Should I see a doctor or physio?
It depends on your injury. If a scan is required, if you require prescription medication, if you require a referral to a specialist, if you require an injection or if there are any 'red-flags' which may indicate more serious or sinister pathology which could put your health at risk, then your doctor is the most appropriate person to see. Sometimes the answer to the above questions however are not entirely clear. Physiotherapists, in particular those that specialise in muscle and joint injuries, are able to provide these answers for you following a thorough assessment. The advantage in seeing a physio as your first point of call is that they can get started on treatment to fix your problem, and prescribe you specific exercises to prevent a recurrence of your injury.
Do I need a referral?
Physiotherapists are primary healthcare practitioners, meaning they are trained to be first point of call for their area of specialty. In our case, this is muscle and joint injuries! This means you do not need to see your GP for a referral as a private patient, you can come straight to us and we can diagnose and treat your condition, or send you to your GP if we think you require a scan, certain medication or a referral to a specialist. If your condition however relates to an insurance (WorkCover or motor vehicle accident) or DVA claim, you will need a GP referral.
Do I need a scan?
Physios are very limited in their ability to refer for scans (X-Ray, MRI, CT scan, Ultrasound). If we think you require a scan, we will send you to your doctor where they will organise a referral. You will then have to call up your radiology clinic of choice to book an appointment.
What does a consult involve?
A consult will involve your physio asking you a series of questions to try and understand how and why your injury occurred. This will then be followed by an examination to identify the problem and work out why it happened by assessing the involved body area, assessing your posture, muscle flexibility, joint range of movement, muscle strength, balance and control and anything else we think might be relevant. This will also often include an assessment of the specific task you were doing when you got injured or in the lead up to your injury, for example sprinting, landing from a jump, lifting a heavy weight or throwing.
What should I bring?
Please bring the reports to any relevant scans and doctor or surgeon letters. It is also advisable to wear or bring along shorts and a singlet (loose fitting). Also bring along your running shoes if you think you might require a running or jumping assessment for a lower body complaint. If you have private health insurance, you should also bring your card in order to claim from your heath fund on the spot.
How long will my appointment take?
Initial appointments are 60 minutes and subsequent appointments are 30 minutes.