What is physiotherapy and how can I benefit

Physiotherapy is the science of movement and function. Physiotherapy will help anybody who experiences difficulty with movement, strength and pain. It is especially helpful for clients who have sustained injuries, strains, fractures or any loss of movement. Physiotherapy will also help anyone looking to improve their endurance, mobility and strength.

Physiotherapists utilize many skills to help our clients. These skills include: manual therapy, exercises, acupuncture, taping, modalities, ergonomic changes, custom bracing and orthotics.

Can I see a physiotherapist even if I’m not injured or I don’t have any pain?

Yes! We highly recommend it. At LifeSmart Physiotherapy, we believe in preventative health. The stronger and more mobile your body is, the less likely you are to sustain injuries. We can help with improving your flexibility, improving your posture, enhancing your sports performance, preparing you for your next race/tournament or just staying fit. Just as you would visit your dentist regularly, we stress the importance of maintaining good physical health and encourage everybody (injured or not) to be assessed by a physiotherapist regularly.

If your job consists of maintaining the same position throughout the day (i.e. lab researcher, office worker, assembly line worker), we encourage that you have an ergonomic assessment conducted by one of our physiotherapists. This will ensure minimal repetitive strain as well as optimizing your body mechanics while at work.

What is involved in the initial consultation?

During the initial consultation, we assess you, not your injury. Beginning with a detailed interview, your physiotherapist will learn about you, your physical health, your body mechanics and your symptoms. We then use specific assessment methods to observe how your body moves and determine all possible causes of your symptoms. We will provide you with a diagnosis if one applies.

This will be followed by your first treatment session (included within the initial consult). Finally, you will be educated about your body and your symptoms, as well as provided with some advice on how to move and what to avoid.

The initial consultation is in private. It is one full hour with a registered physiotherapist and is mandatory before beginning any physiotherapy or personal training program.

What is involved in a treatment/follow-up session, and how many do I need?

Your follow-up frequency and duration is determined at the end of your initial consult. Keeping your goals and barriers in mind, we work together to come up with a suitable timeline. As a rule of thumb, frequency is high (2-3 times/week) during the first few weeks of the program. This is to ensure that your symptoms are controlled and that the exercises and advice are being followed. Frequency usually drops as you become stronger, more mobile and are able to maintain your goals.

Follow-up sessions consist of a variety of therapeutic options that could include manual therapy, education, exercises, personal training and/or acupuncture.

Does OHIP cover physiotherapy?

To qualify for OHIP coverage you need to be over 65 or under 19 years of age, be receiving benefits under the Ontario Disability Support Program or Family Works, be a resident of a long-term care home, or require physiotherapy to treat a condition for which you have stayed overnight in a hospital.

LifeSmart Physiotherapy is not an OHIP registered clinic. However, our sister clinic, TownCentre Rehab Clinic, is and can take your referrals. You can contact staff at either clinic for more information.

We recognize that retirees may have trouble with paying regular fees. Thus, at LifeSmart Physiotherapy we offer significantly discounted rates for physiotherapy. Please inquire with our staff about the retiree discount we offer for those that do not qualify for OHIP funded physiotherapy.

What if I was injured at work or through a car accident?

We accept clients who have claims under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board of Ontario (WSIB) and clients who have claims under a regulated auto insurance company.

WSIB: If you were injured at work, you are required to complete a WSIB claim with your employer immediately. When your claim is approved for physiotherapy, you are welcome to make an appointment for an initial consultation. Please let our client care representative know your claim number, name of your adjudicator and employer. We require this information when booking your initial appointment. We can bill WSIB directly.

Auto Insurance: If you were injured through a motor vehicle accident (MVA), please call to speak with our client care representative. At the time of booking, we require your claim and policy number, name of your adjudicator and your auto insurance company. Barring any extraneous circumstances, we can bill the auto insurer directly.

NOTE: If your claim is rejected by WSIB or the auto insurer, you are required to cover any outstanding costs.

Do I need a doctor’s referral?

No, physiotherapists are primary health care providers who are now able to diagnose your condition. No referral or requisition is needed to be assessed and treated by a physiotherapist. Although this is changing, a few insurance companies still require a physician’s referral in order to get physiotherapy costs reimbursed. Please check the details of your extended health benefits if this is the case.

I was referred to another clinic by my doctor, but I would prefer to come to SmartLife Physiotherapy Clinic. Can I do that?

Of course you can! Clients have the right to choose the physiotherapist that is right for them. If you are unhappy at your current clinic and want to try another clinic, you are entitled to. Your insurance provider will still cover you, despite the name of the clinic on the referral form.

Your physician will be sent a letter about the details of your assessment, along with your prognosis and treatment options. This allows your physician to be involved with your program at LifeSmart Physiotherapy. We also provide them with progress and discharge updates. We will contact your doctor if we require any test results or documentation.

What Should I bring to change into or where to my sessions?

Please wear clothing that is conducive for exercising. Shorts, t-shirt, tank tops and sports bras are sufficient.

Bring any test reports, physician referrals or medical documentation if necessary.

If you have a WSIB or auto insurer claim, we require your case manager’s name and contact information, your claim number and extended health benefits information.