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 your movement, reduce your pain and stiffness, speed up your healing process and increase your 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?
A physiotherapist 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
- aches, sprains and injuries
- neurological conditions, like Parkinson’s disease
- 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.
Last reviewed: March 2018