No matter our age or fitness levels, we sometimes have issues with our movement and physical activities. These problems could be due to injury, intense physical activities, or old age. Physiotherapy is a science that helps people maximize their strength, movement, and overall lifestyle.
A person who practices physiotherapy could either be a physiotherapist or a physical therapist.
In this article, we will expand on what physiotherapy treatment is, what physiotherapists do, what physiotherapy can help with, what physiotherapy is good for, and the role of insurance billing in physiotherapy.
What is Physiotherapy?
Physiotherapy is the science of restoring movement and flexibility to the human body and managing pain. With physiotherapy, the patient is responsible for their care under the supervision of the physiotherapist. Patients can seek physiotherapy if they are injured, preparing for childbirth or sporting activity, aging, or have a disorder.
What do Physiotherapists do?
A physiotherapist creates special programs to help patients of any age regain movement, flexibility, and function. Physiotherapists learn about the science of the body, and all their work is evidence-based. The main aim of a physiotherapist is to teach healthy habits that help the whole body and not just the injured site.
A typical physiotherapist stretches and massages the muscles, manipulates the joints and gets the patient to do their exercises.
Because physiotherapy concerns lifestyle changes, physiotherapists also look at your emotional, psychological, and social needs. By addressing all these aspects, they can determine the best treatment that blends with your education, income, and life.
However, a physiotherapist is not a doctor and cannot prescribe or perform invasive procedures on patients. A physiotherapist is also different from a chiropractor and an osteopath. Physiotherapy relies on evidence to work.
Why Physiotherapy is Important
Physiotherapy is important for people whose movement has been affected by disease, disorders, and age. With physiotherapy, patients with asthma can learn to breathe better. Physiotherapy is also important for pain reduction, strength, and flexibility. Patients who regularly engage a physiotherapist can learn how to avoid injury, increase mobility and stay active.
When Physiotherapy is most Effective to Use
Physiotherapy is effective at any time as prevention is better than cure. However, it is most effective and necessary for people who have had injuries or suffer from disorders. Physiotherapy is effective for people suffering from:
- Neurological conditions like stroke, Parkinson’s, and multiple sclerosis.
- Autoimmune conditions like Fibromyalgia, Rheumatoid arthritis
- Orthopedic conditions include back pain, arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, sciatica, and knee problems.
- Cardiovascular conditions like chronic heart disease and heart attacks.
- Respiratory conditions like asthma and cystic fibrosis.
- People with sports injuries also need physiotherapy, as well as aging people.
A physiotherapist helps patients manage these conditions and rehabilitate them. Physiotherapy is also effective for people who want to maintain general wellness. Physiotherapy science is valuable to sports people because it helps them maintain their bodies and not risk injuries.
Physiotherapists work in hospitals, schools, sporting centers, healthcare centers, homecare, rehabilitation centers, and universities. Physiotherapy has strict requirements as they work in close contact with doctors giving feedback and progress reports. Physiotherapists typically go to school for three to four years, after which they gain their license by passing the state exam.
They have a broad curriculum that includes courses like biology, behavioral science, anatomy, physiology, neuroscience, and biomechanics. Physiotherapists also do a percentage of fieldwork before gaining their degree and being allowed to practice.
Cost of Physiotherapy
Firstly, the physiotherapist assesses the patient before creating a treatment plan. The average cost per session ranges from $75 to $150, depending on your service provider. A typical physiotherapy session lasts between 30 minutes to 1 hour. However, the total time a patient will spend on treatment depends on the severity of the case.
- The initial consultation is usually the longest and can cost between $90 to $140.
- The appointments after the first are shorter but still cost between $80 to $120 overall.
- Where necessary, an extended consultation costs between $120 to $170 as it is longer than all others.
- If your treatment includes shockwave therapy or acupuncture, these can cost between $900 to $1500 and $50 to $100, respectively.
Other factors affect the cost of your session, and they include
- Type of injury – the more serious the problem, the higher the cost. Intense injuries require intensive treatment, and they take more time to heal.
- Age – The younger you are, the faster you heal, and older people tend to require more sessions which increases the cost.
The Role of Insurance Billing
Most insurance providers cover physiotherapy sessions. However, the type of insurance you use determines what your policy covers and how much you have to pay out of pocket. Most insurance companies consider physiotherapy medically necessary and will cover it. So long as the treatment is safe, effective, and meets the general healthcare standards.
Insurance providers can cover payments in full or in partial payments, and it depends on your policy. Your out-of-pocket cost is limited to a copayment for some plans. Also, some require you to make partial payments until you reach your deductible, after which the company pays the rest up to a set limit.
Your insurance company could also regard physiotherapy as a special service and require doctor referrals.
Another thing to note is some insurance plans do not cover fitness and wellness services while some do.
A good insurance policy is necessary to cover these costs if you need a physiotherapy session.
Tips to Save Cost on Physiotherapy
To save costs on physiotherapy, you can consider booking fewer appointments or asking for discount rates for bundle sessions. A key thing to remember with physiotherapy is that it is a lifestyle change.
When going for your session, wear loose clothing and athletic shoes because you will engage in physical activities. During your assessment, your physiotherapist may ask you to walk, bend, run and sit. Your physiotherapist also takes a complete medical history. All of this is done to help you determine your fitness level. After this, your physiotherapist creates a unique treatment plan for you.
In conclusion, physiotherapy contributes to general wellness, improves physical conditions, and helps rehabilitate patients suffering from serious health issues. A good physiotherapist keeps you on track, working closely with you to determine the best exercise for your level.