Good questions. Better answers.

Good questions. Better answers.

Clinic information

Where is REP Physio located?

Westbrook: Our clinic at 23 Fairway Dr. NW is located in the Aspen Gardens/Westbrook/Blue Quill neighbourhood.  We are just south of Snow Valley on 119th St, and only a few blocks north of the Derrick Golf and Country Club. 780-244-1095

Summerside: Our clinic at 104, 1103 95th ST SW is located in the Summerside neighbourhood. We are only a few blocks south of Ellerslie Rd. on 95th St. We are located in the Landmark building just across the street from the Tirecraft and All Stars Indoor Playland. 780-395-9170

Preparing for your visit

Can you help me?

Physiotherapists are university-trained experts in movement dysfunction and musculoskeletal impairments. Come see us if you are in pain or cannot move properly due to injury, illness or a medical impairment. Feeling great? Awesome. Physiotherapists can perform movement screens to ensure you keep performing your best and limit your chance of future injury. If we can’t help you, we’ll let you know.

Do I need a doctor's referral?

No. You do not need a doctor’s referral to see a physiotherapist or massage therapist. However, some health plans may only cover physiotherapy or massage therapy if a doctor provides you a prescription for it. Check with your extended health care plan about this.

What can I expect on my first appointment?

The initial assessment typically takes 60 minutes. During that time you will be asked questions about the nature of the injury as well as a few questions about your health and social history so we can get to know you better. Please don’t be shy. We won’t judge you if you tell us you hate exercise, or got injured trying to dead-lift 500lbs. Your physiotherapist will then perform a bio-mechanical assessment of the injured body part, educate you on the nature of your injury, suggest treatment interventions, and provide home management and therapeutic exercise strategies that meet your goals and allow you to leave the initial assessment feeling empowered to recover.

What should I bring to my first appointment?

  • Identification
  • Extended health care plan cards
  • Doctor referrals if any
  • Results of diagnostic tests related to the injury
  • Your schedule in case you need to book future appointments
  • Comfortable clothes (shorts/ tank top)
  • Questions you may have about your injury
  • Running shoes if doing a running analysis

Treatment information

I was injured at work, now what?

  • Step 1: Report the injury to your employer. For urgent injuries, seek medical care immediately. Employers are required to report your injury to WCB as well.
  • Step 2: Report the injury to WCB.
  • Step 3: Come for a physical therapy assessment as soon as possible. Your physiotherapist will assess the nature and extent of your injury and provide a report to WCB within 48 hours. You do not need a claim number to attend the assessment.
  • Step 4: Provided the worker, employer, and physio have submitted the injury report forms to WCB, a decision on your claim is typically made within a few business days. You can continue to attend physiotherapy for your work related injury, however if your claim is not approved by WCB, you will be responsible for covering the costs of care.

What’s the difference between Acupuncture, Gunn IMS and Dry Needling?

All three techniques use a standard acupuncture needle; however, the theory and technique behind each method is considerably different. First, Gunn IMS and Dry Needling are anatomically based.

Treatment points with these methods are based on anatomy and dysfunction, as opposed to the meridian/channel basis of acupuncture. Second, Gunn IMS is designed to treat pain of a neuropathic origin, and involves an assessment technique that looks for neurological indications of dysfunction.

Comparatively, Dry Needling incorporates a more traditional bio-mechanical exam and looks for muscular dysfunction that is not neuropathic in origin. Acupuncture sets itself apart from Dry Needling and IMS as practitioners can use acupuncture to treat non-musculoskeletal dysfunction, such as balancing hormones, treating indigestion, helping with conception etc. Thirdly, with Acupuncture, multiple needles are typically left in the body for 15-30 minutes.

In comparison, IMS and Dry Needling use one needle that is inserted, removed, then re-inserted into target areas multiple times to generate an appropriate response. Lastly, whereas Gunn IMS as taught per the Gunn technique is only practiced by physiotherapists and physicians, dry needling is practiced by many health disciplines.

Only registered Acupuncturists are permitted to bill  your treatments as “Acupuncture.”

Do you do manual therapy or manipulation?

