What is Physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy is a hands-on therapeutic technique where specific tissue manipulation is applied to injuries or chronic conditions. Often Physio will include several different types of treatment based on the assessment of the practitioners. They can range from; 

  • Exercise programs to improve mobility and strengthen muscles
  • Joint manipulation and mobilisation to reduce pain and stiffness
  • Muscle re-education to improve control
  • Airway clearance techniques and breathing exercises

Often a physio will work side-by-side with the veteran’s GP or Nurse practitioner, Exercise Physiologist, Dietitian, Psychologist, Occupational Therapist or other allied health providers so that they can have a full picture of the veteran’s injuries and ongoing chronic health complaints. 

If applicable and available a physio may recommend or use; 

  • soft tissue mobilisation (massage)
  • acupuncture and dry needling
  • Hydrotherapy

They can also provide advice on the use of aids such as – splints, crutches, canes or walking sticks, or even wheelchairs. 

When should a Veteran see a physio?

It’s often pain or discomfort that drives veterans to seek out treatment and a physio is generally the first port of call. There will sometimes be an acute injury that triggers the need for an initial physio appointment and then often as part of their care, the physio may discover that there is a need for ongoing treatment. Because physios work on a variety of health conditions and with other practitioners, they make great hubs for veterans to use as a referral pathway.

A veteran might be suffering from the following;

Or they may have a combination of issues that are causing combined chronic health conditions. Physio will be able to support the treatment of these conditions and work in conjunction with other healthcare providers. It is always important to consider how all these services work together to improve these health conditions rather than just one service in isolation. Veterans need a holistic approach to healthcare with a combination of healthcare professionals assisting in the management of conditions to optimise health improvements for the veteran. 

What does a Physio ‘do’ in an appointment?

Like most allied health professionals a physio will help a veteran complete an intake form to help understand their conditions and complaints. From there the Physio will determine a treatment program that will usually span across several sessions for acute conditions, and may be recommended in a more ongoing fashion for chronic complaints. 

During the course of the session, the Physio will often recommend rehabilitation exercises as ‘homework’. Normally the physio will also communicate with other health providers, like an EP, to help ensure that a treatment plan is agreed upon and enacted to the overall benefit of the veteran. 

Who can access Physio?

Veterans who hold Gold and White cards can be eligible to access physiotherapy where it is deemed clinically necessary upon a referral from their general practitioner.

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