A physiotherapist can treat you if you have a problem with pain or movement. Physiotherapy could help you become more mobile and make you more comfortable.
What is physiotherapy?
Physiotherapy uses physical techniques to improve movement, reduce pain and stiffness, speed up the healing process and increase quality of life.
All physiotherapists must be registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Registration Agency (AHPRA). They must be qualified, have insurance and be continuing their education.
You can check if your physiotherapist is registered or make a complaint about a physiotherapist on the AHPRA website.
What does a physiotherapist do?
Physiotherapists diagnose and manage a broad range of conditions with the bones, muscles, cardiovascular system, nerves and other parts and systems of the body. They can help people to manage chronic diseases, give lifestyle advice, prescribe exercises and aids to help people manage better, and give advice.
When you go to see a physiotherapist, they might:
- massage areas of your body
- manipulate your joints
- stretch your muscles
- give you exercises to do
A physiotherapist will assess your condition and help you with physical problems. These might have come about because of an accident or injury, or you might have had them most of your life.
Some physiotherapists treat children who have problems with their movement. They also show parents how to improve their child’s quality of life.
How can physiotherapy help me?
A physiotherapist can help treat many things, including:
- back and knee pain
- sports injuries
- aches, sprains and injuries
- neurological conditions, like Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis
- chronic diseases like diabetes, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and obesity
- managing after a stroke
- recovery from broken bones
- rehabilitation after surgery
- developmental delays in children
- occupational health
They can also help you reduce the chance of future injuries.
Am I eligible for physiotherapy?
Yes, you can see a physiotherapist at any time.
You don’t have to see your doctor before you see a physiotherapist. However, it is good to see your doctor to talk about options and to get a referral.
Tell your physiotherapist about any major health problems, past injuries, and how much exercise you do.
To find one, ask a friend. Ask your doctor. Or search for physiotherapists online through the healthdirect service finder.
Cost of physiotherapy
Costs vary — check before you go.
Medicare covers some visits, but only if your doctor has referred you.
If you have private health insurance, it might cover physiotherapy. Check what your plan covers before you go.
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Last reviewed: May 2020