If you haven’t used an allied health service, such as physiotherapy, it can be hard to know how it might be beneficial, especially when many of us associate it with recovery from short-term illness or injury.
In fact, physiotherapy is used to treat a wide range of chronic health conditions where there are problems with movement, pain or stiffness, and many of these conditions may be lifelong.
Physiotherapists, or Physios, help all kinds of people, including those living with disability and chronic disease, get the most out of life.
What exactly is physiotherapy?
Physiotherapy uses physical techniques – often hands-on treatment methods – to improve movement and mobility, reduce pain and stiffness, and increase quality of life.
It’s more than just musculoskeletal support, and can be used to help people manage many different types of disability or chronic disease, as well as mental illness and neurological conditions.
Physios give lifestyle advice, prescribe exercises, aids and assistive technology, and provide health education, occupational health assessments and injury prevention activities.*
*Allied Health Professions Australia
What sorts of methods and supports does physiotherapy treatment involve?
A treatment plan will take into account your lifestyle, activities and general health. However, common physiotherapy treatment methods used by Physios include*:
- 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
- Soft tissue mobilisation (massage)
- Acupuncture and dry needling
- Assistance with use of aids, splints, crutches, walking sticks and wheelchairs to help you move around
*Health Direct Australia
How can a Physio help someone on the NDIS?
Physiotherapy is ideal for helping people with disability participate in activities they’re interested in by helping them to overcome their mobility challenges.
Whether you have a physical condition like cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, or spinal cord injury, or you have an intellectual or psychosocial disability, or autism spectrum disorder, a Physio can work with you and your carers to improve your movement and ability to participate.
A Physio can help you access sport or recreation opportunities in your local community, such as school phys ed lessons, team sport, community classes, or gym programs, increasing both your physical health and wellbeing and your social participation.
At Ability Action Australia, our NDIS Physiotherapists can tailor an exercise plan to help improve someone’s mobility, muscle strength, skill level, flexibility, and fitness, so they can achieve their NDIS goals.
What to expect at your first appointment
Our Senior Physiotherapist, Margaret Huang, says we take the participant through a thorough step-by-step process when they meet us for the first time, to gain all of the required information and develop a detailed, empowering treatment plan. The process is as follows:
- Participant guide: We take you through the guide, which summarises who we are, what we do, and how we can help you. We gain your informed consent to go ahead.
- Initial subjective assessment: A detailed conversation to determine your concerns or aspirations, establish a detailed medical history, gain insight into your living arrangements and hobbies, and come up with goals together.
- Initial objective assessment: We assess your movement and function, including your range of motion, strength, transfers, and ability to mobilise independently.
- Plan: We develop a treatment plan with recommendations for different options that are best suited to you. This will cover the interventions we think you would benefit from, and why. We ensure you’re happy with the plan and feel empowered to get the best outcomes from your treatment.
Talk to Ability Action Australia
All our physiotherapists are registered NDIS providers with experience providing services and support to people living with disability.
If you have funds in your NDIS plan allocated to Capacity Building or Core Support, you can likely access Physiotherapy services.