How long will my first massage appointment take?

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 a demonstration of self-care or remedial exercises.

Do I have to get cracked or are there other options?

Our treatment plans are tailored to the individual patient’s needs and comfort. If we determine joint adjustments would benefit the patient then 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 as joint mobilizations, stretching, or exercises instead.

Is chiropractic care safe?

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.

Will my pain disappear if I leave it alone?

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 reduce 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.

Do I have to keep going forever?

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 to 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.

Do many people go to a chiropractor?

At any given time about 15-25% of the population see a chiropractor.

What should I wear to my first appointment?

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 be 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 that makes you uncomfortable.

Is chiropractic covered by health insurance?

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 to see a list of accepted insurances.

What is the age range of people treated by chiropractors?

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

What Does RMT Stand For?

Registered Massage Therapist

The College of Registered Massage Therapists of BC is the only regulated college for registered massage therapists in BC. Members of the CMTBC are referred to as registered massage therapists. Any other terminology used by bodyworkers 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.

Does the treatment hurt?

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.

Do I have to take my clothes off for massage treatment?

Massage therapy treatments are best performed through the 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 choose to fully disrobe. Sheets are provided so you can cover yourself prior to the registered massage therapist entering the room. During treatment, only the areas being worked on will be uncovered, all other areas will be covered by sheets and blankets.

Do you offer deep tissue massage?

If needed and with your consent, yes.

At the start of the treatment, the registered 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.

Do you use any hot or cold applications?

We provide access to both hot and cold applications. Depending on the condition, the registered 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.

My children are covered by benefits, is there a certain age you must be for massage?

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 the 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.

I have TMJ disorder, do your registered massage therapists treat this?

Our registered 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 registered 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.

I am on certain medications, can I still get a massage?

Make sure you inform the registered massage therapist of any medications you are on. The therapist will decide whether a 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 registered 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 registered 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.

How often should I get a massage?

At the initial treatment, the registered 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 are 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.

Is Registered Massage covered by extended health insurance?

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 and ICBC. Click here to see a list of accepted insurances.

Do you do active rehab?

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 is often performed by kinesiologists, if you go to our services page, and click Kinesiology, you can book in with a kinesiologist at any of our three locations!

Can I go to any physiotherapy centre?

According to “The Patient’s Bill of Rights” law, you can decide what physiotherapy centre you choose for your care.

Although a lot of physicians recommend a physiotherapy centre they may prefer, you are under no obligation to go to that clinic. No medical practitioner, insurance company, or other entity can insist you attend a physiotherapy centre. The choice is yours to make!

Your basic patient rights include these:

The right to information about quality: You can look up information about medical practitioners’ credentials, statistics regarding hospitals and clinics, and what your health plan covers in easy-to-understand language.

The right to choose a healthcare provider: Besides your primary healthcare provider, this also covers specialists, including physiotherapists.

The right to emergency services: You can’t be denied treatment in an emergency.

The right to make decisions: It’s up to you to decide which course of treatment you want to follow.

The right to respect: You must be treated with respect regardless of sex, age, race, national origin, sexual orientation, or disability.

The right to confidentiality: Your health information is private and cannot be released without your consent.

The right to complain: All providers (insurance, physicians, clinics and hospitals, etc.) must have a grievance procedure.

How can I make an appointment?

Scheduling an appointment at MSK Health and Performance in Vancouver & Burnaby, BC is easier than ever! Our scheduling is easy, and we offer convenient locations and appointment times. We have morning and evening appointments available to meet the demands of your busy schedule.

Contact us today or click here to book an appointment.

How is my progress measured?

Physiotherapists, Chiropractors, and Registered Massage Therapists primarily measure your impairments and your functional limitations.

Impairments include:

  • Pain
  • Weakness
  • Loss of motion
  • Paresthesias (numbness, tingling, pins, needles, etc.)

Functional limitations include:

  • Lying
    • Sleep
    • Rolling over
    • Getting up out of bed
  • Sitting
    • Moving from standing to sitting
    • Moving from sitting to standing
  • Standing
  • Walking
    • Level ground
    • Stairs
    • Uneven ground
  • Running
  • etc

Tracking your impairments and functional abilities gives physiotherapists, chiropractors, and registered massage therapists objective information to compare with initial measurements. In addition, your reports and personal experiences help to validate your improvements and clue your therapist to regressions and/or lack of progress.

