual Therapy

Manual therapy refers to techniques where a therapist skillfully applies his/her hands to move joints and tissues. These techniques are an integral part of orthopaedic physiotherapy and often compliment exercise in a treatment plan.

The goal of Manual Therapy is to alleviate pain and improve movement and function. These techniques can be extremely gentle or vigorous depending on the stiffness, pain and the stage of healing. Manual therapy can be used to improve movement in both the spine and in the peripheral joints.

The Physiotherapists at the Orthopaedic Therapy Clinic have extensive undergraduate and post-graduate training in Manual Therapy. They are trained by Canadian and International institutions, recognized by the International Federation of Manipulative Physiotherapists (IFOMPT).

Ultra-sound

Ultra-sound is a treatment modality that applies sound waves to enhance the healing of injured tissues. It is typically used to help calm irritated tissue when the pain intensity is high and inflammation is present however it can also be used later in your treatment to create deep heat. Once you start to improve and your movement becomes easier, ultrasound is usually discontinued and your program becomes more active to encourage a complete and full recovery.

TENS and Interferential Current

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) is a treatment that uses electrical current to help manage your pain. TENS can be used to help manage your pain after an acute injury and can also be effective for chronic pain. Interferential Current is a form of TENS that is used for pain control typically after an acute injury.

Force dynamometer strength testing

This testing consists of a hand held device that measures the maximum force generated during a specific movement. Research has verified expected measures for several movements and we use this information to evaluate your strength based on norms for your gender, age and body weight. This information can be used to set goals, further refine your treatment program and/or to determine your progress over time.

Movement retraining 

Injury can cause you to begin to move with compensatory patterns. These patterns allow you to continue to move while you are healing however they are less efficient than normal movement. Most people will use compensatory movements when they experience pain, weakness or suffer an injury to a nerve i.e. pinched nerve, sciatica.

The problem with compensation is that the longer you rely on it the more ingrained these movements become, making it harder to return to more efficient pre-injury motions. In our practice we try to avoid the establishment of compensation by retraining movement early on. As the pain lessens we look to restore your flexibility, help you regain your strength and then evaluate the impact of your injury on your movement. We find that this approach is fundamental to  the long-term prevention of re-injury and for helping you to reduce your risk for other injuries.

Individualized Exercises

In our practice we find that our clients benefit most from very specific exercises which are selected based on the findings in your assessment.  We use this information to prescribe targeted exercises that help you to regain strength, mobility and more coordinated motion.  Our approach is to not only help you to understand why you are doing an exercise but also to make sure you understand the technique.  We find that using this approach results in the best outcomes in the shortest amount of time.

Is treatment covered under OHIP?

Physiotherapy at the Orthopaedic Therapy Clinic Inc. is not covered under OHIP. However many people have coverage through their extended health care benefits packages at work. Look for Registered Physiotherapy in your benefits guide. If your injury is due to a car accident, you might also want to check your automobile insurance policy for coverage. Some people qualify for a medical-related tax deduction. If you think you might qualify, discuss this option with your accountant.

Do I need a doctor’s referral?

No, you do not need a doctor’s referral to be treated by a Physiotherapist in private practice. Some health insurance plans require a doctor’s referral for you to be able to access your benefits. Be sure to check your benefits policy before you make your appointment, or give us a call and we will be happy to help you sort out what’s needed.

Can you bill my insurance company directly?

Many policies allow direct billing. Bring in your policy information and our reception team will help you to determine if direct billing is possible.