Below are some frequently asked questions. Please call one of our locations to get more information if it is not provided below.

GENERAL

The appointment cost depends on who you see and what you’re coming to the clinic for. Click here to see our fee schedule.

If you have access to insurance through extended medical benefits, MSP, ICBC, Worksafe or another 3rd party payer, we may be able to collect some or all of our fees directly from the insurance company.

Yes.  We can direct bill to most extended insurance plans as well as ICBC and WorksafeBC. We can currently bill directly to the following providers:

  • Chambers of Commerce
  • CINUP
  • Cowan
  • Desjardins
  • Equitable Life
  • First Canadian
  • Great West Life
  • Group HEALTH
  • Group Source
  • Industrial Alliance
  • Johnson Inc.
  • Johnston Group Inc
  • Manion
  • Manulife
  • Maximum Benefit
  • NexgenRX
  • Sunlife
  • Green Shield
  • SSQ
  • The Co-Operators
  • Pacific Blue Cross
  • Medavie Blue Cross (Veteran Affairs, RCMP, Canadian Forces)
  • ICBC
  • Worksafe BC (Chiro)
  • MSP Premium Assistance

If your company is not one which we are able to bill directly, you simply need to submit your receipt for reimbursement.  

In cases where your coverage is less than 100% then you will be required to pay the difference at the time of the appointment.  

Please note that individual plans vary in coverage and it is the patient’s responsibility to ensure coverage. We offer this service as a convenience and cannot guarantee coverage.

Yes, our chiropractors can bill Worksafe directly and help you recover from work-related injuries.

Yes, we accept ICBC cases.  We will require your claim number, date of the accident and the name of your ICBC adjuster.  If you have hired a lawyer please let us know and provide the contact information for your lawyer.  

Yes, depending on the case.  Provide your lawyers contact information and we will discuss direction to pay arrangements with them to determine if it’s appropriate.

A doctor’s referral is never required for chiropractic services or in user-pay cases.

A doctor’s referral for physiotherapy or registered massage is sometimes required by your extended health plan.  You may need to check with your insurance company. Additionally, ICBC often requires a doctor’s referral to extend approval for physiotherapy or massage treatment. This will typically be communicated by your adjuster.

Only those who qualify for MSP Premium Assistance will receive partial coverage ($23) towards payment for up to 10 visits per year for any combination of massage, physiotherapy or chiropractic.

We can easily check for you if you provide your date of birth and Personal Health Number.

The treatment required for each condition will vary widely.   After your assessment, the doctor or therapist will discuss your condition and recommend a treatment plan.

Initial massage: 60 minutes

Initial physiotherapy: 30-45 minutes

Initial chiropractic: 30 minutes

Please bring you Care Card and, if applicable, your extended insurance information or claim number.

Please consider bringing proper clothing for assessment of your area.  If it’s easier or you forget, we can provide a gown and shorts.

We will always do our best to provide you with timely relief.   However, whether treatment occurs on the first visit will depend on the practitioner and on your condition.   It is important that the doctor or therapist has the opportunity to properly assess your condition to formulate a treatment plan.  Good treatment comes from good assessment. In some cases imaging such as X-rays may be required before some treatment options are deemed appropriate.

Yes, all of our massage therapists are registered with the College of Massage Therapists of BC (CMTBC).  

The CMTBC is the only regulated college for massage therapists in BC.  Members of the CMTBC are referred to as registered massage therapists.   Any other terminology used by body workers likely indicates that they do not meet the professional standard and are not part of the regulated professional body in British Columbia.  

Insurance companies will only pay for treatment provided by a registered massage therapist.

Yes, you are welcome to bring a friend or family member to accompany you on your visit.

Parking availability depends on our location.  Please call the clinic you will be visiting or click here for specific parking recommendations.

Chiropractors, Physiotherapists and Massage Therapists work closely together to treat many of the same conditions.  Admittedly the line between the professions has blurred over the years.

