Home > Patients > FAQ’s

Do I need a doctor’s referral to see a Physiotherapist?

No! Physiotherapists are first contact practitioners. This means that you do not need a referral from your GP.

Many patients are referred by local doctors, and (with your consent) it may beneficial for us to communicate with your GP – to keep them in the loop – especially for older clients and those with other health problems.

What if I have a work injury?

You MUST see a medical practitioner if you have a work injury! Even if you’re sure that it’s all going to be fine, and that you don’t need time off work! Getting Workcover approval for treatment and investigations later on can be much more complicated if you don’t report the initial injury to your doctor.

Can a Physiotherapist officially Issue a “sick certificate”?

YES! The Federal Government made this initiative in July 2006. Sick leave certificates are legal documents, which Physiotherapists may issue when, in their professional opinion, their patient is unfit for work due to an injury or physical condition for which they have consulted the physiotherapist. The APA has issued a position statement (link) regarding this issue. APA Position Statement – Physiotherapists issuing sick leave certificates (PDF File – 33KB)

Is total rest good for my back?

Generally NO!

Many years ago it was common for back pain sufferers to be advised of total bed rest, however research has demonstrated this led to significant muscle wasting, especially in critical stability muscles of the trunk. Manual workers can lose “work fitness” very quickly, increasing the risk of exacerbating the original injury, or even injuring something else. While you know best how you feel, let your Physiotherapist be the expert in deciding how much activity you need for optimal and timely recovery! We’ll work closely with your doctor and your workplace if necessary to ensure that you are back in peak condition as soon as possible!

Staying active and performing safe, targeted exercises – individualized to your condition – is usually the best prescription for a successful and maintained recovery.

How long do I have to do my exercises for?

Your Physiotherapist will advise you regarding this. In general you want to keep up with your exercises for at least 6 weeks after your symptoms have resolved. Your physio will advise you on your final visit as to how you should grade your exercises during your recovery to optimize your strength, flexibility and resilience against re-injury or aggravation of your condition.

I have a chronic, degenerative condition – can Physiotherapy still help me?

YES! We cannot undo the rigors of time – nor re-grow worn cartilage or ligaments, but most people eventually need to learn to manage some physical symptoms associated with aging. Physio can settle the pain associated with an acute “flare-up” of a chronic arthritic or degenerative condition, and help re-activate vital stability muscles which often “switch-off” at the first signs of pain. You should not expect to need physiotherapy for constant maintenance of your condition, but your physio can help you with an action plan for managing your condition when it flares, and getting you back on track.

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