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Frequently Asked Questions

Are physiotherapy services paid for by Manitoba Health?

Physiotherapy services in the hospitals are covered by Manitoba Health. A doctor's referral is required and there is approximately a 2-3 month wait time. Private practice physiotherapy services are not covered by Manitoba Health. Services are covered by Worker's Compensation Board if it is a work related injury, Manitoba Public Insurance if it is a car accident or private insurance extended health plans ie. Blue Cross, Great West Life cover all or a portion of the treatment cost.

Do I need a referral from a doctor to get physiotherapy services in a private practice?

It depends on your insurance company. The physiotherapists of Manitoba have the legislation to assess and treat without a doctor's referral however some insurance companies still request a referral. Check with your insurance company.

What is the difference between physiotherapy services, massage therapy, athletic therapy and chiropractic?

Physiotherapy is anchored in movement sciences and concerned with the function of multiple body systems and aims to enhance or restore function. Physiotherapists treat the muscles as well as the joints and spine. The emphasis of a physiotherapy appointment is to identify the source of pain/dysfunction from any sort of problem or injury-work, sports, car accident, treat it appropriately and help the client to prevent further episodes. Depending on the source of pain the treatment may take the form of joint manipulation, muscle relaxation or exercise intervention or a combination of all three.

Massage therapy is designed to treat muscle dysfunction. Joint mobilization techniques are not typically a part of the treatment. Massage therapy can take the form of therapeutic massage (aimed at treating muscle dysfunction) or relaxation massage (aimed at overall muscle/body relaxation).

Athletic therapy training is specialized for on field assessment of musculoskeletal injuries. The focus of their training is on purely the musculoskeletal system. Athletic therapists provide immediate care and reconditioning of injuries.

Chiropractic treatment is aimed at treating the spine and joints. Treatment usually takes the form of manipulation. They differ from physiotherapy in their philosophy of spinal care. Physiotherapists give their clients the tools to look after their own spine/joints, whereas chiropractors typically encourage their clients to come in for regular spinal checks.