Yes. We are authorized to manipulate joints in the body. Physiotherapists do more than just treat muscular injuries. We’re also really good at using our hands (and brains) to treat bone and joint dysfunctions, and sometimes this requires manipulation. Spinal manipulation is a restricted activity. Only physiotherapists who have received additional training are authorized to manipulate the spine.

Can you send me for diagnostic imaging (x-ray, MRI, ultrasound)?

Yes. If deemed clinically appropriate, we can directly refer you to get diagnostic imaging (X-Ray, ultrasound, MRI) completed for your injury.

Fortunately, a large majority of soft tissue injuries do not require imaging studies. Your therapist will be happy to discuss imaging options with you if required.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is one of the main components of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and has been practised for centuries. Acupuncture works by inserting sterile needles in specific locations called acupoints. There are over 400 of these points all over the body. Certain points are selected for your treatment to balance your body’s energy and to treat muscle pain and inflammation.

What can Acupuncture treat?

 Acupuncture can be used to treat many issues including:

  • Chronic pain
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Pelvic health including pre-natal health
  • Fertility
  • Weight loss
  • Quitting smoking
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Respiratory problems including allergies and asthma
  • Migraines and headaches
  • Immune system support
  • Dizziness and vertigo
  • Anti aging (cosmetic acupuncture)

What is Shockwave Therapy?

Shockwave therapy is a new non-invasive solution for chronic musculoskeletal pain. The most common indications for shockwave therapy include: painful shoulder/rotator cuff syndrome, epicondylitis (tennis/golfer’s elbow), low back pain, Achilles tendon pain (tendinopathy, enthesopathy, calcific tendinopathy), plantar fasciitis, tendonitis and trigger points.

During the therapy, a high-intensity acoustic wave interacts with the tissues of the body. This leads to a cascade of beneficial effects including neovascularization, reversal of chronic inflammation, stimulation of collagen production and dissolution of calcium build-up.

Stimulation of these biological mechanisms creates an optimal healing environment. As the injured area is returned to normal, functionality is restored and pain is relieved. A course of 3-5 sessions is typically recommended, however, this varies on a case by case basis.

Do you treat TMJ disorders?

Yes. We have undergone advanced training for temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. We work closely with dentists/orthodontists and TMJ specialists to help manage TMJ disorders, restoring function and minimizing pain.

I suspect a concussion, what should I do?

Firstly, make sure no other serious medical complications also occurred at the time of suspected concussion. Other head injuries (skull fractures, brain bleeds, neck fractures etc.) should be ruled out.

Typically, concussion symptoms tend to get better, not worse. Worsening symptoms (increasing headache severity, paraesthesias, facial numbness etc.) should be seen immediately.

Secondly, remove the individual from any sporting activity (when in doubt, sit them out) until cleared to return by your health professional. Injured athletes are at greatest risk for serious injury (second impact syndrome) if they sustain a second concussion shortly after the first. It is generally suggested to not take any medications immediately post-concussion to avoid masking any symptoms of serious injury (worsening headaches etc.)

A generalized period of rest for 24 hours (no longer) post-injury has been shown to be beneficial for recovery. Thirdly, since many concussion assessment tools (SCAT 5 etc.) are only valid within the first 3 days post-injury, get assessed (if not done on-field) as soon as possible.

Come see us for a concussion (or post-concussion syndrome) assessment. If you are not a candidate for physiotherapy intervention, we will refer you to the appropriate specialist.

I suspect a concussion, what can you do for me?

We have taken advanced training in the management of concussion, sports concussion, and post-concussion syndrome. We can work with you to help design a return to play/school/work program while you recover from your injury. For post-concussion syndrome, we can determine any musculoskeletal impairments that may be contributing to your presentation and provide evidence-based exercises to help restore function.

Do you do concussion baseline testing?

No. Concussion baseline testing is not supported in the research literature for the management of post-injury care. Additionally, baseline testing does not refer to one specific/standardized tool or test; it can be provider/company/ team specific etc.

