Are there different kinds of Physiotherapy?

There are in fact lots of different fields of Physiotherapy. Most people are only aware of Physios as working in private practices or on the side of the sports fields but in fact Physiotherapy is a very diverse field. The undergraduate training for Physiotherapy includes: Chest physiotherapy both for adults and children treating conditions such as bronchitis, pneumonia, intubate patients and post- cardiac surgery ; Neurodevelopmental training for treating children and adults with disorders of the neural system such as stroke or Cerebral Palsy; Orthopaedics which is focused on the recovery of fractures or trauma to the bones and surrounding structures; Women’s Health Physiotherapy for pre and post-natal care; and Musculoskeletal which is what Physios are most commonly known for, this includes spinal pain and sports injuries.Physios are closely aligned with the other medical fraternities through this exposure to the medical training in their undergraduate level, and some Physios continue to work within a hospital or medical team setting once they are qualified. This is something that differentiates the Physios from the Chiros; the Chiros are not as closely aligned with the medical/in-hospital services.

Even within the private practice setting in the Neuromusculoskeletal section of Physiotherapy you can have a spectrum of Physios. Many of the skills and training that set Physios apart happens after the undergraduate training. In SA there are 2 main schools of post graduate training in the orthopaedic/musculoskeletal field, the Sports course (SPT) and the Orthopaedic Manipulative Therapy (OMT). Both courses run the duration of a year and require the successful completion of examinations to receive a diploma. The training in these courses vastly improves a Physiotherapists ability to complete a thorough assessment and to undergo a clinical reasoning process to ensure an accurate diagnosis or an appropriate referral.

At Tamsin Hodgson Physiotherapy we believe that finding the source of the problem is extremely important in resolving the clients issue and restoring them to optimal function. Hence all of our therapists are either SPT or OMT trained. We also strongly believe in rehabilitation which is why you will see we offer a variety of classes run by our Physiotherapists to help clients stick to their ‘home’ programmes and achieve their goals.

What is the difference between a Physio and a Chiropractor?

Physios and Chiros both share the honour of having first line practitioner status, in other words you do not need to be referred to make an appointment, and they are able to refer you for X-rays and musculoskeletal ultrasounds. A chiropractor is a health care professional focused on the diagnosis and treatment of neuromuscular disorders, with an emphasis on treatment through manual adjustment and/or manipulation of the spine.Traditionally Chiro’s are known for the adjustment/manipulation of the spine. They often have fairly short treatment sessions that may require repeat visits to maintain the ‘alignment/adjustment’. Physiotherapists are also able to manipulate the spine if they have completed a

Traditionally Chiro’s are known for the adjustment/manipulation of the spine. They often have fairly short treatment sessions that may require repeat visits to maintain the ‘alignment/adjustment’. Physiotherapists are also able to manipulate the spine if they have completed a post graduate training in these techniques, such as a diploma in Orthopaedic Manipulative Therapy (OMT). So if you are only interested in spinal manipulation as a treatment technique and want to be’ clicked’ into place then traditionally the Chiro would be better suited to your needs. Traditionally Physios use more of a combination of joint mobilisation/manipulation, soft tissue mobilisation, dry needling and exercise in their treatment approach.However the approach of the healthcare practitioner is often determined by the level of skill and training of that practitioner, and their particular field of interest. So if you have a sprained ankle you would be better off seeing a Physio with an interest in

However the approach of the healthcare practitioner is often determined by the level of skill and training of that practitioner, and their particular field of interest. So if you have a sprained ankle you would be better off seeing a Physio with an interest in sport injuries/rehabilitation than a Chiro who specialises in spinal manipulation. As with any profession you get the good and the bad, so just make sure that you do your research or get a referral before seeing a new practitioner.

What is the difference between a Physio and a Biokineticist?

Physiotherapists are recognised as having first line practitioner status which is defined by the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) as the following: A first line status practitioner has the autonomy to make an independent diagnosis and treat such a condition, provided it falls within his/her scope of practice. It is therefore legally and ethically acceptable for a patient to approach a physiotherapist for treatment without the intervention of another health care practitioner. In simple terms this means that you do not require a referral letter to see a Physiotherapist and that Physiotherapists are able to refer you for basic diagnostic tests such as an X-ray and/or an Ultrasound. So if you have a sprained ankle, sore back, and headache etc. you need not see your GP first you can come straight to the Physiotherapist.

A Biokineticist is not recognised as a first line practitioner. A Biokineticist’s scope of practice is defined by the HPCSA as final stage rehabilitation through exercise prescription. In other words they use exercise, and only exercise to assist you in recovering from an injury and improving your wellbeing. They are not qualified to perform any hands on techniques such as myofascial release, joint mobilisation/manipulation, massage or dry needling.

Here is a practical example of when you would see a Physiotherapist or a Biokineticist: If you were post knee surgery the Orthopaedic surgeon should refer you to the Physiotherapist for some hands on treatment and basic exercises aimed at reducing pain and swelling; and increasing your mobility. If you are still on crutches the Physios will assist you in how to use the crutches. Very often you will see a Physio in the hospital prior to being discharged. As your range increases and you pain decreases the Physio will increase your exercises. If your Physio is trained in rehabilitation and has the correct facilities they can take you all the way to your end stage of rehab and return to sport. If not this is when they would refer you to see a Biokineticist.