Chiropractors have traditionally focused on the back or spine opting for therapies such as joint adjustments and mobilizations that effectively treat conditions of the back.  Physiotherapists have traditionally acted as an extension of the medical system focusing on acute injury care and rehabilitation opting for therapies such as ultrasound, heat, ice and exercise.   Registered massage therapists have traditionally focused on reducing tension in the muscular system opting for various manual pressure techniques.

As each profession recognized the merits of the other, they began adopting the techniques from each other. It is now common to see massage therapists using stretching and exercises, chiropractors prescribing exercises and utilizing modalities such as Shockwave therapy and physiotherapists using manual therapies.

Generally a chiropractor is more likely to utilize a hands on technique such as myofascial release, adjustments and stretches; physiotherapists are more likely to use modalities such as shockwave or IMS, stretches and exercise; and massage therapists are always going to utilize a hands on muscular pressure or massage technique. It is our opinion at MSK that the most important factor is finding the therapist that works best for you.   Whichever you choose, we often refer to one another and work hand in hand to maximize your results. If you are seeing more than one of our practitioners, they will communicate and share information to ensure efficient application of techniques.

If you’re unsure who to book your first appointment with, please call us and we’ll be happy to direct you.

There is occasionally “fine print” associated with some plans where the provider will pay “100% up to $80 per visit” for example.   Additionally, if it is the beginning of their plan year, some plans require that a deductible be paid off. Finally, we can never guarantee that your claim will be accepted by your provider, even if you have coverage.   Insurance companies reserve the right to require further processing of claims, which will require the patient to pay out of pocket and get reimbursed later when their provider has re-assessed the claim.

CHIROPRACTOR

Chiropractors are doctors of complementary and alternative health care that focus on diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disorders of the skeleton, muscles and nerves of the whole body, not just the spine.  Chiropractic is a drug-free non-surgical approach to health care. Chiropractors use manual therapy including spinal adjustments and soft-tissue manipulation as well as prescription of exercises and lifestyle counselling to treat a wide range of health problems. Chiropractors are the 3rd largest group of healthcare providers in North America after medical doctors and dentists. For more information about how chiropractors can help, you can visit the Canadian Chiropractic Association website.

 

Check out our video to learn more. 

Your treatment depends on the problem you have. Joint manipulation, or adjustment, involves a gentle specific movement to the involved joint.   A joint may be restricted or locked up, limiting normal movement and biomechanics. An adjustment applies a controlled force to such joints to normalize their movement and alignment.  This treatment also stimulates joint receptors which inhibit pain signals and allow muscles around the joint to relax. An adjustment can also break up scar tissue that forms around joints.

We specialize in soft tissue therapies such as Active Release Technique™ (ART) using specific contacts and movement to actively release scar tissue and myofascial adhesions that have accumulated due to repetitive strain injuries/overuse, sports injuries or motor vehicle accidents.  These problems can affect muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves. The treatment feels like a combination of deep tissue massage with stretching movements repeated several times to release pain and tension. We also use strengthening exercises and therapeutic stretching to complement in-office treatment.   In addition, custom orthotics or braces may be prescribed.

Watch this video showing a chiropractic adjustment.

Watch this video showing Active Release Technique.  

The cracking sound when a joint is adjusted is the release of gas pressure in the joint. There is gas dissolved in the fluid inside joints and when the pressure is altered by stretching it, gas bubbles are released.  It is similar to what happens when you open a can of pop. The purpose of an adjustment is not to make a cracking sound but rather to normalize the movement and alignment of the joint. The occasional crack that occurs is simply a side effect of treatment that many patients welcome.

The adjustments do not usually cause any discomfort.  In fact, most patients enjoy the relief of tension that occurs almost immediately.  Soft tissue therapy with movement may cause some discomfort similar to getting deep tissue massage but patient comfort is our priority. Many patients request a more gentle approach which we can also offer.

