Treatments & Procedures

How physiotherapy works

Physiotherapist Phil Calvert, Regional Manager, Physiotherapy, from the Women’s and Children’s Health Network in South Australia explains.

Health Agenda magazine
October 2016

Physiotherapists are trained in exercise therapy that can help alleviate pain and improve movement and muscle condition. It can help repair damage, reduce stiffness and pain, increase mobility and improve quality of life for people with a range of conditions including arthritis, sports injuries, chronic back or knee pain and more.

What is it?

Physiotherapy’s applications range from health promotion to injury prevention, acute care, rehabilitation, maintenance of functional mobility, managing chronic disease and occupational health. Physiotherapists are also involved in the post-operative care following some types of surgery.

Do I need a referral?

In a private practice setting you don’t need a referral to see a physiotherapist but in some public hospitals, and in community health care, you might.

What will happen?

A session with a physiotherapist is unique to your needs and health condition. However, a typical session, that usually lasts 30 minutes, may involve assessing and diagnosing your condition and needs, before working with you to set and achieve goals – whether maintaining mobility or running a marathon.

The physio develops a treatment plan that takes into account lifestyle, activities and general health, and then prescribes exercise regimes and physical aids if required.

The method

Treatment techniques may vary from hands-on approaches to the use of specific supports including splints or mobility aids, and the provision of specifically tailored exercise programs and advice. Importantly, while physiotherapists treat pain and injury, physiotherapy also plays a strong role in long-term preventive health.

How can I find a physiotherapist?

You can find one through the Australian Physiotherapy Association

To find a physiotherapist who participates in the HCF 100% back More For Muscles program, log in to member services and go to Find a health professional.


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