Frequently Asked Questions at Fixio
What Should I Bring and Wear?
If you haven't been to a physiotherapist appointment before it can be difficult to know what to bring.
Here are the things you should bring:
- You should wear comfortable clothing that will allow your physio to see/access the injured area as this is required to properly assess and diagnose your injury. If this is not possible you may be asked to remove items of clothing so that your physiotherapist can properly assess and diagnose your injury.
- Any scans that you may have had. We use the scans to confirm the diagnosis that we suspect after we have completed the initial interview, not the other way around. Many people receive scans unnecessarily, scans which show "degeneration" which is likely normal age-related wear.
- Your private health insurance card. We have a HICAPS machine on-site and can swipe it through at the appointment, meaning that you only have to pay the gap!
- Equipment that may be related to your issue. For example, we advise runners to bring in their running shoes so that we can assess them.
- Referral for your referring practitioner. NOTE that this is NOT necessary.
How Do I Find Fixio?
I’ve Never Been to Physiotherapy Before…
We have a large number of our new patients who have never been to physiotherapy before, so you're not alone! These patients usually find us after they have been referred by a professional or they are interested in seeing what physiotherapy can do for them.
Physiotherapists help you get the most out of life. They help you recover from injury, reduce pain and stiffness, increase mobility and prevent further injury. They listen to your needs to tailor a treatment specific to your condition. As first contact practitioners, you don’t need a doctor's referral to see a physiotherapist. Physiotherapists, doctors, and other health professionals will often work as part of a team to plan and manage treatment for a specific condition.
Here is a video made by the Australia Physiotherapy Association.
We recommend reading below "What will happen in the first appointment?" to set your expectations for your upcoming consultation at Fixio.
What will happen in the first appointment?
The Subjective History
The Subjective History is simply an interview, where we give you the opportunity to tell us everything that relates to your problem. Your therapist will ask questions that may feel like they are of a personal nature. The Subjective History is a bit like detective work. Your therapist is collecting pieces of information, like puzzle pieces. Their job is to put all the pieces together into a picture that makes sense for you to understand. Hence we ask that, in the interest of getting to answers as quickly as possible, that you answer all questions as truthfully and with as much information as you can.
Your therapist will also ask you questions around what your ultimate goal and expectations are. The therapists job is to help you reach your goal as safely, sustainably and quickly as possible. It's important that we understand all of the aspects of your goal so that we can tailor our Recovery Plan to suit you.
2. The Objective Exam
Physiotherapists are highly trained in testing your body parts to assess imbalances, weaknesses and injured or irritated tissues. After we have collected as much information from the interview as we can, we then put your body through a series of tests. The tests are done slowly and safely to ensure that no further injury is sustained. The goal is to elicit some pain to give us an indication as to what body parts (bones, ligaments, tendons, muscles) are causing you your symptoms. We aim to find one key movement that is particularly limited by pain or tightness that will be our initial focus. We then aim to improve either the pain, the stiffness or both with hands-on treatment!
3. Hands-On Treatment
One of the goals we have in our first appointment is to give you some relief from the very first session. Usually we will do this with some massage to try and release some tight muscles, though there are a variety of technique that your therapist may use. After we have identified the key movement that is causing you the most pain or the most tightness, we then work to try and alleviate some of those symptoms for you.
4. The Home Exercise Program
The Home Exercise Program is the key to you recovering as quickly as possible. While our therapists can use many techniques in session to help you, it is more important what you are doing on a daily basis to help yourself. The program can either be designed to be done purely at home, or at a gym with equipment. One was is not superior to the other, it's more likely to be a reflection of the ultimate goal that someone has. We will demonstrate the exercises and
5. The Recovery Plan
The most important part! This is where we piece together all of the puzzle pieces that we collected throughout the session and place it into a nice, orderly, easy to understand diagram. We explain the limitations and dysfunctions that your body is currently presenting with and what we must do to get you back to your ultimate goal. Your therapist will explain how frequently they will see you, the phases of treatment and the goals in each phase, how long each phase is likely to take based on the current measures of your body and of course, all the things that you can do at home to speed up the recovery. We take about 10 minutes to explain the Recovery Plan which allows some time for you to ask questions as well.
How Many Appointments Will I Need?
This comes down to 2 factors.
Firstly, it depends on where you want to be; what your ultimate goal is. If you want to be able to sprint, this will likely be a longer timeframe than someone who only wants to be able to walk.
Secondly, it depends on where you are at currently with your symptoms. Someone who has had pain for only 2 months will likely have a complete recovery including exercises to prevent the issue from occurring again in 3-5 months. Someone who has been in pain for 3 years will require a much more extensive Recovery Plan. The end goal is the same, it's just the route that we have to take to get there is further away.
At Fixio we aim to give everyone a jump start in their initial phase of recovery. We do maximal hands on therapy (normally 2x per week) to get quick wins in the first few weeks before we focus on the second phase; building up your tolerance (ie strength, flexibility) for activities. We then aim to step into a coaching role for the final phase of getting you to your goal, in which we do appointments every 3-4 weeks to measure progress and fine tune the exercise program.