Our treatment plans are tailored to the individual patient’s needs and comfort.  If we determine joint adjustments would benefit the patient than we will recommend it as part of the treatment plan.  If adjustments are contraindicated or if they make the patient uncomfortable we will use other effective techniques such joint mobilizations, stretching or exercises instead.

Chiropractic care is one of the safest treatment options for back and neck pain.  Every patient will be provided an informed consent process during which they can learn about the risks and benefits and ask specific questions.

Chiropractic treatments help with pain relief.   Some things may become less painful over time if you leave them alone; on the other hand, the pain and the condition may get worse.  Treatment will usually increase the speed of healing and reduced the risk of future recurrences. It is always recommended to get checked by one of our doctors or therapists to determine the cause of your discomfort and the appropriate course of action whether it be active care in the clinic or home care that you can do on your own

This myth started with people who only felt better if they got treated.  When the positive treatment effects went unsupported and wore off they wanted to return for more treatment.  If a patient presents with neck and shoulder pain due poor posture and long hours at a desk, they generally feel significant relief.  However the patient may experience a relapse in his/her condition if they return to their poor postural habits at work; if they neglect their homecare recommendations; or if they have a lifestyle that predisposes them to injury, the problem may return.  

Patients generally fall into one of two categories: Those who suffer a traumatic injury such as a sports injury or motor vehicle accident and those who suffer from chronic conditions such as pain resulting from poor posture or repetitive stress.  The traumatic injury patients typically follow a set treatment plan until their condition resolves and are released from care at that time. The chronic pain group of patients often experience fluctuations in their condition and generally do best with preventative or maintenance care overseen by our doctors and therapists. The frequency of check-ups can vary depending on the individual. These decisions are made together with your healthcare professional.

At any given time about 15-20% of the population see a chiropractor.

For spinal assessments, you may be asked to wear an open-back patient gown along with pants/shorts. Men may simply remove their shirts if they wish.  

Generally it is easiest to perform an assessment when you wear something in which you can move freely and which allows the doctor to see and touch the area being assessed.  Loose or stretchy shorts/ pants allow easier access to areas such as the hip. Knee assessments require that you wear shorts or loose pants that can pulled up to mid-thigh.

If you forget to bring appropriate clothing, don’t worry, we can provide you with clinic shorts and / or gowns so you are never unnecessarily exposed and you will never be made to expose an area which makes you uncomfortable.

Our chiropractic services in Burnaby and Vancouver are covered by most private insurance companies. We offer direct billing to most third party insurance companies. We also accept MSP, ICBC and WCB.

Click here for a list of insurance providers we can bill directly

We treat patients of all ages. Children under the age of 10 may be co-treated with the cooperation of a paediatrician or family doctor.

RMT

Registered Massage Therapist

The College of Massage Therapist of BC is the only regulated college for massage therapists in BC.  Members of the CMTBC are referred to as registered massage therapists.   Any other terminology used by body workers likely indicates that they do not meet the professional standard and are not part of the regulated professional body in British Columbia.  

Insurance companies will only pay for treatment provided by a registered massage therapist.

Massage therapy appointments can be booked in slots of 30, 45, 60 or 90 minute visits. It is important to arrive 10 minutes before your initial appointment time to fill out a health history form. The initial visit will include a 10-15 minute assessment that may include an interview process and hands on testing to determine the necessary course of treatment. For this reason we recommend booking at least 45 minutes for your first visit.  The last 5 minutes of the treatment may include demonstration of self care or remedial exercises.

Watch this video to learn more:

Massage therapy treatments are best performed through skin on skin contact.  Your therapist can modify the treatment to work directly over clothing or over sheets if desired.  It is up to you on which articles of clothing to remove as you will be instructed to undress to your comfort level, however most patients chose to fully disrobe. Sheets are provided and you to cover yourself prior to the massage therapist entering the room.  During a treatment, only the areas being worked on will be undraped, all other areas will be covered by sheets and blankets. 

