Frequently Asked Questions


Do I require a referral from my Doctor to see a Physiotherapist?
No, you do not require a Doctor’s referral to see a Physiotherapist. We do encourage you to clarify with your extended health insurance provider whether a physician’s referral is required for you to be reimbursed for your physiotherapy fees, though.

Does Manitoba Health cover the cost of Physiotherapy?
No, Manitoba Health does not cover the cost of Physiotherapy provided in a private clinic. The majority of extended health insurance providers cover all, or a portion of, private Physiotherapy services. We encourage you to check with your insurance provider to clarify what your plan covers.

Do you direct bill to insurance companies?
Yes, we direct bill to the following insurance companies:
• Worker’s Compensation Board of Manitoba (WCB)
• Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI)
• Blue Cross
• Great West Life
• Max Benefits
• Sirius
• Green Shield
• Industrial Alliance
• Department of National Defense (DND)
• Department of Veteran’s Affairs (DVA)

What should I bring to my first appointment?
Bring the referral from your physician, surgeon or health provider, if you have one. If you have a claim with WCB or MPI, please bring your claim number, date of injury and the name of your adjustor. Please bring your Manitoba Health card as we will need the PHIN and MHSC numbers to order copies of your medical reports. Feel free to bring along a tank top to change into for your assessment so we can better view your arm or shoulder.

What can I expect at my appointments?
You will find ample free parking in the lot right in front of the clinic. Your first visit will begin by checking in at our reception desk. Our staff will greet you and provide you with intake forms to gather basic information such as insurance details, contact information and basic health screening questions. Be sure to provide an email address where we can send your appointment reminders and exercise prescriptions. All of your confidential patient information is stored in our secure electronic system. EastCity Physiotherapy is one of the few private clinics in Winnipeg to book a full hour of one-on-one time for initial assessments. We feel it is important to allow ample time for a thorough physical examination, a review of relevant findings, prognosis and treatment goals with you, and for you to be able to ask questions.
If time permits, an introductory treatment will be completed at your first visit; such as a custom splint fitting, to get your recovery started. Your follow up visits will be focused on more elaborate treatment and reassessment to ensure that you are getting better. In general, if we don’t see improvement after 4-6 treatments, we will discuss alternate treatment options with you.

Do you offer acupuncture?
Yes, our Physiotherapists provide acupuncture as part of your Physiotherapy treatment. The acupuncture needle fee is $5.00 in addition to the Physiotherapy treatment charge.

Do you offer custom splinting?
Yes. Our Physiotherapists are trained to prepare custom splints for the hand and upper extremity. The cost of each splint depends on the materials used and the time required to fabricate it. Most extended health insurance providers cover all, or a portion of, custom splints.

I see that EastCity Physiotherapy is described as a “hand to shoulder” clinic. Can I come to the clinic for a problem with my neck, hip, knee, etc.?
Yes! It is true that at EastCity Physiotherapy we are best known for our treatment of hand to shoulder conditions and that we are all either Certified Hand Therapists or Certified Hand Therapist candidates. But we are all passionate Physiotherapists, too. Note that in order to become a Certified Hand Therapist, one must work as a Physiotherapist (or Occupational Therapist) for at least 3-5 years first. We all have numerous years of experience treating conditions beyond the upper extremity. Caseload permitting, we may be able to assess and treat your other injuries.


What is a Certified Hand Therapist?
“A Certified Hand Therapist (CHT) is an occupational therapist or physical therapist who has a minimum of five years of clinical experience, including 4,000 hours or more in direct practice in hand therapy. In addition, the Certified Hand Therapist has successfully passed a comprehensive test of advanced clinical skills and theory in upper quarter rehabilitation. Because of changes in the profession, every CHT is required to demonstrate continued professional development and competency by recertifying every five years.” (source: Hand Therapy Certification Commission). Visit www.htcc.org/home to learn more. There are currently less than ten Certified Hand Therapist Physiotherapists working in private Physiotherapy clinics in Manitoba.

What is Hand Therapy?
The Hand Therapy Certification Commission defines Hand Therapy as “the art and science of rehabilitation of the upper limb, which includes the hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder girdle. It is a merging of occupational and physical therapy theory and practice that combines comprehensive knowledge of the structure of the upper limb with function and activity. Using specialized skills in assessment, planning and treatment, hand therapists provide therapeutic interventions to prevent dysfunction, restore function and/or reverse the progression of pathology of the upper limb in order to enhance an individual’s ability to execute tasks and to participate fully in life situations.”

What is different about the assessments offered at EastCity Physiotherapy?
EastCity Physiotherapy is one of the few private clinics in Winnipeg to book a full hour of one-on-one time for initial assessments. We feel it is important to allow ample time for a thorough physical examination, a review of relevant findings, prognosis and treatment goals, and for patients to be able to ask questions.
In addition to common physiotherapy assessment tools (goniometry, dynamometry for grip testing), we use assessment tools not typically found in regular Physiotherapy clinics including:
• Semmes Weinstein Monofilaments for sensory testing
• 2-Point Discriminators for sensory testing
• Volumetry for measurement of hand edema
• Pinch gauge for measurement of lateral pinch, tripod pinch, pad pinch and tip pinch

Can I expect relevant, regular communication from you?
Yes! We obtain patient consent to communicate with you at the very first visit. After our initial assessment, we always send the referring health professional a letter summarizing our assessment findings and treatment plan. We ask all patients to keep us informed of any upcoming appointments with you and you can expect an update letter at every one of your follow up visits. We like to keep you informed of any progress or plateau with Physiotherapy. We will also carbon copy you on all relevant insurance or return to work forms.

What kind of communication do you need from me?
When writing your referral, we like to know the diagnosis as well as any relevant findings from diagnostic imaging. If other diagnostic tests, such as MRI are pending, we also like to know this. A copy of the Operative Report is appreciated, if available at the time of referral. It is very helpful if you include the words “splinting as required” on your referral since some extended health benefits providers require a Physician’s signature for insurance coverage of commercial or custom splints.

How soon can you see a patient that I have referred to you?
We work very hard to ensure that new patients are booked in a timely fashion. By offering prime time appointments in the early mornings, evenings and on Saturdays, we can usually see new patients within 1-5 days.

Do you offer acupuncture?
Yes, our Physiotherapists each have many years of experience providing acupuncture as part of Physiotherapy treatment.

Do you offer custom splint fabrication?
Yes. EastCity Physiotherapy is one of the few private Physiotherapy clinics in Manitoba to offer custom splint fabrication. Our Physiotherapists are trained to prepare custom splints for the hand and upper extremity. The cost of each splint depends on the materials used and the time required to fabricate it. Most extended health insurance providers cover all, or a portion of, custom splints. It is very helpful if you include the words “splinting as required” on your referral since some extended health benefits providers require a Physician’s signature for insurance coverage of commercial or custom splints.

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