Frequently asked questions about physiotherapy

What is a physiotherapist?

A physiotherapist is a registered professional that uses a variety of methods to relieve pain, improve movement and speed up healing. Almost any joint, bone or muscle pain can be eased by treatment from a physiotherapist.

What treatments do physiotherapists use?

We use a wide variety of treatments to help you become more mobile, active and pain free. These can include electrical machines, massage, joint mobilisations, traction and stretches to name but a few.

Exercise also plays an important role in recovery from injury. Every physiotherapy patient at Wentworthville Physiotherapy is given a set of exercises specifically tailored to their injury and presented in a folder with pictures and instructions. The exercises are what the patient can do to help speed their own recovery and stop the pain from returning. They aim to strengthen, stretch and re-educate the muscles and joints to move in a normal way with no pain.

When should I see a physiotherapist?

You should see a physiotherapist if you have an injury and are experiencing pain or loss of movement and mobility. You can also see a physiotherapist to help prevent injury before you start a new exercise routine or work routine.

What exactly happens the on my first visit?

On your first visit the physiotherapist will take you into a private cubicle and ask you to have a seat. He will then ask you some questions about your injury or problem and how it is affecting your life.

The physiotherapist will than examine the area that is injured. He will get you to move the area to see how it is affecting your movement, feel for any muscle tears, strains or spasm, and test for any ligament or joint damage. He may also assess your strength and ability to do certain tasks (like stand on one leg or lift a weight).

You will then receive treatment to the painful area. This can include massage, joint mobilisations, electrical machines, passive stretches, traction and other treatments.

Lastly you will be given exercises to perform at home. These exercises will be printed out for you with pictures and instructions and presented to you in a folder to make life as easy as possible for you.

How many treatments will I need?

The amount of treatments you need varies from patient to patient. We usually see people between 2 and 10 times. Some people need more treatment than this and some only ever get one treatment.

You should feel less pain after the first treatment and a definite change after the first 3 treatments. If this is not occurring then you should ask your physiotherapist why.

Do I need a referral from my doctor?

Most patients do not need a referral from their doctor to come for physiotherapy although a lot of doctors regularly refer their patients for physiotherapy as they realise the many benefits it offers.

If you have had an accident at work or been in a car accident then you do need to have a GP referral for us to be able to charge the insurance company for your treatment.

Under certain conditions you can now get 5 sessions with a physiotherapist under Medicare. In this case you need to have a referral from your doctor (an EPC plan is needed – Enhanced Primary Care plan).

How much will my health fund pay?

The amount your health fund gives your for physiotherapy treatment varies from fund to fund and also varies on the level of cover you have. Physiotherapy is considered an extra or ancillary service so you need to check with your health fund to see if you are covered for physiotherapy and how much they will refund you.

At Wentworthville Physiotherapy we have HICAPS which is an electronic claim service. What this means is that if you have physiotherapy cover from your health fund you should bring in your card. When it comes time to pay we swipe your card and get your rebate directly from the health fund. You only need to pay the gap (which varies from health fund to health fund).

Wentworthville Physiotherapy is the preferred physiotherapy provider for the health funds BUPA and Medibank Private in the Burwood area. This means if you are a member of either of these health funds and have extras cover you will receive a bigger rebate from the fund if you use Wentworthville Physiotherapy.

Will Medicare pay for my treatment?

Under certain conditions you can now receive 5 physiotherapy sessions a year and Medicare will pay some of the cost.

To access the subsidised visits you will need to get and Enhance Primary Care (EPC) referral from your doctor and fulfil certain criteria to be eligible.

Is physiotherapy safe?

The risks of physiotherapy treatment are very low (especially when you compare them to the risk of a side effect from a medication). You may feel some muscle soreness for a little while after your treatment but his should be temporary.

Will I be told what is wrong with me?

The physiotherapist will discuss your injury and symptoms with your and outline your treatment for you. If you have any questions he will be happy to answer these to the best of his ability.

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