What happens during my first visit?
During your first visit you can expect the following:
- We will ask you to fill out a questionnaire and consent form with the aim of better knowing your condition of health
- You will provide us with your prescription for physical therapy
- We will ask for your extended health benefits information
The therapist will discuss the following:
- Your medical history, your current problems/complaints, pain intensity, what aggravates and eases the problem, how this is impacting your daily activities or your functional limitations
- Review your goals with physiotherapy
- Medications, tests, and procedures related to your health
- A thorough Physiotherapy examination will be conducted to conclude a diagnosis and course of management
- You will be seen for an initial assessment by the therapist for about 45-60 mins
You and your Therapist will formulate a treatment plan including the frequency and duration of visits, a home exercise program and an estimate time of recovery/discharge.
What do I need to bring with me?
Please bring your physical therapy referral provided to you by your doctor, any post-surgical treatment protocols or reports, copy of any medical reports or results that you have with you and list of your medications. If you are diabetic, please bring a light snack. If you use any puffers, please bring those with you. Also bring your Extended health benefit insurance information and if you are covered by Workers’ Compensation, bring your claim number and your case manager’s contact information.
Do I need a doctor's referral?
With direct access to physiotherapy in Ontario, a doctor’s referral is not necessary to receive treatments. However, the physiotherapist may suggest that you consult a doctor for their opinion or to get further tests done. Note that some extended health benefit plan insurance companies still require a doctor’s referral for reimbursement of physiotherapy treatments. It is the responsibility of the patient to check their coverage. Both work related accidents and Motor Vehicle accidents do require a doctor’s referral.
How should I dress?
You should wear loose fitting clothing, so you can expose the area that we will be evaluating and treating. For example, if you have a knee problem, it is best to wear shorts. For a shoulder problem, a tank top is a good choice, and for low back problems, wear aloose-fitting shirt and pants, again so we can perform a thorough examination. Wear comfortable and supportive footwear e.g. running shoes
How many visits will I need?
This is highly variable. It depends on your diagnosis, the severity of your impairments, your past medical history, etc. You will be re-evaluated on a regular basis and when you see your doctor, we will provide you with a progress report with our recommendations. On average visits range from once to twice per week. You should notice a significant improvement in 4-6 sessions.
Pelvic Health FAQ’s
What should I expect at my first Pelvic physio session?
Your pelvic physiotherapist will collect a detailed history of your problem and symptoms. This includes question regarding your sexual function, bladder/bowel habits, your diet and lifestyle, low back hip/tailbone symptoms etc. These questions may seem personal and detailed, but they are very helpful for your therapist. Your Physiotherapist might ask you to fill out some questionnaires, to get a better idea of your specific symptoms. After the subjective exam is completed, the physiotherapist will begin a physical exam which includes assessment of your low back, hip, SI joint, connective tissue of your abdomen, thighs etc. A pelvic floor exam includes an internal exam to assess the strength of pelvic floor muscles and to check for any tightness/trigger points. You may not be able to complete the internal exam on your first session and your physio will only progress as per your pain tolerance. Once your exam is completed, you will formulate a plan with your Physiotherapist that will include your home program, frequency/duration of visits etc.
Will I need an internal exam and why is it necessary?
An internal pelvic exam is the gold standard in assessing pelvic muscle strength, tone, and function. It is valuable to achieve a diagnosis and properly treat your pelvic pain and dysfunction. It is highly recommended that you have an internal pelvic exam to help us successfully manage your condition however it is not mandatory. It is only conducted with informed consent and if you are uncomfortable discuss it with your physiotherapist to see other alternatives. Your physiotherapist may work on external assessment and treatment before proceeding with the internal exam.
What if I have my periods?
Our pelvic physiotherapists can work on your Pelvic floor even if you currently have your period. If you feel uncomfortable having your assessment or treatment done during your period, the therapist can either proceed with treating you externally or you can re-schedule your appointment with adequate notice.
I have been doing Kegels exercises for a while but it’s not working? How will pelvic physiotherapy help me?
Kegels are not the solution to all Pelvic Floor dysfunctions. Sometimes they do more harm than good if not performed correctly. Doing Kegel exercises on a tight pelvic floor is going to make the condition worse. A pelvic floor physiotherapist will assess you and determine whether you should be doing Kegels and will teach you how to do them correctly. Pelvic floor physiotherapist will also help treat the tightness of connective tissue or muscles before they prescribe any strengthening regime.