1) I need a doctors referral to see a physiotherapist.
You can absolutely come straight to physiotherapy after an injury, without seeing your doctor first!
As physiotherapists we are experts at assessing and treating acute injuries. If we think your injury warrants further investigation then we have good relationships with doctors to arrange this.
If you have had pain for three months or more, you may be eligible for an Allied Health Care plan (EPC), under which Medicare will subsidize part of your appointment cost. For this method of funding, you will need to have a doctors referral before starting with physiotherapy.
2) Physiotherapy is just massage
Physiotherapists will occasionally use massage and soft tissue techniques to ease pain. We also use a range of joint mobilization techniques to improve range of motion. However, the best evidence points towards exercise and strengthening being the best treatment for most injuries, your physiotherapist can provide exercises to build up your injured area and avoid provoking pain.
3) Physiotherapy is only for injuries
While we do mostly treat those with injuries, plenty of clients attend physiotherapy to improve physical fitness and performance. Whether it be improving your golf swing, running technique or strength for seasonal sport, physiotherapists are excellent at breaking down movement patterns and identifying areas to improve.
4) Surgery is more effective
Depending on your injury site and severity – physiotherapy has significant evidence for being more effective than surgery. In a recent study by the British Medical Journal, 8 of the 10 most common surgical procedures were found to be less effective than non-operative management. Examples include back surgery for degenerative discs and rotator cuff repairs.
5) Physiotherapy hurts
The phrase “no pain, no gain” can apply to many things in life, but it has no place in physiotherapy. Treatment shouldn’t hurt if our goal is to encourage pain free movement.
There may be discomfort with certain techniques, but your SCREP physiotherapist will check to ensure this is tolerable. Some exercises prescribed may be effortful but if they’re causing pain they may be hurting more than healing. Our team will modify or provide alternatives if movement or treatment is causing pain.