World Physiotherapy Day

Today marks World Physiotherapy Day – a celebration of the significant contribution that physiotherapists make to their communities.

Toby Conroy - PhysiotherapistMy passion for sport and skill development was what inspired me to become a physiotherapist. I originally trained as a school teacher and worked for several years teaching phys ed at both the primary and secondary level. While I loved teaching, I was intrigued by the rehabilitative focus of physiotherapy to support people get back to performing at their full potential to achieve their goals. From the time I first saw a physiotherapist for my sporting injuries I thought it would be a great career to develop my interest in sports, injuries, the human body and performance.

Joining the team at Momentum has been an incredible privilege. I get to work with many incredible people required to use a prosthesis to help them gain more functional mobility and independence. I also support many other patients to overcome an injury to get them back on the sporting field or achieve their exercise goals.

I regularly get asked about the work that I do and what makes me different from other exercise and health practitioners. Below are some questions to help you better understand my role and how I can help you:

How can we help?

Physiotherapists are trained to diagnose musculoskeletal injuries, that is injuries involving, bones, ligaments, muscles, joints and tendons.

An accurate diagnosis is important as it allows for a treatment plan to be developed and an accurate prognosis. The therapist will be able to inform you about what activities will be beneficial and what activities to avoid in order to maximise your healing. There are also treatment techniques that physios can use to reduce pain, improve movement and strength.

Why do I get exercises from the physio?

We are regularly undertaking research to further improve performance post injury, get athletes back to sport quicker and also to prevent re-injury. Current research supports the importance of exercises for several reasons:

  1. Better quality movement- movement flaws or deficiencies can result in injury or happen as a result of injury. By developing efficient, safe and good quality movements individuals are at a reduced risk of injuries both initially and to prevent secondary injuries.
  2. Early movement- early movement and mobilisation has been shown to improve outcomes following injury. It is important to make sure these are the correct movements for any particular injury. Doing your physio exercises will help strengthen, support or get your injury moving and improving.
  3. Strength and stability- improving strength and stability in the structures around an injury will help improve the injury in the long term and minimise the risk of re-injury when normal activities are resumed.

What treatments will I get?

Treatment can vary from therapist to therapist. The most common treatment techniques are:

  1. Massage- involves stimulating the muscles or joint to reduce pain and improve movement
  2. Mobilisations- involves moving the joint in an attempt to improve or increase movement and reduce pain
  3. Dry needling- involves using acupuncture needles to reduced pain and tightness and improve movement
  4. Stretching- aims to improve range of motion and lengthen tight muscles
  5. Taping/ bracing- to stabilise or protect joints and give them support as they heal.
  6. Education- to give clients better understanding of their injury and how best to manage the injury.

I utilise all the techniques at different stages depending on the injury, personality, history and health of my patients. Each session aims to be suited for the individual to achieve their own individual goals.

How do I see a physio?

Physiotherapists are first contact practitioners which means you can book straight away. There is no need to have a referral from a doctor or specialist. If you have private health insurance, you may be able to get a rebate for your session which will make the season cheaper and more affordable. To see a physio at Momentum Sports and Rehabilitation please call 6210 0060.

Can physios refer?

Physiotherapists have some limited referral rights. They can refer for imaging including x-rays, ultrasound and MRI. However, there is no rebates for most of these so you are likely to have greater out of pocket expenses with these compared to a referral from a doctor. Physiotherapists cannot refer to surgeons or specialists as a GP referral is required. At Momentum Sports and rehabilitation, we will provide a letter to support the referral and provide the specialist with information from a physio perspective that may be important for the specialist to know or be aware of.

When should I see a physio?

It is appropriate to see a physio any time you have concerns about your body. This may be a result of an acute injury, chronic aches or pains or something new that has started and you’re unsure why. Sometime you may just wish to see a physio for some maintenance and to keep your body operating smoothly and efficiently. If you have any issues or concerns relating to your body contact your physio and get is appropriately assessed and treated. Often, we look after our cars by keeping them serviced and repairing and faults, we should be doing the same with our bodies to ensure we can stay mobile and active for as long as possible.