1. Do I need a referral?
No you do not need a referral to see a physiotherapist.
A medical referral from your general practitioner is necessary only if you have been injured at work and your case is registered as an injury on duty (IOD)
Your physiotherapist is also able to refer you on to other medical and allied health professionals where it is appropriate.
2. Do I need to bring anything or wear anything in particular?
Bring any x-ray or scans that are relevant to your condition or injury with you. Wear comfortable clothing if possible.
3. How long does a treatment take?
A thorough assessment of your problem will normally involve an initial consultation of 60 minutes. If you have multiple areas or a complex problem please let our reception staff know this at the time of booking. A follow on consultation will take approximately 30-45 minutes. If you are a new patient please arrive 10 minutes prior to your appointment time, to allow time to fill in our new patient information form
4. Is parking available?
Yes, free parking is available at all of our practices.
5. Do I need to pay for the visit at the time?
All treatments are claimed through the medical aid. If you do not have available funds, it is your responsibility to discuss it with your physiotherapist. Private pasients need to pay cash only per visit.
6. Do you treat Injury on Duty (IOD) and road accident fund injuries?
Yes we do treat IOD injuries, but please be aware you will still be responsible for the account if the claim is not accepted by the commissioner and the commissioner may only partially cover the cost of services. Road accident fund treatments will need to be payed by yourself and claimed back from the road accident fund for your consultations.
7. Do you make home visits?
Yes, we do home visits on special requests. We recommend treatment at the practice as we are not always able to provide a comprehensive service in the home environment.
8. Can I make appointments via email?
No please phone the practise to make your appointment at 012 335 8267 or 072 459 1222.
We are however happy to answer enquiries via email.
9. What is the difference between Physiotherapists and Massage therapists?
Massage is but one of the many therapies in the arsenal of the physiotherapist, other techniques includes mobilisation (spinal and peripheral joints, neural tissue, facia layers), manipulation, dry needling, electrotherapy (including biofeedback), strapping, individualised exercise programmes… the list goes on, however the most important skill of the physiotherapist is accurate assessment and diagnosis.
10. Does this mean I only need to see a Physiotherapist?
No, physiotherapists are but a part of a multidisciplinary team. The physiotherapist may refer you to specialists or to other team members, this will be determined through a thorough assessment.
11. Dry needling…do you mean Acupuncture?
No, some physiotherapist does practice Acupuncture, but “Dry needling” is not acupuncture. Dry needling is used to elicit a natural healing response from your body, by increasing blood flow to specific structures, and stimulating your body’s many natural pain inhibition systems, thus also stimulating the secretion of natural pain inhibitors. Not all conditions require dry needling! The decision rests with both the therapist and patient. The therapists needs to access that the therapy is suitable to the condition, and the patient needs to be willing to participate after being informed about the procedure.
12. If I go to my physiotherapist, do I have to do anything?
Patient compliance and active participation in rehabilitation is surely one of the key factors any health professional has to access. Ask if you don’t know what to do at home, or if you are unsure of what exactly you can contribute to your recovery. It is incredibly important to note that you have a key role to play in the road to recovery.
13. My back is clicking and moving out of position
Because you heard a click in your back, it does not mean you have to have it put back in again. It is suspected that the crack is due to joint fluid being moved from one place in a joint to another. The joint fluid is under negative pressure and the crack is a result of it being forced from one side to another. There are a number of theories about why this can ease pain, unfortunately we don’t really understand the rationale behind this. Continuous “clicking” of the back is not advisable. The physiotherapist will give you exercises that will strengthen the weaker muscles and lengthen any shortened muscles. In this way your muscles will be able to give your back enough support for day to day activities and sport.
The vertebrae of the back are like its building blocks. They fit tightly into each other like a jig-saw puzzle. The only way one vertebra can move on the other is when a fracture is present or in severe degeneration (people over the age of 60). The spine can appear out of line because of muscle spasm. This should return to normal once the pain is better. (Annalie Basson BSc Physiotherapy US, MPhysT (Research)UP)
14. I have a slipped disc?
The lumbar discs are cushions between the vertebrae and assist in shock absorption and movement. It has an outer layer that is cartilage like and a softer jelly like centre. With ageing small cracks can develop in the cartilage and the soft centre can push through the outer layers. This can cause swelling and inflammation resulting in pain. The disc is adhered to the vertebrae and will not separate from the vertebrae even in severe injury such as car accidents. The disc can therefore not “slip” out – this is just a term used for swelling of the disc.
If the disc has a lot of cracks in the outer layer (often from prolonged sitting and bending) bending and turning especially under load can suddenly cause a lot of swelling and even pressure on the nerve. Fortunately this does not happen that often and in most cases the swelling and pain will resolve over the following six weeks. This is referred to as disc protrusion. On MRI it has been shown that these protrusions can be totally absorbed by the body leaving you with a slightly narrowed disc space on x-ray. It is important to remember that disc narrowing is as common amongst pain free individuals as in people with low back pain. (Annalie Basson BSc Physiotherapy US, MPhysT (Research)UP