If needed and with your consent, yes.  

At the start of the treatment, the massage therapist will set up a pain scale with you to make sure that you are comfortable throughout the treatment. The therapist will check in during the treatment to see if they are using enough pressure or if you desire more.

We provide access to both hot and cold applications.  Depending on the condition, the massage therapist will decide the appropriate treatment and can recommend appropriate options for home use of hot or cold therapies.  It is important to understand the length and temperatures of the applications in order for them to have their desired outcome. The therapist might perform a small test patch at the beginning to make sure there will be no adverse reaction to hot or cold therapy in the treatment.

There is no age requirement for someone to receive a massage.  We are trained in infant massage and pediatric massage as well as informational sessions for parents. Children can benefit from massage to manage growing pains, anxiety, to help with autism and cerebral palsy symptoms and to help promote healing of injuries. Infants can benefit from massage to help with digestive issues and to increase bonding between parents and child. The guardian must be present to give consent for massage prior to their first session.  Parents are welcome and encouraged to be present with their children during massage treatment sessions.

Our massage therapists are trained in massage for TMJ disorders.  This treatment may be performed both outside and, using gloves, inside the mouth (intraoral).  Before the treatment, an assessment is performed to see if intraoral massage is indicated for that day. The massage therapist will set up a hand signal with you before so you can communicate with them during the treatment. All our therapists take precautions for your health and safety as treatments are performed with non-latex gloves. 

Make sure you inform the massage therapist of any medications you are on.  The therapist will decide whether massage is indicated or not. Registered massage therapists can modify the treatment based on the medications you are on by varying techniques.  It is important at the beginning of each treatment to tell your massage therapist if there are any changes to your medications or if you are currently taking any over-the-counter medications or vitamins.   In addition, if you are planning on seeing your massage therapist you may want to refrain from taking any pain medications before the treatment as it can affect your tolerance to depth and pressure for some techniques.

At the initial treatment, the massage therapist will discuss a treatment plan with you. This includes how often you should return to see us and when we will assess your progress.  Duration and frequency is based on the condition, age, nutrition, activity level and optimal recovery times.  It is also affected by how well you perform the home care exercises prescribed to you.  If you are seeing us for wellness massage or maintenance treatment we generally recommend monthly sessions.

Our massage services in Burnaby and Vancouver are covered by most private insurance companies. We offer direct billing to most third party insurance companies. We also accept MSP, ICBC and WCB.

Click here for a list of insurance providers we can bill directly

PHYSIOTHERAPY

Not familiar with physiotherapy?   Check out our service page under physiotherapy.

Check out this video to learn more:

Yes. Our physiotherapists are trained and equipped to provide physical strengthening and functional rehabilitation exercises to help you return to life, work and sport.  You won’t simply be hooked up to a machine and left alone. Active rehab for ICBC cases are often performed by kinesiologists and unfortunately we do not currently provide this service.

Yes.  Our physiotherapists have sports backgrounds and are well equipped to assess sport injuries and help you return to sport, reduce injury risk and improve your performance.

Initial physiotherapy appointments are between 30-45 minutes in duration.  Subsequent appointments are typically 30 minutes.

Yes. The waits for surgery can be frustrating and the down-time resulting from injury can result in loss of strength, flexibility and conditioning.  This makes recovery after surgery more difficult and prolongs your return to normal life.

Our physiotherapists will guide you in maintaining strength, range of motion and quality of life and priming you for your recovery after surgery.

Yes. Safe and timely return of range of motion, strength and functional movement are critical to maximizing your recovery after surgery.  Our physiotherapists will perform an assessment, set realistic goals and guide you through the process to get you back to life, work or sport.

Yes. Our physiotherapy services are covered by most private insurance companies as well as MSP and ICBC.

Click here for a list of insurance providers we can bill directly