Consultations conducted with any provider other than our Pain Specialists/Physiatrists are not covered by OHIP. However, most extended health plans offer a certain amount of coverage. Check with your insurance benefits plan to confirm if you are covered. Braces and certain devices may be covered, while supplements, naturopathic injections and vitamin infusions are not covered by most insurance plans.
Below is a list of the insurance providers that we cover for extended health benefits:
- Alberta Blue Cross
- Beneva Inc.
- BPA – Benefit Plan Administrators
- Canada Life
- Canadian Construction Workers Union
- Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance
- Coughlin & Associates Ltd.
- D.A. Townley
- Desjardins Insurance
- Equitable Life of Canada
- First Canadian
- GMS Carrier 49
- GMS Carrier 50
- Industrial Alliance
- Johnson Inc.
- Johnston Group Inc.
- LiUNA Local 183
- LiUNA Local 506
- Manulife Financial
- Maximum Benefit
- People Corporation
- RWAM Insurance Administrators
- Simply Benefits
- TELUS AdjudiCare
- Union Benefits
- UV Insurance
Pain is considered chronic if it lasts more than 3 or 6 months. Acute pain usually is due to a specific cause (like a broken leg or a kidney stone): when the cause is removed or healed, the pain goes away. In many cases of chronic pain, the original cause of pain may have gone, but pain continues. Treatments that help acute pain, may not work in cases of chronic pain. In our Centre we will explain to you where the pain comes from and we will offer you several treatments and methods how to control it.
Pain Specialists/Physiatry FAQs
Yes. All patients who would like a Chronic Pain Assessment must be referred by a Family Physician.
Once pain becomes chronic it is unrealistic to expect it will all go away. This can happen only in cases where the cause is clear and can be permanently removed. For example, in most cases joint replacement for severe knee or hip arthritis may successfully eradicate pain. Removing a tumor that is pressing on a nerve or stabilizing a broken bone that has not fused by using a metal plate, are other examples that can “fix” pain. In most cases, however, chronic pain sufferers should aim to obtain better pain control, so that they can function better and not set their goal on "complete pain elimination".
The worry you will harm yourself keeps many chronic pain sufferers from moving and this leads to deconditioning, stiffness, weight gain etc. In our Centre we will explain to you that “hurting” is not the same as “harming” yourself, and we will show you strategies how to control pain while you increase your physical activities.
Of course, a lot of things can be done for you. Both your pain and your depression should be treated with medications, psychological management, mindfulness, and physical activation treatments. At our Centre we address all these issues and we feel confident we can make a difference in most people’s life.
Opioid medications (such as morphine, hydromorph, oxycontin and others) are very strong pain killers and can be useful in cases of both acute and chronic pain. They can also be associated with misuse and abuse and lead to addiction in certain people. Our Centre follows the Canadian guideline for safe and effective use of opioids that was published in 2010. Our director, Dr. Mailis was one of the researchers/clinicians who created this guideline and she has also extensively researched and published on the use of opioid drugs. If we feel you could benefit from them after all other treatments have been exhausted, we will explain why we use them and educate both you and your physician on how to safely take these drugs. On the other hand, if we feel you are not a candidate for opioids, we will use other medications or treatments.
While we do not prescribe MM, if we think you are a potential candidate, we will refer you to a specific clinic with which we collaborate.
Nerve blocks is a generic term which may mean different things, such as injections into soft tissues or injections into the spine or the nerves (which include local anesthetic and often steroids). If a specialist offers you such "nerve blocks", ask exactly how these injections will be given. Soft tissue and muscle injections can be useful in cases of muscle/soft tissue pain. Injections into the spine or nerves can help in case of sciatica or other causes that irritate nerves. However, injections alone are highly unlikely to take away your pain and a combination with other treatments is strongly recommended. These injections are considered to be effective if they provide you with long lasting pain relief for several days beyond the duration of the local anesthetic as well as improvement in function. If we feel you are a candidate for such injections, we will refer you to a specialized clinic with expertise in such interventions.
Fibromyalgia (FM) is a condition that has a myriad of triggers characterized by diffuse widespread pain, fatigue, poor sleep and many other symptoms. There is no specific test that can confirm FM, and the diagnosis is based primarily on the symptoms. FM is treated with a combination of treatments (medications, exercise therapy, CBT, mindfulness based treatments, tai chi, yoga, etc).