The bottom line is that you should notice improvements in how you feel and function throughout therapy. If you are not following an anticipated path of progress, your therapist will reassess the situation or make recommendations for further testing or treatments.

How long is each physiotherapy appointment going to be?

Most initial appointments are 45 mins in length, however some specialty appointments such as pelvic floor assessments are 60 mins in length. After that, most follow up appointments are 30 mins. Depending on your condition, your physiotherapist might ask you to schedule an extended 45 min appointment. 

Your unique needs will determine the length of time, which our therapist will discuss with you. In addition, the frequency of your weekly appointments will be determined by you and your physiotherapist.

It is common for your therapist to want to see you more often in the early stages of your care to assess your progress and confirm your treatment plan. You’ll probably see your therapist twice a week initially and then make your appointments more spaced out as you proceed through treatment.

Will my insurance cover the cost of treatment?

We understand that dealing with insurance can be complicated; therefore, MSK Health and Performance would gladly assist you and answer your questions. It is important to contact your insurance carrier to determine your coverage depending on your specific policy as they will not give our staff access to this information prior to submitting a claim on your behalf.

Visit our insurance plans page for additional information, and please do not hesitate to contact our Vancouver & Burnaby, BC physiotherapy clinic.

What if I do not have insurance?

Our clinic will never turn a patient away for this reason!

If you do not have insurance, that’s okay. For patients who do not have insurance, we offer cash-based options due at the time of service.

Please contact our Vancouver & Burnaby, BC clinics and speak to our front desk about costs.

What should I do to prepare for my first appointment?

There are a few things we ask all patients to bring with them on their first visit to our office.

Please go to your inbox and find an email from us that will contain a link to your clinic profile. The email will prompt you to fill out our forms. If you cannot do this or do not have access to a computer, please allow extra time to fill these out upon arrival.
Please arrive at least 15 minutes early to complete any remaining paperwork so that you can maximize your time in your evaluation.
Please wear comfortable clothing that allows easy access to your problem areas.
If you intend to use insurance, please bring your insurance information (we may need to make a copy of your card).
Please bring any referrals, prescriptions, and test results from your referring physician, Nurse Practitioner, or other health professional.
In case of an automobile accident or worker’s compensation claim, bring any case manager or insurance adjuster’s contact names, phone numbers, and claim number.

Please have your prescription and insurance card available when you call our office.

What office policies should I be aware of?

If you cannot attend your appointment due to illness or another emergency, please notify our clinic at least 24 hours before your scheduled appointment time.

A non-refundable charge of 50% of the appointment fee will be applied to any missed appointments that have not been rescheduled at least 24 hours in advance.

Please reschedule your appointment with our front desk if you have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus so that we can maintain a safe, healthy environment for our patients and personnel.

What is physiotherapy?

Not familiar with physiotherapy?

Check out our service page under physiotherapy.

Check out this video to learn more.

Do I need a doctor’s referral to receive treatment?

The short answer is no! 

You are welcome to schedule an appointment with any of our therapists at any time with or without a prescription or referral, so if you don’t have a prescription, there is nothing to worry about!

Do you provide sports rehabilitation?

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

How long will my first physiotherapy appointment take?

Initial physiotherapy appointments are 45 minutes in duration. Some specialty assessments, such as pelvic floor initial appointments, are 60 minutes in duration. Subsequent appointments are typically 30 minutes.

I am scheduled for surgery, can you help me?

Yes. The waits for surgery can be frustrating and the downtime 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.

I have had orthopedic surgery, can you help me?

Yes. Safe and timely return of range of motion, strength, and functional movement is 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.

Is physiotherapy covered by extended health insurance?

Yes. Our physiotherapy services are covered by most private insurance companies as well as MSP and ICBC. Click here to see a list of accepted insurances.

What is a 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 counseling 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 British Columbia Chiropractic Association website.

What is involved in a chiropractic treatment?

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.

What is the cracking sound?

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.