Mandatory baseline concussion testing for athletes is simply not recommended. Despite this, a whole industry (physio clinics included) has developed around pre-season concussion baseline testing despite the lack of evidence for it in the management of concussions and post-concussion syndrome.

At REP Physio, we use an evidence based approach to the clinical management of concussion and post-concussion syndrome.  Rather than baseline test, we would rather teams, coaches and parents recognize the signs of concussion and remove the athlete from play until further testing is completed.

For more information on baseline testing and why we do not offer it, see our services page here. For the Canadian statement on concussion baseline testing, click here.

Do you treat vestibular/dizziness disorders?

Yes! We treat vestibular/dizziness disorders at both of our locations. Our vestibular therapists have taken advanced training to be able to accurately diagnose and treat your vestibular dysfunction.

Insurance information

Is my treatment covered by my extended health care plan?

Physiotherapy is covered by many extended health care plans. We also direct bill many health care plans. Please contact your extended health care plan to determine eligibility for physiotherapy coverage etc.. We do not provide physiotherapy that is covered by Alberta Health Services.

Are you a motor vehicle accident preferred provider?

REP Physio is proud not to be a preferred provider with any motor vehicle insurance company. If you are in a car accident, you have the right to choose who you would like to treat you for your whiplash and soft tissue injuries. You are not obligated to go to the “preferred provider” recommended to you by your car insurance company.

Our #1 priority is the wellness and care of you, the client.

By choosing not to be a preferred provider, we are free to act on your behalf 100% of the time without any confusion as to who we are ultimately working for.  Who you choose for your care is just as important as the care that is provided. We use an individualized, evidence based, active approach to whiplash injuries.

Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy

What does an internal exam entail?

Depending on your concerns, an internal pelvic exam may consist of a vaginal exam and/or an anorectal exam. Your physiotherapist will discuss the purpose of the internal examination if they deem either/both as necessary to best guide your treatment plan.

The internal exam does not use any equipment (i.e. speculum/foot stirrups), and is performed by digital palpation.

Do I have to have an internal exam?

While a complete internal pelvic exam is the gold standard in assessment and provides your physiotherapist with the most comprehensive overview of your pelvic floor, it is always your choice when it comes to your health. Your pelvic floor physiotherapist will discuss your concerns and goals with you, the anatomy and function of the pelvic floor, and what the assessment/treatment options may entail.

After this, if you remain uncomfortable with having a pelvic exam, alternative options will be considered and discussed. Similarly, if at any point during the pelvic exam or subsequent pelvic floor treatments you wish to withdraw your consent you may do so.

Can I still come to my appointment if I have my period?

Yes! In some cases, it may be beneficial for your physiotherapist to assess the effect of menstruation on your symptoms, especially if you’ve noticed a correlation between your symptoms and your menstrual cycle. However, if you feel uncomfortable you can reschedule your appointment. 

Can I bring my baby with me?


Can I have an internal examination while pregnant?

Yes! Your therapist will be happy to conduct an internal exam after the first trimester.

However, if you are told by your doctor/OBGYN/midwife that you are on pelvic rest or cannot have sexual intercourse during pregnancy then we cannot do an internal examination. That does not mean seeing a pelvic floor therapist during pregnancy is no longer beneficial–your therapist can treat concerns externally and help you enter your labor and birth as confidently as possible.

How soon after giving birth should I see a pelvic floor physiotherapist?

We recommend connecting with your pelvic floor physiotherapist after you have been cleared by your doctor/midwife at your 6 week follow up.

When is it not safe to have an internal exam performed?

Internal examinations and treatments should be avoided if you have:

  • Active hemorrhoids or infections (rectal/vaginal)
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Seed implants
  • Radiation injuries less than 6-12 weeks old
  • Undergone pelvic surgery less than 6 weeks ago
  • Undergone prolapse repair surgery less than 12 weeks ago
  • Been told by your doctor or midwife that you must abstain from intercourse or internal examinations during pregnancy

Does insurance cover pelvic floor physiotherapy?

Yes! If you have physiotherapy coverage, pelvic floor physiotherapy is covered under the physiotherapy umbrella.

Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA)

What are the symptoms of whiplash/Whiplash Associated Disorders (WAD)?