Naturopathic Medicine FAQs
Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) are trained in the art and science of both conventional and alternative medicines. Every licensed and registered ND has at least 7 years of post-graduate education and has graduated from an accredited Naturopathic College. The primary difference between NDs and other practitioners lies in the naturopathic philosophy to ‘treat the root cause of illness’ and to focus on prevention. NDs integrate standard medical diagnostics and utilize a broad range of natural therapies such as nutritional counselling, herbal medicine, acupuncture, and vitamin infusion therapy to promote healthy and wellness. NDs see their patients as a whole person and carefully consider the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual elements when developing a comprehensive treatment plan.
No. Currently, Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) does not cover naturopathic visits. However, some extended health benefits do cover them. Contact us to find out whether your insurer covers treatment.
Yes. Many insurance plans have coverage for naturopathic medicine, but it may depend on your insurance plan. Please contact us or your insurer to learn more about whether this is the case.
Yes. A naturopathic doctor can offer direct billing to your health insurance company. Ensure you provide your doctor with your insurance information when you visit.
A naturopathic doctor’s consultation at the Pain & Wellness Centre fee depends on the length of your visit. First visits can take one hour, while subsequent visits may range from 30-60 minutes, depending on your health concerns.
Our lab testing fees vary depending on the type of screening you need. Please contact us for more information regarding this.
The number of visits you make to a naturopathic doctor depends on your health and the doctor you visit. Your naturopathic doctor will work with you to find the correct number of appointments depending on your health concerns.
Naturopathic medicine is a complementary medical practice that helps stimulate the body’s self-healing abilities, and it does not stop the patient from using prescription medications. As part of our intake process, we’ll inquire about any prescription medications you’re currently taking to ensure no negative interactions.
Spinal adjustment is a simple, soft pressure applied to the spine intended to relieve pain and improve mobility. Your chiropractor will ask you to sit or lay down on the treatment table, depending on where your pain is located. They will apply a gentle force to the joint with their hands – which will often be accompanied by a “popping” sound. The “popping” sound is believed to be the release of air pockets from the fluid inside the joint – much like cracking your knuckles.
Acupuncture is a therapeutic method that involves using special needles inserted into the patient’s skin to stimulate muscles, connective tissues, and nerves to reduce pain and produce a calming effect. Once the needles are inserted in the right points of the patient’s body, a chiropractor or acupuncturist might need to gently twist the needles to stimulate the necessary nerve endings. Heat application or stimulation of needles with electric pulses is also a standard practice during the acupuncture treatment session.
Acupuncture can potentially increase blood flow at the points where the needles are implanted, minimize inflammation and pain, and improve muscle stimulation that has been reduced by prior tissue damage. Our chiropractors at The Pain and Wellness Centre are qualified medical acupuncture practitioners and have years of experience treating various medical conditions with the help of medical acupuncture.
Exercise therapy is defined as exercise that is prescribed by your health care provider to improve pain or movement related problems. After your initial Chiropractic assessment and diagnosis, you may be recommended specific exercises or stretches to help strengthen your muscles and improve function. Recommended exercises might range from gentle stretches to improve flexibility, strengthening exercises or full workouts in the gym supervised by your chiropractor.
At the Pain and Wellness Centre, exercise is a key ingredient in an effective treatment plan. Our goals with exercise therapy are to reduce pain, improve muscular endurance, mobility, and ultimately improve the quality of your life.
Additionally, all Chiropractors at our centre are strength and conditioning experts who provide customized exercise prescriptions depending on the patient’s problem in a goal-based approach. Although hands-on manual therapy techniques can help relieve pain, it is the exercises that have been provided that allow a patient to make fundamental changes in their pain, mobility and endurance in the long term.
Chiropractors must complete a University degree before applying to Chiropractic college. Once accepted, they undergo a 4-year degree which consists of 5,000 hours of various courses similar to a medical education. There is a strong focus on anatomy, physiology, orthopaedics, radiology, diagnosis of neurological and musculoskeletal conditions, and manual therapy skill training. In the last year of Chiropractic college, the chiropractic student treats patients under experienced Chiropractors developing real-world experience. After graduating with a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.), a chiropractor must pass a series of board and licensing examinations to be eligible to practice in Ontario.
During the initial Chiropractic visit, patients should expect a comprehensive assessment to help determine the cause of the problem and how to treat it. The appointment is broken down into 4 parts:
1. Detailed history - Patients are asked relevant questions relating to the details of their current complaint, what tests or treatments have they received and whether the treatments worked for them, general health history, and information regarding sleep, mood, home and work environment, occupation, among many other things. The goal is to obtain a global understanding of the patient’s problems.
