Frequently Asked Questions
DO I NEED A REFERRAL?
In Australia, you do not require a medical referral to obtain treatment from a properly qualified and registered physiotherapist. Good physiotherapists that keep up to date with their knowledge, education and skills tend to be members of the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA), and it is necessary to be a registered physiotherapist in order to be a member of the APA.
Regardless of who or which health professional you choose, they should keep in contact with your general medical practitioner (GP) or doctor so that everyone involved in your healthcare can stay informed and updated about your health status.
CAN I CLAIM THROUGH MY PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE?
If you have chosen Extras cover for physiotherapy with your private health insurance, you can claim some of your physiotherapy costs on the spot. Please ensure you bring your health fund card with you.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PHYSIOTHERAPY, MASSAGE THERAPY, CHIROPRACTICE AND OSTEOPATHY?
Physiotherapists look at the whole spine/muscle/bone/joint system and are trained to treat joint injuries, nerve and bone problems IN ADDITION to muscle strains and pains, and can design exercise programmes and work/sport advice to get the body better fast.
Fit and Well Physiotherapists have done additional study and experience to identify the cause of the problem and prevent future problems occurring as well as relieving pain and stiffness quickly, using hands-on treatment, exercise and machines where appropriate. Their understanding of the body and the way it moves enables them to provide you with the advice and exercise tailored for your particular problem and can provide excellent programmes to help people recover quickly from surgery or work or sports-related injury.
Massage therapists use their hands to work on muscles and soft tissue to relax the body and increase blood flow to assist in healing. The massage therapists at Fit and Well are experienced and well-qualified in both remedial and relaxation massage and are passionate about getting people well and keeping them fit and well.
Chiropractors are trained particularly to focus on the spine. Most chiropractors have received most of their training on treating joints, although more recent graduates are also trained to treat soft tissues and can provide general exercise programmes. Although there course is taught over 5 years, at least one entire year worth of curriculum is spent on learning marketing. Chiropractors are generally not considered to be part of the mainstream health system.
Osteopaths are trained to treat the soft tissues and joints, especially where internal problems might be a result of referred pain from the spine or limbs. They are good at treating soft tissue problems and can provide general exercise programmes.
WHAT CAN I DO FOR MYSELF BEFORE I SEE A PHYSIOTHERAPIST?
If you have an acute injury, write down the important information associated with the injury, and any questions you have.
HOW CAN PHYSIOTHERAPY HELP MY INJURY?
A good physiotherapist can properly diagnose which structures are damaged and the degrees to which they are damaged (Link to Injury treatment) and then choose the correct treatment techniques to hasten your body’s ability to heal, so you can return to sport or activity as quickly as possible. No only that, but appropriate treatment will also reduce the likelihood of recurrence by addressing factors which may have contributed to the development of your condition. Physiotherapists are experts in advising patients on which activities are appropriate for their injury to maximize recovery and ensure an optimal outcome.