Whiplash symptoms typically include:

  • Neck pain/soreness and or stiffness
  • Headaches (typically at the base of the skull)
  • Loss of range of motion in the neck
  • Pain in shoulders and other areas
  • Difficulty sleeping due to pain
  • Tenderness to the touch in the neck
  • Fatigue

When should someone get checked out?

People involved in a whiplash injury should get checked out by a physiotherapist (or primary health care provider) as soon as possible.

I was in a motor vehicle accident, now what?

In Alberta, if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident (MVA), regardless of who was at fault, you are entitled to benefits. The benefits you receive are based on the extent of your injuries. You are free to choose any provider for the treatment of your injuries. You are not required to go to the “preferred provider” recommended to you by your car insurance company. Who you choose to treat your injuries does not impact your insurance premiums.

  • Step 1: Complete an AB-1 form that details the nature of the accident and provide it to your car insurance company as soon as you can.
  • Step 2: See a physiotherapist within 10 business days of the accident. Your physiotherapist will diagnose your injuries in accordance with the Diagnostic Treatment “Protocols.” The majority of MVA injuries qualify for between 10-21 “protocol” treatments within 90 days of the date of accident that are billed directly to your car insurance company.

In some circumstances, you may not qualify for protocol treatments that are billed directly to your car insurance company. These circumstances include:

  • Collision injuries that cause injury to the neurological system, resulting in numbness/tingling and/or decreased reflexes as well as other neurological signs (WAD III).
  • Collision injuries that result in fracture or dislocation (WAD IV).
  • Treatment for injuries beyond the initial protocol period or treatments.

In this case, costs for care are billed to your extended health care plan first.  Any portion of treatment that is not covered by your extended health care plan can then be submitted to your car insurance company for reimbursement. The staff at REP Physio will be happy to guide you through the billing process so you can spend more time on recovering from your injuries.

How long does recovery usually take?

Typically, recovery from a whiplash injury takes 6-12 weeks (90 days). However some people can expect to be symptomatic beyond this period. Recovery is not linear. Symptoms typically fluctuate with people having good and bad days. It is important for individuals in a whiplash injury to try to resume "activities as normal" as much as possible. While it might hurt at first, it is unlikely to cause harm.

What do I do when I get into a car accident?

As per the Alberta Government guidelines following an MVA, the best steps are:

  • Step 1: Make sure you and your loved ones are o.k. When in doubt, or if the accident was severe (head on collision, high rate of speed, clear signs of significant trauma), call 911.
  • Step 2: If you do not require emergency medical attention, see a Primary Healthcare Practitioner. This would include either a Physiotherapist, Medical Doctor, or Chiropractor as soon as possible for an assessment for your injury.
  • Step 3: Generally, this is something that should be done within the first few days following the accident. Remember, you do not have to see the provider or clinic recommended by your car insurance company. You are free to choose whichever provider or clinic you would like.
  • Step 4: File a collision report with the police.
  • Step 5: Complete an AB-1: Notice of Loss and Proof of Claim Form, which can either be sent to your insurance company, or your practitioner can send in your completed copy. At REP Physio we can happily assist you in getting this form sent to your insurance company.

Based on your practitioner’s diagnosis and the reports to the insurance company, you will be notified regarding your recommended treatment plan and subsequent benefits.

What is the process for therapy and rehabilitation?

Every case is unique. Edmonton sees many cases of whiplash and neck injuries from motor vehicle accidents each year, and our expert staff know how to build a custom rehabilitation and recovery program tailor made for you. At REP Physio, our physical therapists are specialists in assessment and treatment of musculo-skeletal injuries, including those caused during your MVA.

We will perform a thorough assessment of your injuries, and walk you through what to expect moving forward. This includes education of your ongoing diagnosis, prognosis, management of symptoms and planning for return to pre-accident level of function.

If needed, we will also guide you to the services of other healthcare practitioners if they would be valuable to your recovery such as massage or psychological services. We utilize evidence-based treatment to guide our treatment programs, including therapeutic exercise, manual therapy, and/orIMS (dry needling). Ultimately, we will utilize our expertise based on current treatment guidelines, and tailor it to meeting your treatment goals.

