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 get in touch with your insurance provider directly.

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

If there are 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 any medical problems have been cleared, accessing Physical Therapy immediately can help with an accurate diagnosis, ensure a proper environment for the healing of your injury and prevent any delays in healing.

No, unfortunately Alberta Health Care has not covered Physical Therapy since 1995. There are some limited sessions covered by Outpatient Community Physiotherapy Services (AHS) for contracted offices. However, these sessions are limited to patients who qualify for low income and/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 are seeking 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 direct bill most extended health benefit plans.

Absolutely! We focus on providing one-on-one treatments with our patients. In addition to time spent directly with your physiotherapist, you may also 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 to accurately perform a detailed assessment to determine what we need to focus on. Following the assessment, our Physical Therapists will provide you with 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 is a difficult question to answer without any context. The number of treatments you’ll have to attend depends on many things, including the severity of your injury, other medical issues and goals for treatment. Following your initial assessment, your physiotherapist will be able to 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! You need to 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 in. Your Physical Therapist will need to see the area of the body that is 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 with you.

The initial assessment may take a bit longer than regular visits. For your assessment, you’ll find yourself at the clinic for approximately an hour, while treatment visits last around 30 to 45 minutes.

Each patients’ 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, improve 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 benefit of coming in does not outweigh the suffering you would experience in travelling to the clinic, it may be best to reschedule your appointment.

Sports Injuries:

Yes. Innovation Physical Therapy Physical Therapists have been trained in numerous orthopedic dysfunctions, including athletic injuries. In addition, 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 weakness 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 that will keep you in the game.

If you commonly experience knee pain while running, it would be worthwhile to schedule an assessment with your physiotherapist. We recommend that you discontinue running until that time. Often there is some imbalance or weakness that could be contributing 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 that you might have sustained a concussion from sport, we recommend that 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 your pain through similar mechanisms. Receptors on our skin are stimulated through the gentle vibrations created by TENS and IFC electrodes. 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.

Both heat and ice can be helpful in the management of 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.

Electrical muscle stimulation is a modality used to treat pain and swelling in the recruitment of weak or underutilized muscle 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 with injuries relating to structures forming joints, together with associated muscles, connective tissues (ligaments and tendons), and nerve tissue. Manual Therapy 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 manipulating the joints or spine by a certified professional. This joint manipulation involves moving a joint beyond its dysfunctional motion limits but still 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. Traction can be applied by a therapist during Manual Therapy but can also be applied for a more extended 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 people suffering from disc-related nerve pain and spinal stenosis.

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

At this time, 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 in the body. During IMS, the therapist will insert 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 acupuncture allowance.

Absolutely. All of our facilities have Physical Therapists who are certified in acupuncture and IMS (Intramuscular Stimulation). Another form of dry needling similar to IMS is GTT (Gokavi Transverse Techniques).

Please inform our office that this is a form of treatment you are requesting, 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 has been 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. Physical Therapy coverage for MVA injuries may be accessed through the Diagnostic and Treatment Protocols or Section B Protocols.

The 21 treatments allocated within MVA treatment protocols can be used more quickly if the treatment of more than one body part is required. 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!