FAQ on Women Physiotherapy

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Is women physiotherapy is the same as kegels?

The answer is ‘no’. Women physiotherapy is so much more than just kegels. Women physiotherapists are trained to assess and treat many physical conditions which affect women throughout their lifespan – including orthopaedic conditions, athletic injuries, bone health and osteoporosis, post-operative procedures, breast and gynaecological cancers, pregnancy related conditions, and so much more.

Although kegels are often prescribed willy-nilly by well-meaning professionals, they are sometimes the worst thing you could be doing. A physiotherapist trained in pelvic health is the best professional to properly assess the state of the pelvic floor by completing an internal examination, and then prescribing the appropriate course of treatment.

What should I wear for my physiotherapy appointment?

Loose comfortable clothing, which allows access to examine and assess your problem, should be adequate.

Will I need to undress for my treatment?

Yes, you may be asked to remove your outer garments for back and pelvic assessments. If you have a gynaecological condition, it may be part of your treatment to have an internal assessment. However, this will only be performed with your written consent. You will be given an option to have a chaperone present or decline the assessment. The women physiotherapy team is entirely female.

Do I need a doctor’s referral?

The answer is generally no, as physiotherapists working in private practice are primary care practitioners. This means that you can see a physiotherapist without a doctor’s referral. However, it is always best to consult with your general practitioner regarding your condition so that they can supervise your care and refer you to a specialist (or for tests) as needed.

You will need a doctor’s referral if you are claiming for treatment through a third party provider (e.g. Department of Veteran’s Affairs).

Can I bring my baby or my toddler with me for my treatment sessions?

It is usually preferable to leave older children with a carer if possible.

It will help you to concentrate and maximise your time in the treatment session. We realise it may not always be possible, though.

Can I come for my appointment if I am having my period?

Yes, you can come even if you are on your period.

Why do I have a strong urge to pee so often?

Function of the bladder is affected by poor support and, as a result, the bladder muscles contract inappropriately causing the urge sensation. This response can be corrected by behaviour modification, bladder training, muscle strengthening, and restoration of the normal reflexes involved in bladder emptying.

Why does sneezing, coughing, running, skipping and jumping on a trampoline cause me to lose urine?

All of the above circumstances increase abdominal pressure resulting in a ´giving way´ of the weakest link which is usually the pelvic muscles which support the bladder and urethra.

Can strengthening the pelvic muscles prevent prolapse of the pelvic organs?

Yes, the stronger the muscular support the less likely the organs will shift, drop, or herniate through the pelvic floor.

Can exercise reverse a prolapse?

It is unlikely that a well-established prolapse can be reversed, but strengthening can prevent it from getting worse.

What rebate will I get from my private health insurer?

This depends on your particular insurer and level of cover. If you are unsure, it is best to contact your insurer directly. Major health insurers now recognise the speciality area of continence, women’s health, and physiotherapy, and as such, return slightly higher rebates per session.

Can I claim any rebate from Medicare?

In general, Medicare does not provide rebates for private physiotherapy sessions. However, the Enhanced Primary Care (EPC) scheme now available allows doctors to approve up to 5 physiotherapy services per year on referral.

How long will my appointment be?

This depends on whether it is an initial or follow-up appointment, and what condition you are being treated for. In general, an initial appointment will be 60 minutes, and follow-up appointments will be 30 or 45 minutes.

What do I need to bring to my appointment?

It is helpful if you if can bring relevant test results and your referral letter (if you have one).