What type of benefits am I entitled to after my injury?

In Alberta following a diagnosis from a Primary Healthcare Practitioner, you will be eligible to receive approximately 10-21 treatments depending on the severity of your injury. This is known as the “in protocol” period.

During this period, you are entitled to care for a 90 day period from the date of your accident, or until you exhaust your allotted treatments. Treatments can include physiotherapy, massage therapy, acupuncture and chiropractic care.

There is also the option to access dental care and psychological services if necessary. If you are diagnosed as “out of protocol” (more serious injuries, WAD 3/WAD 4) your therapist can guide you through the process. In this instance, your car insurance company becomes the secondary payor, while your extended health care insurance company becomes the primary payor.

What if I'm still symptomatic by the time my "in protocol" treatments are over?

 If medically necessary, you are permitted to access treatment for up to two years from the date of your accident. Following your “in protocol” treatment, you will be re-assessed, and your ongoing treatment plan will be recommended by your healthcare practitioner.

There are some limits on the amount of massage, acupuncture and chiropractic care that you can access during this period.

There are no limits for physiotherapy.

Do I need to go to the clinic my insurance company recommended?

No. Alberta’s Auto Insurance Regulations state that you are free to choose your care provider. In fact, we are proud not to be the preferred provider of any insurance company, to ensure there is never any conflict of interest.

We are here for you.

How do I begin setting-up appointments to start rehabilitation?

You can easily contact us at either of our Edmonton locations (Westbrook or Summerside) and our clinic staff will work with you to find a day and time that works with your schedule.

We understand that you want to address your motor vehicle accident injury quickly, so we provide hours as early as 5:30 am and as late as 8pm, depending on the day.

Sports physiotherapy

What type of physiotherapy treatment is right for me?

Upon seeing a physiotherapist, together you will determine what is the best treatment plan for you. After an assessment, a physiotherapist will discuss treatment options based on what is appropriate for you and what the evidence suggests. A collaborative decision will be made based on your condition, goals, and concerns to ensure a comfortable experience.

How is a sports physiotherapist different than a normal physiotherapist?

A sports physiotherapist may have additional experience and training in sport specific rehabilitation. A sports physiotherapist may have increased knowledge through evidence-based research in sports injuries to provide the most effective rehab program for the individual’s sport.

A sports physiotherapists’ caseload will contain primarily athletes or individuals who regularly participate in sport whereas a normal physiotherapist will have a more variable caseload, including the general population.

How long is a typical treatment plan?

The length of a treatment plan will vary depending on the type and severity of an injury, and what your specific goals are. A typical treatment plan can vary between 6-8 treatments with a registered physiotherapist over a span of 3-6 months.

An athlete that is required to achieve high level activity, as well as, a higher severity of injury may require more time.

Can I continue my sport while I undergo treatment?

Depending on the level of sport and the severity of the injury, you may be able to continue with your sport with some modifications, if needed. Our physiotherapists want to minimize your time away from sport as much as possible and will work with you to return to sport as quickly as possible, or even continue without interruption.

Bracing services

My knee/ankle/wrist/elbow is stiff post-surgery. Do you have braces to improve range of motion?

Yes! In some cases, following a traumatic injury, the given joint is casted or immobilized for 6 weeks or longer. Coming out of a cast, the affected joint can be quite stiff. In some cases, manual therapy and exercise alone are not enough to restore joint mobility to a pre-injury level. In this case a brace is required to help restore range of motion.

We work with a local provider of the Joint Active System or JAS splint. This device is used in the comfort of your own home and can greatly improve recovery, restoring your stiff joint to at, or near its pre-injury level. This type of brace is rented to our clients on a monthly basis.

Do I need a brace?

Oftentimes, a brace is not necessarily needed and you may get better results with physiotherapy management and exercise alone. REP Physio offers free no obligation brace consults. If you’re not a brace candidate, we’ll tell you.

If we cannot get you the brace you need, we will often refer out as we only want the best possible outcomes for all our clients. No high-pressure sales here, just the best possible care to help you move, perform and live better.

