What is Physiotherapy?
Physiotherapy uses proven techniques to help restore movement and function to anyone affected by an injury, disability or health condition. It’s a therapy that can help you achieve movement for life.
A physiotherapist will use their in-depth knowledge of how the body works, combined with hands-on clinical skills, to assess, diagnose and treat your symptoms. They can even help you prevent many injuries and health conditions. Physios work in lots of different settings including hospitals, medical centres, marae, schools, work places, communities and private clinics.
While well known for treating injuries, physios also have the skills to treat and prevent a range of health problems involving; joints, bones, soft tissue, heart, chest and lungs, brain and nervous system.
What should I wear to my appointment?
Wear something comfortable and that makes it easy for the physiotherapist to see the area you are being treated for. But do not worry if you haven’t got anything suitable, we have shorts and tops or gowns available. If you are not comfortable exposing the injured area, please let the physiotherapist know and they will work around this. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable.
Do I have to see the doctor first?
No you do not have to see the doctor first. In New Zealand physiotherapists are primary care clinicians, therefore you can come straight to us without a referral. We can register injuries with ACC, and we are trained to diagnose a huge variety of conditions. We cannot however prescribe any medications. We are able to refer to x-rays and diagnostic Ultrasounds.
Do physiotherapists treat backs?
Probably around 50% of our work is spinal injuries (backs and necks), we use a variety of treatments to treat them, including joint mobilisation and/or manipulation, soft tissue massage, taping, acupuncture, but most importantly we give you the tools to manage your own back pain, through education and exercises. In our clinic we aim to empower our clients to manage their own injuries where possible and to understand what can cause spinal pain.
What is the Pinc and Steel Cancer Rehabilitation Programme?
Pinc and Steel is a trust that was set up to provide training and funding for individualised cancer rehabilitation programmes. People who have had a diagnosis of cancer at any stage after their diagnoses can come and see a trained physiotherapist to design a programme to help them with rehabilitation following treatment for cancer, be that surgery, chemotherapy, or radiotherapy etc.
Each person’s journey is different, so an individual programme is important to meet the different needs of each person. Treatment could consist of education on fatigue and pain management, lymphodema management, specific exercises to safely improve function, soft tissue treatment for scarring or adhesions etc.
How many times will I have to come to physiotherapy?
This depends on the type of condition you are seeing the physiotherapist for. Sometimes you might only need to come once, some things such as post-surgical rehabilitation for something like an ACL you might be coming for 9 months to a year. Your physiotherapist should be able to give you an indication of how many treatments you are likely to need after the first 1 or 2 appointments.
Why do I have to pay if it's covered by ACC?
ACC only covers a portion of the costs of treatment, they give physiotherapists the discretion to charge a surcharge to make up the true cost of treatment. At our clinic we strive to keep the costs affordable, but still allow us to provide a high level of treatment. We therefore do not charge a surcharge for children and full-time students and we offer a gold card rate for over 65’s.
What is ACC and how do I qualify for cover?
ACC stands for the Accident Compensation Corporation and was started to provide no fault cover for injury in the case of an accident. This was to ensure everyone had access to compensation, medical costs and rehabilitation following an accident without having to try and sue someone. It only covers accidents, not pre-existing conditions, or general wear and tear or illness. An accident is a specific incident, event, or series of events, which causes an injury to a person. If you are unsure, you can discuss this with your physiotherapist, who can then register it with ACC if it fits the criteria.
Can I still be treated if it is not covered by ACC?
We can still treat you if it is not covered by ACC, but you will be charged the full cost of treatment under our private rates. These vary depending on the length of appointment needed. If you put in a claim for ACC which is declined you will then be invoiced for the full cost of treatment.