What is the difference between a Physio and a Massage Therapist?

Massage is very useful for therapeutic or relaxation purposes. Massage therapy can take several different forms. Massage therapists are certified by their institute of learning, and are not in any way educated in diagnosis or rehabilitation. For example if you have completed a race and you have general overall body stiffness then a massage would be beneficial. If you have completed a race and you have a pain in your knee or back then it might be worth seeing a Physiotherapist. The Physio will be able to assess your problem area, as well as the rest of your body, to be able to make an accurate diagnosis. The Physio can then use massage and soft tissue techniques along with other techniques to resolve the problem.

What is the difference between acupuncture and dry needling?

Acupuncture is more aligned with Eastern philosophies and Chinese medicine. It is thought that the body has meridian lines running through it and by stimulating these meridian lines through inserting needles into various points along the lines balance can be restored to the body.

Dry needling is the use of acupuncture needles for treating muscle pain. The concept of dry needling evolved from trigger point injection using a syringe (‘wet’ needle).The action of the needle itself was observed to have more effect on healing than the medication it administered, hence the “dry” needle. Dry needling is used to elicit a natural healing response from your body by increasing blood flow to specific muscle structures, and stimulating your body’s many natural pain inhibition systems, thus also stimulating the secretion of natural pain inhibitors.

Physiotherapists claiming to perform acupuncture must be registered as acupuncturists or Chinese medicine practitioners. Although the needles may be the same the techniques and applications vary tremendously.

Contrary to what most people think dry needling is not painful. It is not like having an injection. The needles are extremely thin and specially designed to glide into the muscle. While you don’t experience pain clients do report a feeling of a deep ache/numb/twitching/tingly/warm feeling etc. Each person is so unique and each muscle group can respond differently that it is impossible to list all associated responses. But should your therapist recommend this treatment technique following a detailed assessment then we would recommend at least trying it once. Many of our ‘needle nervous’ patients are now our biggest needle advocates!

Is there parking at the practice?

Yes, we have 3 dedicated bays right outside our front door. The practice is accessible from the parking via stairs and/or a ramp to ensure accessibility for all clientele. Should the parking bays be full, you can look for on street parking in the neighbourhood- there is a large parking lot in the nearby Dunkley square. Alternatively you can call the practice to see if any of the current clients will be vacating the bays shortly. No matter where you park we do advise you to not leave any valuables in your car, particularly if they are visible. As with most areas petty thieves are always on the look-out for an opportunity.

What happens if I can’t make my appointment at the last minute?

The practice does have a 12 hour cancellation policy. This means that any cancellation not made within 12 hours of the scheduled appointment will be charged a late cancellation fee- half of the estimated cost of the appointment. If you do not cancel and do not arrive you will be charged for the full estimated fee of the appointment. Should you encounter a crisis or have a sudden illness please contact us as soon as possible to reschedule your appointment. Within reason we may waive the late cancellation fee.

What does medical aid cover and not cover?

Since all treatments are under the scope of a registered Physiotherapist all billable treatment codes can be claimed from medical aid, that is if your medical aid extends to treatments of this nature. Billable treatment codes would include treatments such as joint manipulation, dry needling, ultrasound, soft tissue mobilisation etc. Certain ‘stock’ items such as foam rollers or strapping may not be covered by your medical aid. All individual sessions of Pilates and/or Gyrokinesis are covered whereas our classes are sadly not covered by medical aid. We are not contracted into medical aid which means that you settle your account with us upfront and then claim back from your medical aid yourself. We do try to keep our fees in alignment with the medical aid tariffs so that should you be eligible to claim the treatments from your medical aid, they should reimbursed you by 80 to 100% of the account.

What must I wear?

This depends largely on the treatment that you will be receiving:

Cranio-Sacral Therapy: You will be asked to remove your shoes, your belt and any other item of clothing that may impede your comfort for the duration of the treatment. But for the most part you remain fully clothed for this treatment modality. Where possible it is better not to wear a skirt but it is easy to work around this should you not read this prior to your appointment!

Physiotherapy: Depending on the area of treatment you will need to expose various limbs which might require you to undress. We do provide gowns and shorts in case your clothing does not allow for adequate exposure of your injured area while keeping your modesty intact! Please note that we do tend to look for the source of the problem rather than just treating the symptom. So don’t be alarmed if you come in with a niggle in your foot but we expose your back to check that you spine is in alignment. We strongly believe that a good assessment is the key to a good treatment, so do be prepared for a thorough investigation.

Pilates/Gyrokinesis: The first session is often more of an assessment so again we may expose parts of your spine/limbs to check alignment etc. However it is best to come prepared for a movement based assessment so please try wearing clothes that are easy to move in. If you are not adverse to wearing fitted clothes we would advise something along these lines as it does make it easier to see what is going on.