What is physiotherapy, and can it help me?


Physiotherapy for independence


Find out ways physiotherapy can benefit you and how to access funding for it through the NDIS


What is physiotherapy? Physiotherapists are experts in anatomy and physiology and involves the assessment and treatment of people with all sorts of health conditions. They work to rehabilitate and improve a person’s ability to move and function. All physiotherapists in Australia are university qualified and required to register with the Australian Health Practitioner Registration Agency (AHPRA). Paediatric physiotherapists have specific training with children and adolescents. They have an expert understanding of child development.


To achieve your goals, you may need a short burst of care or care over an extended period of time. Physiotherapists create individualised plans to help you manage your health and wellbeing needs.



What types of support are offered as physiotherapy?


Physiotherapists help people of all ages engage with their community and become more independent. They can help treat chronic conditions like physical and intellectual disabilities, neurological injuries, acquired brain injuries and spinal cord injuries. They can help you, or the person you care for:

  • get out of bed, shower, bathe, dress and eat

  • move around the home and in the community

  • do daily jobs, sports and activities

  • manage pain and chronic conditions

  • control weight

  • choose and learn to use new equipment and mobility aids, like walking frames, orthotics and wheelchairs



How can the NDIS help me access physiotherapy near me?


Physiotherapists provide important support services to people living with disability. This support can positively impact personal, social and educational success and help you achieve your goals.


The NDIS funds reasonable and necessary support to help you reach these goals. In the three main categories of support funded through the NDIS, therapy is Capacity Building support (helping participants build skills and independence). Within this category, physical therapy sits under ‘Improved Daily Living’.


To be considered for NDIS physiotherapy funding, you will need to provide certain information. The support must relate to a disability and also describe likely benefits. It should represent value for money and be evidence-based.


The NDIS empowers you to choose your provider. However, if your NDIS funding is NDIA-managed, you can only use NDIS registered physiotherapy providers to deliver your services. If you self-manage or have a Plan Manager, you can use both NDIS registered physiotherapy providers and non-registered providers.



How do I know if physiotherapy is the right choice for me?


Physiotherapists work with you and your support network to best meet your needs. They then develop a treatment plan to improve your quality of life. Physiotherapy can help you to fulfil occupational, recreational and social goals. You may develop new motor skills and improve or maintain your existing abilities and skills.


Physiotherapists can help you with:

  • movement and postural skills

  • coordination and mobility

  • breathing exercises

  • muscle strengthening

  • support to take part in leisure, sport and recreation

  • pain management, and

  • identifying equipment and assistive technology to increase function and enhance your independence.



How do I get NDIS funding for physiotherapy?


To access NDIS funding for physiotherapy, you will need to include it in your plan. Your request needs an evidence-based report from a relevant professional therapist. The report should relate to your plan goals and how physiotherapy will help you to reach these over a 12-month period. It will also include ways to measure this success.


The report should also:

  • include a breakdown of how many hours of support are needed to meet each goal within the 12-month plan

  • be written in plain English with clearly labelled recommendations

  • include information on how the diagnosis affects your or your child’s day and how therapy can help overcome these barriers

  • explain how the support is reasonable and necessary and provides value for money, and

  • include previous strategies implemented and their outcomes if it is for an annual plan review.


Along with your therapy funding request, you should also consider extra funding you may need. This additional funding can cover physiotherapist travel time, report writing and equipment fitting, which come out of the same budget section. If you need extra support around budgeting, this article may help - Easy steps to managing your NDIS budget.



An important note about NDIS physiotherapy fees


Therapy services are vital supports for many NDIS participants. A recent pricing review of therapy limits will see increases for physiotherapy services. According to the NDIS, “Funding in participant plans will be automatically adjusted to reflect these changes from 1 July 2019.” You will not need a plan review to access these additional funds. If you’ve got questions, just ask us. We’re always happy to help.



Over to you


Do you access physiotherapy services through the NDIS? What benefits have you observed? We’d love to know.



Physiotherapy for quality of life

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