What kind of braces are available at REP Physio?

REP Physio is proud to carry the full line of DonJoy braces and supports. Whether you are recovering from an acute injury, are post-surgical, have a chronic injury, or are looking for pain relief while staying active – a brace can significantly help you move and perform better. We carry both custom and non-custom braces for most types of sport injuries, musculoskeletal dysfunction, and body areas (shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand, knee, ankle, foot, etc.).

DonJoy has been making braces for decades. DonJoy has a proven track record, uses only the highest quality materials and comes with an excellent warranty. They are manufactured in the USA.

What do braces cost at REP Physio?

Many health care plans cover the costs (or a portion of) a custom or non-custom brace. Usually, they will require a letter stating what the brace materials are and what the brace will be used for (i.e. medically necessary for work or sport). REP Physio does not direct bill brace costs to extended health care providers or plans.

For those with work-related injuries, WCB will cover some costs of certain types of braces. Custom knee braces typically range from $1400-$1500.

Non-custom metal knee braces are approximately $500-$800.

Elbow and wrist braces are typically $50 or less.

Soft material knee and ankle braces range from approximately $50-$250.

Registered dietitian

Does my insurance cover dietitian services?

Many times, dietitian services are covered by personal health insurance. Please check with your extended benefits provider. Fear not, If they are not covered by your insurance provider, they are considered a tax-deductible medical expense.

What does an appointment with a dietitian look like?

Your first appointment with the dietitian will be 75 minutes long where we will review a comprehensive health history, eating habits, goals and other information that is relevant to your situation.

Your dietitian will provide a judgement free zone to discuss any and all concerns. By the end of the appointment your dietitian will help you to develop actionable steps that you can start working towards right away.

Follow up appointments can be 30 minutes or 45 minutes depending on your needs. In these appointments we will reassess where you are at in your nutrition journey, celebrate your successes and create new goals to continue to help you find what health looks like for you.

Note: If you have already consulted a physician in your primary care network or other public health resources about your nutrition related concerns, please be sure to bring any related information or other documents received from the health centre to your appointment with your dietitian. We will work to ensure your unique goals are compatible with your current healthcare plan.

Massage therapy

What is the difference between an RMT and a chiropractor?

A registered massage therapist and chiropractor are both able to treat soft-tissue dysfunction with a variety of massage techniques. While both massage therapists, chiropractors and physiotherapists can diagnose soft tissue dysfunction the tools available for the treatment of this dysfunction are more broad for physiotherapists and chiropractors.

In fact, the scope of practice of massage therapists can vary from province to province. Unlike massage therapists, chiropractors and physiotherapists can provide joint manipulations or adjustments, order imaging and practice dry needling.

I've heard about different types of massages, such as Thai massage, Swedish massage, hot stone massage, REIKI, and others. Do you offer these?

We offer the following massage therapy services:

  • Sports massage
  • Swedish massage
  • Relaxation massage
  • Myofascial release
  • Trigger point massage
  • RAPID® massage
  • Pre-and post natal massage
  • Rost therapy
  • Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM)
  • Instrument TMJ and whiplash massage
  • Instrument Lymphatic drainage

As well as many other forms of massage for pain and muscular dysfunction. Your massage therapist will discuss your injury with you and work collaboratively to determine what type of massage will be best for your needs.

How long is the average session?

Most massage therapy sessions are 60 minutes long. REP Physio also offers 30,45 and 90 minute massages.

Will massage help my back pain?

Lower back pain is one of the most common complaints we see at REP Physio in Edmonton. Many people with low back pain seek out massage therapy for symptom relief. A systematic review by Furlan et. al. looked at the effect of massage therapy for low back pain and found that people derived benefit from massage therapy for low back pain.

However, outcomes were further enhanced when massage therapy was combined with exercise and education on pain management. Fortunately, our massage therapists at REP Physio in Edmonton work in a multi-disciplinary environment that allows for multiple approaches and a depth of expertise to maximize your recovery and function.

Believe in yourself

Recovery looks good on you

On your mark. Get set. Recover.