Q: Do I need a doctor’s referral to see a physiotherapist?

A: It is not necessary for you to have a doctor’s referral to see a physiotherapist; however, many insurance companies require one for reimbursement.

Q: If my doctor refers me for physiotherapy but fills out a referral to another clinic, may I still go wherever I choose?

A: You may choose which physiotherapy clinic you prefer to attend, even if your employer or an insurance company encourages you, it is your choice.

Q: Does my private health care insurance cover physiotherapy?

A: Many private health care insurers cover physiotherapy. It would be advisable to check your medical plan prior to booking appointments in order to find out how much coverage you have, what percentage they will pay, if there is an annual deductible, and if the physiotherapy clinic is able to direct bill for its services. Physiotherapy may be a combined benefit with other healthcare professionals such as massage therapy and chiropractic.

Q: If I am injured at work, may I come to your clinic for my physiotherapy treatment?

A: Julie Skaling Physiotherapy Clinic has a Tier 1 contact with the Workers Compensation Board of Nova Scotia, which means we are able to treat the majority of workplace injuries.

Q: What is occupational therapy?

A: Occupational Therapy helps to solve the problems that interfere with your ability to do the things that are important to you. Occupational Therapists consider all potential barriers to:

  1. Taking care of yourself
  2. Participate in paid of unpaid work
  3. Enjoy your leisure time (such as sports or spending time with family)

Occupational Therapy Services include:

  • Functional Capacity Evaluation
  • Job Site Analyses & Job Coaching
  • Office Ergonomic Assessments
  • Activities of Daily Living Assessments
  • Cognitive Assessment & Rehabilitation
  • Wheelchair Prescriptions
  • Accessibility and Equipment Assessment
  • Educational Sessions
  • Chronic Disease Self-Management (arthritis)
  • Home Visits & Assessments
  • Concussion Management
  • And more...

If you’d like to learn more about Complete Concussion Management call JSPC or check out www.completeconcussions.com.

Q: Do you directly bill private healthcare insurance companies?

A: There are many private health care insurers we can bill directly but it is always good practice to contact your plan before you attending your first appointment. We are able to bill most third-party payers such as Workers’ Compensation, Motor Vehicle Accident Insurance Companies, Veterans Affairs, RCMP and Department of National Defense (military).

Q: If I were involved in a motor vehicle accident, does Nova Scotia law require me to exhaust my private health insurance before the motor vehicle insurance takes over?

A: This depends upon circumstances, but generally if you start rehab within 90 days of your car accident, then the Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Insurer may pay for 10 to 20 visits if you have “minor” injuries. If you need extensive rehab, you must use your private health care plan (required by law). Any expenses over and above what your medical plan covers can be billed to the MVA insurer. Please contact our helpful administrative staff and we will do our best to help you navigate through the system.

Q: What should I expect when I see a physiotherapist?

A: The initial evaluation includes taking a complete history related to the injury or illness that is impeding your function, making a list of your current complaints and doing an objective evaluation of the affected area to determine a therapeutic diagnosis. This information will help us to develop a plan to treat to the problem with the goal of restoring your function, preventing further injury in the future and to enhance your performance.

Q: How many physiotherapy treatments must I have to resolve an injury?

A: Usually strains and sprains resolve within four to six weeks under ideal conditions. If people have complicating factors related to pre-existing injuries, very physically demanding jobs or other barriers that influence and individuals healing, this timeline will be extended. If an illness or injury is as a result of a disease process, or if there is neurological involvement or multiple injuries, one can expect rehab will take longer. In many cases, after having six visits over a three-week period of time, the therapist should see results. This does not mean, however, that the problem is fully resolved. If there is no change by this time, other members of the medical team may be required to help or other investigate may be needed.

Q: What is lymphedema and how do you treat it?

A: Lymphedema is an accumulation of the lymph fluid resulting froma blockage or damage to the lymph vessels or lymph nodes. This can be a congenital disorder (something you are born with) or it can be as a result of an injury, disease, or surgery. The most commonly known is upper extremity lymphedema following a mastectomy for breast cancer. There is no cure for lymphedema, so treatment focuses on managing the condition. This is done through manual lymphatic drainage techniques, compression therapy, exercise and education.

Q: Do you see many people following breast cancer and why?

A: More women are seeing us following breast cancer surgery. Mostly due to increased awareness. We focus treatment on managing the lymphedema or improving mobility in their limbs as a result of altered movement patterns or scarring.

Q: How long is your waiting list?

A: Patients are typically able to book an appointment within a week of their initial contact. Most publically funded clinics have a few months’ wait.

Q: Are there conditions you don’t treat?

A: As licensed physiotherapists, we must treat conditions that are within our scope of practice. If you have injuries or illnesses outside this scope, we’ll redirect you to your healthcare practitioner for further investigation and treatment.

Q: How does massage therapy work in conjunction with physiotherapy?

A: Massage therapists and physiotherapists at Julie Skaling Physiotherapy Clinic work closely together to solve problems. We talk openly about what the goals of treatment and any possible contraindications. Collectively, we develop a treatment plan. Massage can help with relieving pain through relaxation. It increases movement by decreasing scar tissue that minimizes muscle tone, and by reducing swelling and edema.