Vital Life Physiotherapy
Vital Life is experienced in treating sports and overuse injuries, helping clients alleviate chronic pain, and facilitating recovery from traumatic injuries. We also have extensive experience helping patients recuperate after hip and knee surgeries. We are committed to wellness and helping our clients have a “vital” life.
What is Physiotherapy?
Physiotherapy is a “whole person” approach to health and wellbeing, physiotherapy helps to restore, maintain, or improve physical function when someone is affected by an injury, illness, or disability. Physiotherapists can assess, diagnose, and treat people with a number of diverse modalities as well as utilizing manual hands-on therapy.
This type of treatment is aimed toward restoring the body, helping it heal quicker, and changing a person’s overall quality of life. Whether it’s pain management and rehabilitation from an acute injury like a sprained ankle or management of chronic conditions such as diabetes or heart disease, a physiotherapist can help. Physiotherapy sessions often will incorporate exercises as part of the treatment plan.
For more information: What is the Difference Between Kinesiology and Physiotherapy?
What Conditions Benefit from Physiotherapy
Physiotherapy has proved effective for treating musculoskeletal injuries such as frozen shoulder or lower back injuries, as well as arthritis pain, post-stroke / heart attack recovery as well as vestibular and concussion-related problems. Some of the common conditions physiotherapy treatment is recommended:
- Chronic pain
- Acute pain
- Sports Injuries
- Workplace injuries
- Motor vehicle accident injuries
- Concussions/neuro disorders
- Post Surgical Recovery (Hip & knee replacements)
- Range of Motion Restrictions
Physiotherapists primarily work on issues affecting these areas of the body:
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Frozen shoulder/shoulder pain
- Tennis elbow
- Hip pain
- SI Joint pain (Sacroiliac joint dysfunction)
- Knee pain
- Achilles tendon pain
- Plantar fasciitis
Vital Life Physiotherapy | Our Process
During your initial assessment, your physiotherapist will ask you for information on your previous medical history, as well as complete a thorough assessment of your current condition or injury. Depending on if it’s ICBC or Worksafe BC related your therapist may ask you specific questions on the accidents, like how it happened and where. The initial assessment focuses on finding the nature of the pain and diagnosing the injury or condition so that a treatment plan can be put in place.
Special tests and movements are done to help determine the severity and cause of your injury including checking your current range of motion, strength, joint stability, and reflexes as well as an analysis on your pain and movement patterns. Your physiotherapist can examine any documents brought to your initial assessment and talk to you in detail about what the results mean. This includes, x-ray reports, MRI reports, CT/bone scans, surgical notes, or other physician’s notes.
Development of the Treatment Plan
Treatment is focused on tailoring a plan with your goals in mind as well as our professional opinion, and depending on your injury you may be recommended more specific therapies such as shockwave therapy or intramuscular stimulation (IMS). Additional treatment options may be recommended such as ultrasound, laser, electrotherapy, and traction if they would benefit your injury.
Education and Home Care
We consider education as one of the most important aspects of therapy, and this will include information on your current condition and its management, as well as conditioning exercises to increase strength and help your injury heal. A home exercise program or home care plan with specific strategies to manage or improve your symptoms will be given and is reviewed between subsequent visits with your physiotherapist. You may be referred to our kinesiologist should a more in-depth active exercise session be beneficial for you.
Physiotherapy and Massage Therapy
Massage therapy uses manual hands-on therapy being applied to you directly by your therapist, it aims to decrease pain, inflammation, and tension, while increasing blood flow.
Physiotherapy on the other hand is a more active form of treatment with exercises being incorporated into the sessions. It aims to restore range of motion, increase strength and mobility, while preventing future injuries.
These two therapies complement each other well, and using both massage therapy and physiotherapy together can be extremely beneficial in one’s rehabilitation.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Does Physiotherapy Cost?
Pricing will depend on if the session is an initial visit and after that if will depend on the length of time. Our current pricing charge can be found here.
Do You Need a Doctor’s Referral?
The short answer is no. You do not need a doctor’s referral to commence physiotherapy treatment. Should you have an appointment with your doctor and would like to provide one to us that is fine as well.
With that being said, there are some extended health plans which require a referral for physiotherapy to be on file and sent to them for payment of your sessions. Please contact your extended health company beforehand to find out if this is needed.
Is Physiotherapy covered by the British Columbia Medical Services Plan?
In 2002, physiotherapy was delisted by the government from the British Columbia Medical Services Plan (MSP), meaning that the majority of people in BC must pay for physiotherapy through extended health benefits, their own money, or a combination of the two. Today, Medical Services Plan (MSP) Premium Assistance is in effect, covering some of the costs for people with low-income needing assistance. Clinics may still require a user fee to be paid to cover the difference.
To learn more about these benefits, eligibility, and enrollment please visit the Government of B.C. Medical Services Plan (MSP) website.
Is Physiotherapy tax-deductible in Canada?
In most cases, you may claim a medical expense deduction in Canada for qualifying therapies delivered to you or your dependents. Services must be prescribed and delivered by authorized medical practitioners. For more information please speak to an accountant or contact the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA).
Does ICBC Cover Physiotherapy?
If you have been involved in a recent motor vehicle accident, have claimed injuries, and received a claim number you are eligible for up to 25 sessions of physiotherapy treatment to be used within 3 months of the accident date. Should you and your therapist feel you need more treatment past the pre-approved number of sessions, your therapist can submit a treatment plan to ICBC asking for more approval for you.
Our clinic does direct bill to ICBC, so there would be nothing to pay out of pocket for you, unless you are receiving one of our specialty treatments here such as Shockwave Therapy, Acupuncture or IMS. These services result in a $30 user fee not covered by ICBC. For more information on what ICBC covers after an accident.
What Qualifications are Needed to be a Physiotherapist in British Columbia?
Below are the steps and qualifications involved in graduating to become a Registered Physiotherapist in British Columbia:
- Volunteering hours before applying to school (The University of B.C requires 70 hours of volunteering work experience to be done before applying. The number of hours will vary depending on the university you are applying to)
- 4 year undergraduate degree in a like-minded field
- 2 year masters degree in physiotherapy at an accredited university
- Completed practicum (this will range in hours depending on the school – Queens University requires 5 different practicum placements lasting 6 weeks long)
- Written & practical competency exam needed to become licenced
- Registration with the College of Physical Therapists of British Columbia is required to practice as a physiotherapist in British Columbia
- Registration with the Physiotherapy Association of British Columbia is not required but is highly recommended to join