FAQ

You have questions? We've got answers!

General:

Yes, most extended benefit plans cover all or a significant portion of physiotherapy assessment and treatment fees. To learn about your specific plan’s coverage, we recommend that you contact your insurance provider directly.

No. Physiotherapists have been considered Primary Health Professionals since 1995. With this change, you can access physiotherapy services directly without a referral from your physician. However, if you have an extended healthcare provider, the provider may still require a physician’s referral to Physical Therapy before reimbursing your fees.

If you have any immediate medical concerns, please see your Physician to assess these concerns and ensure that there are no contraindications to beginning physiotherapy. If there are no immediate medical concerns, or once a professional has cleared you of any medical problems, accessing immediate Physical Therapy can help with an accurate diagnosis, ensure a proper environment for the healing of your injury and prevent any delays in healing.

Unfortunately, Alberta Health Care has not covered Physical Therapy since 1995. Outpatient Community Physiotherapy Services (AHS) covers limited sessions for contracted offices. However, these sessions are limited to patients who qualify for low-income or patients with fractures or surgeries. AHS does not provide Physical Therapy funding for the general community.

Innovation Physical Therapy offices contracted by Outpatient Community Physiotherapy Services are:

  • Innovation Physical Therapy – Meadowlark 780-488-0880
  • Innovation Physical Therapy – West Henday 587-873-8808
  • Innovation Physical Therapy – Namao 587-524-8200
  • Innovation Physical Therapy – Belvedere 780-473-6451

If you seek Physical Therapy funding for a fracture or surgery, please contact one of our contracted offices directly. 

If you are seeking Physical Therapy funding for low-income scenarios, please contact the AHS Rehabilitation Advice Line (RAL):

1-833-379-0563

Innovation Physical Therapy clinics directly bill most extended health benefit plans.

Absolutely! We focus on providing one-on-one treatments to our patients. In addition to time spent directly with your physiotherapist, you may interact with physiotherapy assistants as they assist with modality set-ups, take-downs and exercise supervision.

At Innovation Physical Therapy, our first step in managing your injury is accurately performing a detailed assessment to determine what we need to focus on. Following the assessment, our Physical Therapists will provide a balanced orthopedic Physical Therapy treatment plan, including manual therapy, therapeutic exercises, thermal modalities, electrical modalities, and acupuncture.

An assessment is needed to get to the root of your pain and movement-related problems. An assessment allows us to identify the cause of your symptoms, provide a diagnosis, establish goals for treatment and develop a treatment plan.

This question is easier to answer with context. The number of treatments you’ll have to attend depends on many factors, including the severity of your injury, other medical issues, and treatment goals. Following your initial assessment, your physiotherapist can give you a timeframe for your recovery.

You may feel sore following your initial assessment because your physiotherapist needs to identify what reproduces your pain to get to the root of your pain. But don’t worry; part of your initial assessment will include discussing ways to decrease and manage your pain post-assessment.

Booking a physiotherapy assessment is easy! Call an Innovation Physical Therapy clinic and choose a day and time that works best for you. Unless your extended health benefits plan specifies, no doctor’s prescription or referral is needed.

Please wear something that you are comfortable with. Your Physical Therapist will need to see the area of the body being assessed/treated, so please ensure that that area can be exposed. We always have shorts, T-shirts, and gowns available, so don’t worry if you don’t have appropriate clothing.

The initial assessment may take longer than regular visits. You’ll be at the clinic for approximately an hour for your assessment, while treatment visits last 30 to 45 minutes.

Each patient’s treatment plan is individualized to meet their specific needs. In general, a physical therapy treatment might include manual therapy, an individualized exercise program, modalities for pain relief, acupuncture or dry needling, & education.

Through Physical Therapy, some of our goals are to decrease pain, enhance function, improve mobility and strength, decrease inflammation and swelling, and give you the proper tools to manage your injury at home.

When your injury is quite irritable, your physical therapist can provide different remedies to help settle down your symptoms and instruct you on the necessary tools to help you manage at home.

However, if the discomfort of traveling to the clinic outweighs the benefit of coming in, it may be best to reschedule your appointment.

Sports Injuries:

Yes. Innovation Physical Therapy’s Physical Therapists have received training in numerous orthopedic dysfunctions, including athletic injuries. We are proud to have Physical Therapists affiliated with and treating various professional and elite-level athletic organizations. Please visit our sports injury page for more information about treating sports injuries.

Staying injury-free means identifying weaknesses and ensuring a healthy balance throughout the body. Physiotherapists are trained to assess and identify muscle imbalances that impact mobility, strength and agility. Then, we work with you to develop a prevention program to keep you in the game.

If you commonly experience knee pain while running, scheduling an assessment with your physiotherapist would be worthwhile. We recommend that you discontinue running until that time. Often, some imbalance or weakness could contribute to your pain.

