For the Public

Are there any complaints that the College of Physiotherapists of Manitoba (CPM) will NOT investigate?

CPM will NOT investigate complaints such as:

  • Concerns unrelated to physiotherapy practice
  • Anonymous complaints
Can I refuse an exam or treatment?

Yes. At any point during your first visit or later appointments, you may refuse an exam or treatment. Tell your physiotherapist if you do not understand the treatment program, or feel pain or discomfort.

Does it cost money to file a complaint?

There is no fee to file a complaint and the College of Physiotherapists of Manitoba (CPM) does not charge a fee to investigate a complaint. If you decide to hire a lawyer to pursue legal action against a member, you will be responsible for legal costs.

How can I acquire treatment?

To see a physiotherapist in private practice, you can call the physiotherapy clinic directly to arrange an appointment. To see a physiotherapists in a hospital, you may require a referral from your physician.

How does physiotherapy fit into health care?

Physiotherapists work in a range of settings such as clinics and hospitals, and with other health care providers.

How long will it take for my complaint to be resolved?

The College of Physiotherapists of Manitoba (CPM) resolves complaints as quickly as possible. There is a wide range of possible actions resulting from a complaint, so we have no defined complaint resolution period.

Is my complaint confidential?

The College of Physiotherapists of Manitoba (CPM) will treat your complaint confidentially. We will disclose your complaint only to persons who need to know in order to carry out an investigation.

Is there a difference between a physiotherapist and physical therapist?

No. A physiotherapist is sometimes called a physical therapist. Both terms mean the same thing.

What do I do if I am unsatisfied with my physiotherapist?

Successful physiotherapy is based on good communication between you and your physiotherapist. If you are unsatisfied with your treatment, tell your physiotherapist. If you remain unsatisfied after discussing your concerns, you may speak to the clinic owner or department supervisor or see Complaints to direct your complaint to the Registrar at the College of Physiotherapists of Manitoba (CPM).

What do I do if I believe someone is practising physiotherapy without being a member of the College of Physiotherapists of Manitoba (CPM)?

Search the Directory page on our website. If the physiotherapist is NOT listed in our directory, Contact Us to confirm the physiotherapist’s status.

What do physiotherapy programs include?

Your physiotherapy program may include:

  • Information and education
  • Physical exercise
  • Loosening up and stretching of the muscles and joints
  • Strengthening of muscles
  • The use of acupuncture, ultrasound, lasers or other equipment
  • Application of heat or cold
What does the physical exam include?

Your physiotherapist may touch the problem area to check for tenderness, swelling or heat, and test the problem area to see if weakness exists, if movement is limited, and how much pain there is. You may be required to change your clothing in order to reveal the problem area.

What happens after the exam?

Your physiotherapist will define your condition and explain how physiotherapy can help. You should ask questions if the information is unclear. If you agree to the proposed treatment, your physiotherapist will set up a program for you.

What is a physiotherapist qualified to do?

Physiotherapists are qualified to:

  • Assesses your condition
  • Tell you how physiotherapy can help you
  • Recommend a specific physiotherapy program to help improve your condition
  • Help you carry out the program
What is physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy is the treatment and prevention of physical injuries and movement problems. Physiotherapists use education and preventative measures such as exercises to help patients gain the highest possible level of independent function.

What questions should I ask?

Be sure you understand the answers to the following questions:

  • What is my injury or condition?
  • What treatment will my physiotherapist provide and how will it improve my condition?
  • When will I see results? If you don’t see results after a few treatments, why?
  • Should I perform any exercises at home?
What questions will my physiotherapist ask?

Your physiotherapist will ask you questions such as the following to better understand your condition:

  • What is the nature of your pain, such as location and the intensity you currently experience or have felt in the past?
  • What is your personal and family health history?
  • What, if any, medications are you taking?
  • Have you had any physiotherapy treatments recently or in the past?
  • What are the physical requirements of your job?
  • Do you participate in any personal activities that may affect your condition or treatment?
What requirements must a physiotherapist meet to become a member of the College of Physiotherapists of Manitoba (CPM)?

Review the Registration page on our website.

What should I expect on my first visit?

Your physiotherapist will:

  • Ask you questions about your condition and health history
  • Conduct a physical exam to assess your injury or condition (The exam can sometimes temporarily increase your pain)
  • Review the exam findings and discuss the recommended treatment goals and program
  • Ask you to agree or disagree to the proposed treatment
What training does a physiotherapist have?

Physiotherapists must complete a university program and meet strict standards before practising. A physiotherapist must be registered by the College of Physiotherapists of Manitoba (CPM).

When should I see a physiotherapist?

A physiotherapist helps with the treatment of these common problems and more:

  • Injuries such as strains and sprains, which require immediate care for swelling, tenderness and pain
  • Rehabilitation of muscles after fractures or other injuries
  • Neurological problems such as a stroke, Parkinson’s or head injuries
  • Cardio-respiratory illnesses such as emphysema, cystic fibrosis or heart attack
  • Jaw problems
  • Injury prevention
Where can I find information on the College of Physiotherapists of Manitoba (CPM) Code of Ethics?

Read the Code of Ethics on our website.

Who do physiotherapists treat?

Physiotherapists treat patients of all ages, including babies and seniors.

Who regulates physiotherapists?

All physiotherapists who practice in Manitoba must be registered with the College of Physiotherapists of Manitoba (CPM). The practice of physiotherapy is governed by The Physiotherapists Act, which sets standards of practice.

This publication is available in alternate formats on request.