Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Because you asked

Frequently Asked Questions

What is involved in my first Physiotherapy appointment?

Your first Physiotherapy session will be all about you! A Registered Physiotherapist will start by getting some subjective information from you regarding the history of your injury, and move onto a physical examination of your movements and dysfunctions. They will use validated outcome measures to make sure they can get an understanding of what’s limiting you, as well as have a baseline of what your challenges and goals are on day one.

After completing a full observation of your movement patterns, they will treat what they find (using different types of physical techniques to modalities) and end off by creating a unique home program for you to ensure you can self-treat your dysfunction. All of this will last roughly 40-60min, and will require you to wear moveable clothes (e.g. shorts, gym shirt) to make sure nothing restricts your movements. It will also require you to have some fun!

To summarize, we sit down with you one on one and complete a thorough assessment to find out exactly how we can help you achieve your goals!

Will insurance cover my Physiotherapy appointment?

If you have Physiotherapy coverage through your insurance provider then your sessions will be covered. It is important for you to check how Physiotherapy is covered as some insurers require a prescription from a medical doctor (MD) prior to beginning treatment.  The best thing to do is check with your insurer to see what you need, as well as what your coverage is like – for example, some people have a total value of $500 for the year, while others only cover $40/visit irrespective of the cost of the session.

To summarize, yes - if you have Physiotherapy Coverage you’ll be covered!

Is acupuncture covered by my insurance?

If you’re Physiotherapist is trained and credentialed in acupuncture (which we are here at The Movement Centre), we are able to use acupuncture as a part of your treatment sessions – if we feel it is warranted. Since acupuncture is a treatment technique in Physiotherapy, it would be covered under your Physiotherapy appointment. Some insurers, however, provide a separate category of funding for Acupuncturists (which is different than the profession of a Physiotherapist). In order to use this funding, you must receive treatment from a Registered Acupuncturist.

To summarize, when a Physiotherapist performs acupuncture you are covered under the Physiotherapy branch of your insurance.

Does OHIP cover Physiotherapy?

Unfortunately, Physiotherapy is not covered under OHIP at our clinics. Only certain clinics, called Designated Physiotherapy Centres, offer Physiotherapy through OHIP and coverage at these clinics is only accessible to Ontario residents: below the age of 19, above the age of 65, or those receiving benefits through Ontario Disability or Ontario Works programs. Hospitals with an outpatient Physiotherapy department may also take clients, however, there is a potential for prolonged wait times (i.e. upwards of 12-months). Please follow this link for more information regarding OHIP clinics in Ontario:

Given the large the demand, OHIP covered services are often seeing a large number of patients per hour (often 5-6).  When you see us, we deliver a much more individualized service of one on one care with your Physiotherapist to help us get you back to your goals faster.

To summarize, services at The Movement Centre are not covered by OHIP.

How long does it take for Physiotherapy to “work”?

The short answer to this question is that “it depends”. The human body is a complex but amazing piece of equipment. Depending on what structures are involved and what exactly is limiting you from achieving your goals, timelines can vary. We’ve seen 100% recovery in one visit to a few weeks, and others that have taken weeks to months to fully recover. That being said, here are some general guidelines that apply:

    • For soft tissue injuries - we generally advise a 6-8 week window of time.
    • For fractures and broken bones – bone healing takes about 4-6 weeks, but where Physiotherapy really comes into play is after the removal of your cast or sling. From this stage, we want to make sure you fully achieve your goals which can take roughly 8-12weeks.
    • For surgical repairs - this one is a wide range depending on the procedure. 

In Summary – like all good things in life, it depends.

Do I need a doctor to refer me to physiotherapy?

No you don’t! Physiotherapists are direct access practitioners in Canada and are able to be seen without a referral. Your Physiotherapist will assess you and recommend the service of other practitioners to get you where you need to go to best achieve your goals.

That being said, if you are attending Physiotherapy through extended Physiotherapy benefits, the best thing to do is check with your provider before attending Physiotherapy. Some insurers require a physician's prescription for Physiotherapy prior to reimbursement of the service.

To summarize, you do not need a referral to see your physiotherapist.

Does Physiotherapy hurt?

Physiotherapy as a whole should not be painful. That being said, there are certain exercises and manual techniques that may be uncomfortable.

In the majority of cases the goal is for the session to be painless and for you to leave feeling better than when you walked in and closer towards your goals. There are certain techniques (for example dry needling and deep tissue work), that can be more uncomfortable. If these techniques are indicated, your therapist will discuss this with you and you both can decide if it is the right option.

In rare cases there are conditions where things may get sore before they get better. If this is the case, you and your therapist will discuss this beforehand to ensure the plan of care is understood.

To summarize, in general physiotherapy shouldn’t hurt and should be an awesome experience for both you and your Physiotherapist.    

How long will each treatment last?

Treatment time can vary depending on the condition and what the goal of therapy is. The most common treatment time is a one on one, 30min session with your Physiotherapist. We also book appointments for 20min, 40min and 60min to best suite patient goals and desired outcomes. Assessments are generally booked for 60min.


Your Physiotherapist will work with you to come up with the plan that best suites your needs. We make sure you have the best plan and treatment times for you.

To summarize, generally sessions last 30min and new assessments are 60min, but can vary case by case.


How should I dress?

Physiotherapy is all about movement so come ready to move! In most cases shorts and a t-shirt are a great place to start.

Depending on what part of the body you are hoping we can help with, your clothing should allow access to this area. For example, if you're wanting some help with shoulder performance, ideally your Physiotherapist should easily be able to see both your shoulder blades. If we are taking a look at the lower back, we want to ensure we can see your spine as best as possible. For the knee,  (you guessed it), a pair shorts would be great so we can best examine the area.

To summarize, come ready to move with the area of interest easily exposed.

I have a disc problem that has been diagnosed by MRI. Can I be helped by Physiotherapy?

Yes, yes, a million times yes! Lower back pain and disc problems are issues we see everyday in clinic. Your Physiotherapist will thoroughly assess your lower back, movement and function and let you know exactly how they will work with you towards your goals.

If you have had MRI, it is a good idea to bring your findings along to your session, or have your family doctor fax it to use prior to your assessment. This will allow us to pair our functional assessment with the imaging results to best service you!

To summarize, yes!

What happens if my problem or the pain returns?

The goal of Physiotherapy is always to completely resolve your injury and challenges for the long term. We want to make sure we give you all of the tools you need and set you up with the best possible program to ensure you can stay strong and awesome.

Problems can return months or years later and if they do we are always here to help! Sometimes it can be as simple as reintegrating your home program and other times it can be due to work or life changes.

The hope is that your pain is resolved so that you are fit for life!

To summarize, no worries - we will make sure we get to the bottom of what’s going on!