Frequently asked questions

When contacting the Altaira Allied Health and Wellness Centre, you can be rest assured that one of our friendly team members will be on hand to answer your queries. However, here are some frequently asked questions that may put your mind at ease in the meantime.
1Should I see a doctor or a physio near me?

Physiotherapists are known as first contact practitioners, which means no referral is required to see them. A physiotherapist is generally your best bet for treatment when it comes to musculoskeletal pain and/or injuries. While most GP’s will have an appreciation of musculoskeletal health and may well be able to diagnose injuries well, physiotherapists normally offer more hands on treatment options and active rehabilitation plans.

Doctors and physiotherapists may work collaboratively in some cases for the provision of adjunct treatments (e.g. injections, medications, etc.), in cases of severe injury, when medical scans may be required, and for return to work and/or return to sports services.

2Will I need to get a scan for my injury?

Medical investigation scans (e.g. X-rays, MRI scans, CT scans, etc.) are often over prescribed and unnecessary for most injuries. While they do certainly have a place, referrals for scans should only be reserved for significant injuries and/or suspected sinister pathology.

Scan findings do not necessarily equate to pain and as such, they can often be misleading and lead to poorer outcomes, especially in the case of chronic pain. Prior to requesting scans you should have a discussion with your GP and/or physiotherapist to determine whether they are necessary.

If scans are required, please ask your physiotherapist to run through the findings with you to help explain what findings are significant compared to normal age related changes.

3When can I return to sport?

Return to sport timeframes are dependent on many factors – these include the type of sport you play (and potentially your position in team sports), your own personal injury history, the grade and type of injury suffered (muscle strain, ligament sprain, contusions, etc.), and your individual level of progression throughout your rehabilitation plan.

Your physiotherapist will run through a thorough and extensive assessment process and determine an estimated return to sprot timeframe, along with sports specific rehabilitation and exercises to help you to return to an optimum level and prevent future recurrence.

4When should I return to work?

This depends on several different factors, such as the type of work, your specific work role, personal injury history, the grade and type of injury suffered (muscle strain, ligament sprain, contusions, etc.), and your level of progression throughout your rehabilitation plan.

Other factors which may influence a successful return to work include industrial factors, safety culture of an organization, and ability of your workplace to accommodate modified hours and/or duties. In general, an early return to work will be encouraged where possible as it is associated with the best long term outcomes for both employees and employers.

5What treatment can a good physiotherapist offer?

Physiotherapists can offer a wide array of different treatment options to suit the individual needs and specific injuries of clients. This includes soft and deep tissue massage, trigger point therapy, dry needling, mobilisations, manipulations, sports taping, neurodynamic techniques, active exercise plans and much more!

6What is dry needling?

Dry needling is a treatment technique which draws inspiration from Eastern medicine, more specifically, Chinese Acupuncture. It is a more focused and scientific procedure which aims to create microtrauma to injured tissues, thus increasing blood flow to the area for healing. This is a very basic explanation, and your physiotherapist can provide you with further detail as necessary.

7What do I need to bring to my appointment?

Bring yourself to your physiotherapist appointment and ensure you are wearing loose comfortable clothing, such as trackpants, shorts, t-shirt, etc. If you have any scan results or doctor’s letters, please also bring these along.

8Does my health insurance or Medicare cover any of my costs?

While Medicare can sometimes fund physiotherapy treatments under a chronic disease management plan, most of the time any rebates will be funded by private health care companies. The amount of funding provided for the cost of each consult depends upon your individual health care company, as well as your level of cover.

9What is involved in a physiotherapy consultation?

An initial consultation will provide a thorough subjective and objective assessment of the injured area to help determine the source of pain and diagnose the injury. Treatment will also be provided along with some initial education/advice and a home exercise plan.

Subsequent treatments will involve a review of your progress, ongoing treatment, advice, and education regarding return to sport or work and updates to home exercise plans.

10How much does a physiotherapy session cost?

An initial consultation runs for 45 minutes at a cost of AUD $90 including GST. Subsequent consultations run for 30 minutes at a cost of $75 including GST. Private health fund rebates may cover some or all of the costs.

Are you an Altaira staff member or aged care worker? You may be eligible for discounted rates. Ask us how!