While physiotherapy is a common health care service, there can be a lot of confusion about what appointments actually look like. Much of this confusion stems from the large variability between different physiotherapy clinics, services, and staff. Depending on where you go for physiotherapy, your experience may vary significantly from someone else’s. Furthermore, your reason for attending physiotherapy will also affect your experience at appointments.
So how often are my physio appointments?
If you’re experiencing a lot of pain, initially you may need more frequent appointments that consist of more hands-on therapy. As the pain decreases, your appointments may be less frequent, as the focus should shift to more active therapy, such as exercise.
The frequency of your physiotherapy appointments should also change based on how much guidance you need. For example, if you’ve just recently sprained your ankle, you may need more guidance and supervision initially to make sure you’re doing everything to maximize your recovery. It would be common to attend physiotherapy appointments twice per week in this scenario. As your ankle heals, and you develop a greater understanding of how to manage this injury, you won’t need as much guidance and your appointments may be less frequent.
At this point, you and your therapist may decide to reduce the frequency of your appointments to once per week. As you spend more time in physiotherapy, you should become more proficient in the self-management of your injury.
In some cases, individuals need very little supervision, and may have physiotherapy appointments every other week or even monthly. It’s important to discuss your expectations of physiotherapy with your therapist, including the frequency of your appointments.
Most physiotherapists will be accommodating if you need more or less frequent appointments. Be sure to let your therapist know what works best for you, so that you can work together to develop a plan that will get you better.
Does Ontario Disability Pay for Physiotherapy?
The Ontario government will pay for your physiotherapy services if you qualify for the Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Program. In order to qualify for the Ontario Works program, you must be 16 years of age or older, live in Ontario (not a visitor or tourist), and require financial assistance to cover your immediate family’s living expenses. In order to qualify for the Ontario Disability Support Program, you must be 18 years of age or older, an Ontario resident, in financial need, and meet the program’s definition of a person with a disability or be a member of a prescribed class.
Once you’re sure that you qualify for government-funded physiotherapy, you’ll need to find a government-funded physiotherapy clinic. Unfortunately, not all physiotherapy clinics are set up to provide government-funded services. Furthermore, you’ll also need to obtain a medical referral from a doctor for physiotherapy.
Individuals will also qualify for government-funded physiotherapy services if they are a long-term care resident who is 18 years of age or older, if they’ve been discharged as an inpatient from a hospital after an overnight stay (within the last 12 months), if they are 65 years of age or older or 19 years of age or younger. For more information on whether or not you qualify for government-funded physiotherapy, as well as the location of government-funded clinics, please visit the Ontario.ca website.
How much does physiotherapy cost in Ontario?
Similar to the structure of physiotherapy, the cost will vary significantly depending on where you go. Generally physiotherapy in the more populated areas of Ontario will cost more. For example, physiotherapy in Toronto will cost significantly more than physiotherapy in Kitchener.
Within Ontario physiotherapy always starts with an initial assessment, which is typically 45 minutes to 1 hour. The assessment usually costs between 95 and 120 dollars. After the initial assessment, the following physiotherapy treatments range between 15 to 30 minutes. The cost per 15 minute block often ranges between 23.75 to 30.00 dollars. Keep in mind that this may vary greatly depending on what clinic you go to, and where it is in Ontario. Some clinics may have prices and appointment times outside of the ranges listed here. If you’re looking to have treatments longer than 15 to 30 minutes, that can also significantly increase the price of your physiotherapy sessions. Furthermore, specializations within physiotherapy will also cost more than the usual appointment.
For example, pelvic health physiotherapy and concussion physiotherapy can be more expensive than orthopaedic physiotherapy services. It’s also important to consult with your insurance provider to see if you have coverage for physiotherapy services, as this may greatly alter the cost.