There are without doubt some similarities between the fields, after all we both tend to promote the use of exercise to restore people back from injury or illness. There are however also many differences. Physiotherapy typically focuses on supporting the person during the initial phases of an injury and as such will use modalities such as ultrasound and TENS machines to minimise tissue damage and support an expeditious recovery during the acute phase of an injury. They may also prescribe some low level exercises to restore range of motion and tissue integrity. Some Physiotherapists move beyond these treatments to more advanced exercises but the majority of the work is in the early stages of injury management.
Exercise Physiologists do at times provide consultations for acute injuries but typically assist people restore their movement once the acute and sub acute phases of injury have passed. We commonly see people who have sustained an injury 4-6 weeks ago and while their acute symptoms have passed, their movement quality and condition has not returned, and this is where we feel exercise physiology comes into its own. We take the time to design a thorough exercise rehabilitation program, that focuses not only on their acute injury site but also on what may be deeper underlying causes of their injury. Our detailed approach ensures a restoration and even an improvement on the person’s pre-injury condition, and better likelihood of preventing further injury.
Are you eligible to see an Exercise Physiologist through Medicare?
To be eligible to receive the rebate through Medicare, you need a referral to an accredited Exercise Physiologist from your GP (under item number: 10953). The plan is made to assist patients who have a chronic injury or chronic health condition that can be helped through a supervised exercise program.
What is a chronic injury or chronic health condition?
Any injury or condition, that may last or is lasting greater than 6 months. Examples of these may include (but not limited to): back pain, obesity (BMI >30), diabetes, cardiovascular disease, mental health conditions, respiratory disease, cancer, pregnancy or arthritis. Speak with your doctor to understand if your injury or health condition is chronic.