Motor Vehicle Accident Physiotherapy

Let us be your preferred motor vehicle accident physiotherapy provider

Being involved in a motor vehicle accident is overwhelming. Dealing with insurance companies, car rentals, and the injuries you sustained in the accident can be frustrating and stressful.

At Coeur we are here to help you get back to doing the things you love.  Our physiotherapists have years of experience assisting and treating clients with motor vehicle accident physiotherapy and working with their insurance companies.

Common symptoms after a car accident:

  • Neck pain (also known as whiplash)
  • Low or mid-back pain
  • Pain in the shoulder blades
  • Jaw pain (TMJ/TMD) or face pain
  • Stiffness
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty sleeping, restlessness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Dizziness or nausea
  • Tingling, pins and needles, or numbness in your arms or legs

While all of these symptoms can be concerning, rest assured that they can all be addressed with a comprehensive physical therapy program.

Your assessment

At Coeur Physiotherapy, our physiotherapists take the time to perform a thorough initial assessment: we will take a detailed history, and will perform various musculoskeletal, biomechanical, and neurological examinations based on the injuries you sustained and the symptoms you are experiencing. Following your assessment, your physiotherapist will take the time to discuss your diagnosis and to develop a plan of care customized specifically for you.

Your treatment:

Our primary objective is to get you feeling better as quickly as possible.  Your therapist will explain what to expect as you are recovering and discuss strategies to make your day-to-day life easier.  Your treatment may include exercises to regain mobility and strengthen muscles; manual therapy techniques to correct muscle and joint dysfunction; postural changes and ergonomic improvements; and can include additional techniques such as acupuncture or intramuscular stimulation based on your individual needs.

How to get started:

Getting treatment soon after your accident increases the likelihood that you will return to your pre-accident level of function.  Please contact us as soon as possible after your accident to arrange for an assessment.  If your accident was less than 10 days ago, no doctor’s referral is needed and you can access physiotherapy immediately.  If it has been longer than 10 days since your accident you are still eligible for treatment – please contact us and we can assist you with booking.

We recognize that the first few days after an accident can be overwhelming and stressful, but we are here to help you get the information and care you need during the early stages of your recovery.


When you book your appointment we will ask you for:

  • The date of the accident
  • Your policy or claim number
  • Your claim adjuster’s name and contact information (if known)

When you attend your appointment please additionally bring:

  • Your Alberta Health Number and photo ID
  • Any police reports, doctor’s notes, or other documentation

The AB-1 (Notice of Loss and Proof of Claim Form) is a form that you complete to provide your insurance company with the details of your motor vehicle accident. We can provide you with this form and assist you in completing it. After your initial assessment, your physiotherapist will complete the AB-2 form to provide a diagnosis and treatment plan to your insurer. We will then send these forms off to your insurance company for you so that we can get your care underway as quickly as possible.

Your insurance company may have agreements with some physiotherapy providers to attempt to facilitate easy access to care.  However, a physiotherapy clinic with considerable experience working with motor vehicle accident injuries can provide the same ease of access. 

It is important to note that your insurance company can not deny you treatment if you choose to attend a clinic this is not on their list, as long as treatment is deemed beneficial and necessary. 

Yes!  We hear this very often.  The reality is that it can sometimes take a day or two for the body’s initial inflammatory reaction to occur.  Is not unusual to see symptoms begin several days after the accident or worsen a few days after they begin.  It is important to know that this is not a sign that more tissue damage has occurred or that you are ‘getting worse’, but is a normal part of the body’s healing process in response to a sudden injury.

Whiplash is the most common injury associated with a motor vehicle accident. Whiplash can also occur outside of a motor vehicle accident. Athletes who play contact sports or someone who experiences a big fall may also sustain a whiplash injury.

Whiplash Associated Disorder (WAD) is a categorization of the spinal signs/symptoms that may be present following a motor vehicle accident. Your physiotherapist will let you know what category your symptoms are associated with, as your insurance company uses this information to help determine the amount of care you need.

You may also be experiencing other symptoms after your motor vehicle accident, such as fatigue, sleep disturbances, headaches, shoulder blade pain, vision changes, dizziness, and/or jaw pain. These symptoms may change considerably over the first few days and weeks after your accident. It is important to keep your physiotherapist and doctor updated on any changes in your symptoms.

We are lucky in Alberta to have some of the best accident coverage in Canada.  The principle behind the Injury Benefits section of the  Alberta Motor Vehicle Act is to provide early and easy access to treatment if you have been injured in a car accident.

The Diagnostic and Treatment Protocols

If you sustained a sprain, strain or a WAD I or II injury in your accident, you are eligible for a maximum of 10-21 pre-authorized physiotherapy treatment sessions, depending on the type of injury.  These pre-authorized treatments must be completed within 90 days of your accident.

  • If the number of treatments outlined above has been insufficient to address your injuries, you need treatment beyond 90 days after the accident, or if you are diagnosed as a WAD III or WAD IV injury, you can still access benefits covered ‘outside of protocols’ under your automobile policy.
  • Practically, this means that:
    • Your motor vehicle insurance can continue to cover you, however treatment must be pre-approved by your adjuster.
    • Your assessment and treatments must be billed to your extended healthcare benefits provider (e.g. Blue Cross, Sunlife) as the first payer, if benefits are available.

We are here to help and are happy to answer any questions you have about your injuries, about treatment or access to care, or about the insurance process.