2. Physical examination - With the information obtained from the history, the practitioner will examine the patient’s posture, gait, range of movements, will perform special tests relating to the areas of complaints, assess areas of tenderness to palpation, and also conduct a thorough neurological examination.
3. Report of findings - With the information obtained from the history and physical examination, your Chiropractor will discuss what they found during the exam and a diagnosis will be communicated and thoroughly explained. At times a patient may be referred for further testing if more information is required to make that diagnosis.
4. Plan of Management - After the diagnosis is made, the Chiropractor will recommend various treatments and propose a duration of treatment to effectively deal with the problem. The risk of those treatments will be discussed and if the patient consents to the plan, a written consent is signed and the treatment journey begins.
Most insurance health policies will cover a portion of your chiropractic treatment. Consult with your insurance benefits provider to determine which amount of the treatment fees can be covered. If you get involved in an accident, vehicle insurance may suggest medical care such as massage therapy and chiropractic treatment.
This depends on the nature of your pain. For new and mild concerns, it is not uncommon for our chiropractors to help their patients reach maximal therapeutic recovery within 1-2 treatments. For long-standing pains that are more chronic in nature, it may be difficult to achieve meaningful levels of pain relief following a single visit. There are many factors that determine a patient's response to pain, and how long their experience will last.
On your first visit, your chiropractor will discuss with you the origin of your pain, help you understand aggravating factors to avoid, and develop a treatment plan that will outline the necessary steps to improving your pain.
Sometimes a pain problem may require further testing and a referral to other health professionals to better address the problem. Our Chiropractors at the Pain and Wellness Centre want the best for our patients and will do whatever we can to help you improve. If we do not have the answers, we will send you to someone who does!
Yes. Our Chiropractors are experienced rehab specialists and strength coaches who often work with their patients long after their pain has been alleviated, in order to help build more strength and endurance to further reduce the chance of future pain episodes.
Additionally, it is common for patients to seek out help from our chiropractors for guidance on a return to activities, such as running, or to help get them off the ground with some general exercise programming and coaching.
Many patients find benefit with periodic visits to their Chiropractor. This is referred to as maintenance care. Our chiropractors work to decrease these pain problems from coming back by implementing the right exercises and proactively addressing lifestyle changes to make sure the pain does not return. While it may not be necessary for many individuals, you can always chat with your health professional to find out whether it may be beneficial for you. In some cases, patients also prefer to go for regular massages treatments to keep their pain at bay.
Our chiropractors are experienced in the use of various manual therapy techniques which can ALL create a mild level of soreness especially if you have never experienced one of these treatments before, similar to when a person experiences soreness after exercising for the first time in a while.
If you do experience mild soreness following your treatment, it will likely be short-lived and you should not be overly concerned by this. During your next appointment, make sure to discuss this with your Chiropractor. Soreness is more common following the first few treatments and typically lessens after each follow-up treatment.
All manual therapy treatments carry some minor risks. After a thorough assessment by one of our Chiropractors, treatments will be specifically chosen based on the patient’s needs and will only be recommended if the benefits of the treatment approach greatly outweigh the risk.
Our chiropractors commonly use various soft tissue therapies, medical acupuncture, spinal or joint mobilization/manipulation, and exercise as a part of your visit. All therapies are safe when they are applied appropriately. Apart from a mild risk of post-treatment soreness, there are no major risks associated with these treatment approaches when they are correctly utilized. Get in touch with our clinic to see what treatment methods might make sense for you.
Massage Therapy FAQs
When you come in you will fill out a health history form in the waiting area. Then, your therapist will review your health history and bring you into the treatment room. They will ask you questions about what brings you in for your visit. After discussing your session goals with you, the therapist will leave the room to allow you to get on the table in an agreed upon position. Disrobing is not necessary but will allow your therapist to perform techniques with lotion, which can be more comfortable.
Massage may leave you feeling a little sore the next day, but it shouldn’t be too painful or uncomfortable during your session. You can discuss an appropriate level of discomfort with your therapist. Please speak up if something is uncomfortable or doesn’t feel right. “No pain, no gain” doesn’t always apply. You might be able to handle more pressure one day, but less another day. It’s important to have open communication about tolerable pressure levels.
Chronic pain is a complex condition that requires a multidisciplinary approach. Massage can be a helpful adjunct but it doesn’t replace other therapies that may be needed. At the Pain and Wellness Centre, we offer chronic pain assessments with a physiatrist, chiropractor, naturopath, psychology, and mindfulness services. A thorough chronic pain assessment will help us find the right approach for you.