Do I Need Physiotherapy?

A typical story for some clients that come to see us at Strive Physiotherapy & Performance is “this pain has been bothering me FOREVER but I thought it would go away… now it’s so bad I can’t handle it anymore”.

Some clients will only wait a few days after they start to notice a problem before seeking our help…. others will wait for years! Let’s take a look at some barriers that prevent people from seeking out help for their injury or condition.

1) “I’m too busy right now!”

When you’re the most busy and stressed, your pain is typically worse. Pain can be affected (in a negative OR a positive way!) by many personal factors like your prior experience with pain, your expectation of pain intensity, and the amount of stress in your life.

If your schedule is really full, we can discuss this at your initial assessment to determine a treatment plan that will work best for you.

Typically we do NOT need to see you multiple times in a week for many months on end for you to get better.

Your appointments may be spread out over many weeks to guide your recovery, but your treatment plan will be unique to you and your situation.

As physiotherapists, we want our clients to get better as fast as possible, but we also want our clients to know how to best manage their injury on their own!

2) “I’m just waiting for it to go away on its own”

     While some injuries may “go away on their own”, here are some factors to consider when deciding whether or not you need help with your injury/condition.

A. Is your pain being managed?

Physiotherapy can make you more comfortable, even in the early days after an acute injury, and advise you on the best way to allow the healing process to take place successfully.

B. Has this happened before?

If you are experienced with how to best manage your injury and feel comfortable with the process, great! However, you also may want to consider a strategy involving preventing future injuries – this is where physiotherapy can make a difference for you.

C. Are you feeling much better a few weeks later but you’re not 100%?

The last part of the recovery requires the most work and takes the most perseverance. Physiotherapy can guide you through this to get you back to doing what you want to do.

It’s never too late to seek treatment. Even if it has been months or even YEARS, physiotherapy can help to improve your symptoms or increase your abilities.

3) “I can’t get in to see my family doctor!”

Fortunately, physiotherapists are primary access practitioners, and you don’t  need to get a referral from your family physician in order to see a physiotherapist. Physiotherapists are also trained to look out for signs and symptoms that would indicate that you DO need to return to your family doctor if you have a condition that can not be treated by physiotherapy alone.

Please note: If submitting your physiotherapy invoices to your insurance company for reimbursement, check your plan! Some health insurance plans may require a family physician referral in order to reimburse you.

4) “I don’t like exercise”

    As physiotherapists, we recognize that exercise ranks highly on some client’s priority list, and lower on others.

Even if exercise is not a regular habit for you, exercises are often an important component of physiotherapy.

These can include range of motion, stretching, balance, or strengthening exercises.

Fortunately, your situation may be improved by only 1 or 2 simple exercises. Your physiotherapy treatment will be centred on your goals.

The exercises we give to a high-level athlete may look very different compared to the exercises we give someone looking to feel less pain with their everyday activities.

Spending a few minutes per day on these exercises can make a big difference for your recovery.

One of our tasks as physiotherapists is to make sure that your exercises are ones that you feel confident in your ability to do by yourself at home.

 Additionally, there are many other aspects of physiotherapy that can help you that don’t involve exercise!

Physiotherapists will help you understand your injury, teach you how to avoid making your problem worse, and make your pain feel better.

Physiotherapists can also use manual therapy (“hands-on treatment”) on muscles and joints in order to improve their function and decrease pain.

Physiotherapists can also use heat, cold, acupuncture, or electrical current modalities for pain, depending on each individual’s injury.

5) “But I don’t have any pain”

 Sometimes clients feel like they shouldn’t be going to physiotherapy because they don’t have any pain.

This couldn’t be farther from the truth!

Physiotherapy can treat :

  • Stiffness (ie. you can’t bend one of your knees as much as the other one).
  • Decrease in function (ie. it’s getting harder and harder to get up from a chair or climb the stairs)
  • Sports’ performance problem (ie. you’re not as flexible, or as athletic as you need to be for your sport)
  • Decline in balance (ie. a history of falls and becoming less and less active)

​ For more examples, take a look at our blog, “7 Things You Didn’t Realize Physiotherapy Could Help With


At Strive Physiotherapy & Performance, we want to help our clients improve their lives by decreasing pain, increasing function, or assisting with other obstacles that we are capable of helping with.

If we are unable to support your needs, we will be sure to refer you to someone who can. Still not sure whether physiotherapy is right for you? Call us at 519-895-2020 to discuss your situation!

Or you can use our online booking tool on to book an appointment with one of our knowledgeable physiotherapists, and they will be sure to help you understand your condition.


Amanda McFadden
Physiotherapist at Strive Physiotherapy & Performance

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BSc Kinesiology, University of Waterloo MSc PT, McMaster University


Born in Lahr, Germany

Mike treats people of all activity levels and ages from weekend warriors to elite athletes. He has mentored physiotherapists across Ontario as well as worked on the Board of Directors of the Ontario Physiotherapy Association. Recently, Mike represented physiotherapists within the Pan Am/Para Pan Am Games Medical Services Expert Provider Group. Mike has also had the opportunity to work side by side with orthopaedic surgeons, allowing him to work with many people following complex and traumatic injuries. Mike also consults over 1,000 physiotherapy cases nationally. This has given him a lot of insight into what Physiotherapy looks like across Canada.    

Prior to becoming a physiotherapist, Mike served in the reserves for 9 years as a member of the Artillery in the Canadian Armed Forces. He also enjoys coaching local athletes to help improve their performance through MeFit, a local not-for-profit organization.

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