Conditions and injuries that require physiotherapy treatment often affect joints and/or muscles (i.e., musculoskeletal system). These have profound effects on activities of daily living and overall quality of life, resulting in increased time out of work and in extreme cases dependence on caregivers. To treat these conditions (see How I Treat), I use various techniques, physical therapy modalities, and therapeutic exercise to alleviate pain and restore range motion, thereby helping affected individuals regain their independence. I treat most orthopedic conditions except for respiratory rehabilitation and pelvic floor re-education.

While many musculoskeletal disorders can be described in a common language such as low back pain, upper/mid-back pain, neck pain, poor posture, overuse injuries, sports injuries, etc., imaging results and physical therapy prescriptions from primary care physicians or specialists may contain more specific medical terminology for the diagnoses.

Here are some of the common diagnoses that you may find on physical therapy prescriptions:

  • Jaw pain (temporomandibular joint pain)
  • Headache (usual from the cervical spine)
  • Anterior rib strain/pain (Tietze’s syndrome)
  • Mid-back pain (Rhomboid pain)
  • Mid-back pain (costovertebral joint strain)
  • Lumbalgia or lumbago
  • Lumbar arthritis
  • Lumbar stenosis
  • Sacroiliac joint dysfunction
  • Herniated disc – Lumbar (posterolateral or central), cervical
  • Knee osteoarthritis
  • Patellofemoral syndrome
  • Hip osteoarthritis
  • Hip bursitis
  • Acromioclavicular osteoarthritis
  • Acromioclavicular sprain
  • Cruciate ligament strain/tear (anterior or posterior)
  • Meniscal strain/tear (medial or lateral)
  • Knee sprain
  • Ankle sprain
  • Achille’s tendonitis
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Thoracic outlet syndrome
  • Cervical radiculopathy
  • Sciatica
  • Adductor strain
  • Pes Anserine bursitis
  • Shin splints
  • Epicondylitis (medial or lateral – Golfer’s or Tennis Elbow)
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Bicipital tendonitis
  • Rotator cuff impingement syndrome
  • Cervical stenosis
  • Cervical arthritis
  • Cervical herniated disc (level indicated – C1-7)
  • Cervicogenic headaches

This list above is not exhaustive, but these are the most common. 

For the sake of billing and administration, Caisse Nationale de Santé (CNS) categorizes the physical therapy treatments as follows:

  1. Simple orthopaedic rehabilitation – this entails the rehabilitation of only one joint in the following body parts: shoulder, elbow, wrist, metacarpals or phalanges of the hand and feet, hip, knee, Sacroiliac joints, temporomandibular joints, sternocostal joints, acromioclavicular joints, sternoclavicular joints
  2. Complex orthopaedic rehabilitation – this comprises of rehabilitation of the trunk or multiple articulations as follows: respiratory rehabilitation, pelvic floor rehabilitation, rehabilitation of neurological disorder of one extremity, rehabilitation of neurological disorder of multiple limbs and/or trunk, lymph drainage therapy for one extremity, assessment/report
  3. Travel expenses – for any of the above mentioned, the prescribing physician may recommend that the patient be treated at home. In this case the travel cost is included in the prescription.

Each of these categories has a designated code which the prescribing physician is required to indicate on each prescription.

More details on physical therapy prescriptions can be found on the Practical Info page.