We recommend avoiding regular running if you are experiencing knee pain until you’ve had a comprehensive physical examination by one of our physiotherapists.

If you think you might have sustained a concussion from a sport, we recommend you undergo a period of physical and mental rest. Once concussion symptoms, like dizziness, nausea, headaches, etc., begin to subside, a gradual return to sport can start as long as symptoms improve.

Schedule an assessment with one of our specially trained concussion physiotherapists today for more information and treatment following a concussion.

Aches & Pains:

Both TENS and IFC work to modulate pain through similar mechanisms. The gentle vibrations created by TENS and IFC electrodes stimulate receptors on our skin. This non-painful stimulus blocks the entry of painful stimulus and prevents a pain message from being sent to our brain.
Generally, TENS works to provide pain relief, and IFC works to provide an anti-inflammatory effect.

Generally, TENS works to provide pain relief, and IFC works to provide an anti-inflammatory effect.

Both heat and ice can be helpful in managing an injury; however, in certain circumstances, one may be better than another. In general, use ice with new or acute injuries to calm down signs of inflammation (heat, redness, and swelling). Use heat to treat older or chronic injuries and muscle tightness.

Therapists use electrical muscle stimulation to treat pain and swelling. They recruit weak or underutilized muscles and promote tissue healing.

A TENS or IFC modality should always be strong but comfortable. Comfortable intensity will differ between patients, but it should always be pain-free.

Joint and low back stiffness is a common complaint that may benefit from physical therapy interventions such as pain modalities, an active exercise program and manual therapy to improve joint mobility, range of motion and strength. Schedule your physiotherapy assessment today.

Specialty Services:

Manual Therapy is a “hands-on” approach to injuries relating to structures forming joints, associated muscles, connective tissues (ligaments and tendons), and nerve tissue. It may include deep tissue techniques in massage or friction, joint mobilization, and soft tissue (e.g., muscles and nerves) mobilization.
Manual Therapy may also involve a certified professional manipulating the joints or spine. Joint manipulation involves moving a joint beyond its dysfunctional motion limits but within its anatomical limits. A manipulative technique indicates that a controlled, high-speed, and localized thrust is performed, which may or may not result in the patient experiencing a “popping” sensation that is usually painless.
Manual Therapy techniques reduce pain and restore movement and function to joints and accompanying soft tissue structures.

Traction is a treatment technique that can help ease neck and back pain when combined with exercise and manual therapy. A therapist applies traction during Manual Therapy, but can also be applied for a longer time using a traction machine.
In essence, traction applies a gentle force to elongate the joint spaces, decreasing the pressure on joints and nerve roots. This treatment can be especially effective for disc-related nerve pain and spinal stenosis.

Yes. Our Innovation Physical Therapy offices are pleased to offer computer-generated gait scans and orthotics through The Orthotic Group. We also have gait analysis and orthotics specialists at each of our West Henday, Namao, and Riverbend locations.

Currently, we offer massage therapy at our West Henday and Namao clinics. For more information, please visit our clinic pages.

Both acupuncture and IMS are dry-needling techniques to treat pain and inflammation typically associated with musculoskeletal injuries and conditions. The most significant difference between these two techniques is that acupuncture is based on traditional Chinese medicine principles and is guided by a set of pre-determined points meant to modulate pain by manipulating Chi in the body.
On the other hand, IMS is based on Western medicine’s understanding of muscles and nerves and is used to treat neuropathic pain. During IMS, the therapist inserts an acupuncture needle into tight bands of muscle along the spine and the affected muscles.

Typically, insurance companies view acupuncture provided by a physiotherapist as part of physiotherapy treatment. A registered acupuncturist must offer the service to ensure that acupuncture treatments are covered under your allowance.

Absolutely. All of our facilities have Physical Therapists who are certified in acupuncture and IMS (Intramuscular Stimulation). GTT (Gokavi Transverse Techniques) is another form of dry needling similar to IMS.
Please inform our office that this is a form of treatment you request, and we will schedule you with the appropriate Physical Therapist.

Motor Vehicle Accidents:

If you have been in a motor vehicle accident, please ensure that the accident gets reported to your motor vehicle insurance provider. If there are any immediate medical concerns, please see your Physician to assess these concerns and ensure that there are no contraindications to beginning Physical Therapy. You can access Physical Therapy coverage for MVA injuries through the Diagnostic and Treatment Protocols or Section B Protocols.

If more than one body part requires treatment, you can use the 21 treatments allocated within MVA protocols more quickly. One treatment unit is designated per body site, changing the number of sessions covered.

No, research shows that wearing a cervical collar after a neck injury or car accident can worsen symptoms. Schedule a physiotherapy assessment if you’ve been in a car accident, and we’ll help you on your road to recovery!