You’ve Got Questions - I’ve Got Answers
DO I NEED A DOCTOR'S REFERRAL FOR PHYSIOTHERAPY TREATMENT?
No. You can simply call us to make an appointment, although your GP, specialist or midwife can also refer you. However, if you have a treating doctor or midwife, we are happy to keep them informed about your progress and liaise with them as necessary.
DO I NEED A REFERRAL IF IT’S AN ACCIDENT RELATED INJURY?
No referral is necessary for ACC consultations and new patients are always welcome (either ACC or for private physiotherapy consultations). Visitors or tourists to New Zealand are also covered by ACC for treatment of any injury sustained while in New Zealand.
HOW DOES ACC TREATMENT WORK?
If you have had an accident and need treatment for injury, you can claim for treatment and rehabilitation therapy with ACC. On your first appointment, you will fill out a form and we will process your ACC claim on your behalf. Once accepted, you will be approved to have physiotherapy treatment with us.
IS THE COST OF PHYSIOTHERAPY COVERED BY ACC?
Yes, but only if the condition was caused by an accident (in most cases this is specific to a particular incident which occurred in New Zealand, please call to discuss if you are unsure). However, if we use products such as therabands, splints, or support belts we charge for these as ACC does not cover the cost of this. Please also note that we have a surcharge for ACC consultations. You can learn more about our fees listed here.
WILL MY INSURANCE COVER MY VISIT?
This depends on your insurer and individual policy, we would ask all patients to check with their insurer.
We are also accredited to provide easy claims for Southern Cross Health Insurance. Southern Cross Health Society Easy-claim (“Easy-claim”) is a convenient way for Southern Cross members to claim for eligible healthcare services at the time of purchase, without completing a claim form.
If your plan covers Physiotherapy and it qualifies, then simply present your Member card to us so you don’t have to worry about filling out claim forms or waiting for a refund.
HOW MANY TREATMENTS WILL I NEED?
Unfortunately, this is difficult to answer. It’s best to have an assessment and we can discuss your goals and help you formulate a plan going forward. We believe in educating you to be able to self-manage and will provide you with the right tools to achieve this. Additionally, we may develop a treatment plan that involves referring you to other specialists, doctors, etc.
HOW DO I PAY FOR MY VISIT?
An invoice will be emailed to you and payment can be made via bank transfer within 5 days.
WHAT IS THE CANCELLATION POLICY?
If you need to reschedule or cancel your appointment, please contact us at least 48 hours prior to advise us. We charge a cancellation fee of $50.00 if your appointment is cancelled with less than 24 hours notice, or the full appointment cost if you fail to attend your appointment/are not present. This is so someone else in need has an opportunity to utilise the appointment slot.
HAVE YOU GOT ALLOCATED PARKING AT YOUR CLINIC?
Yes, we are located within Takapuna squash club and there is plenty of free parking onsite.
ARE CHILDREN ALLOWED TO COME TO THE APPOINTMENT?
You are welcome to bring your baby or children along for treatment. However, we recommend that you have someone look after them for the duration of your appointment so that you can get the most benefit from your treatment. Plunket has a team of health workers/kaiāwhina/volunteers who work to support families. If you are struggling with finding support, a volunteer from Plunket can assist and be with you and your baby at your appointment. These visits are organised by your Plunket nurse or PlunketLine. We have toys, but please feel free to bring familiar toys, digital devices or food bribery to keep them busy so you can relax and enjoy your treatment! However, if this is not possible, we recommend to have a home consultation and aim to schedule your appointment during sleep times, or prepare some activities or snacks to keep your children occupied.
HOW DOES HOME CONSULTATIONS WORK?
Home consultations generally take 1-1.5 hour in duration. Your physiotherapist will try their best to arrive on time for your appointment, but delays may sometimes be unavoidable due to traffic and parking limitations if you live in a busy neighbourhood. We will contact you if we are running more than 10 minutes late. Please let us know in advance if it’s possible to park onsite at your property or suggest alternatives for access. At times, your physiotherapist may bring a treatment bed and it would be ideal if we can access your property easily. We will bring all that is needed for your treatment. All we require is a small space and preferably some privacy so that you can relax completely.
WHAT SPECIFIC QUESTIONS WILL BE ASKED?
It can be useful to think about what you want to discuss when you come in for an assessment. This can include:
How long you’ve had the problem, and whether it’s improving or becoming worse
What you’ve tried to do to improve things so far, and whether that’s helped
Whether you have problems with your bladder, bowel, prolapse, sexual problems or maybe a combination of these issues
Any past medical problems, including childbirth history and any previous surgeries
Questions we will ask you include:
What is the problem that is bothering you the most?
Bladder habits including how often you go to the toilet during the day and night, if you leak urine (and if so, how much and how often),if you feel you have to rush to get to the toilet on time, and the kinds of symptoms you have when urinating, including pain or feelings of incomplete emptying.
Bowel habits, including how often you empty the bowel, whether you find this difficult or painful, the consistency of your bowel motions, any loss of control from the bowel or any sense of having to rush to get to the toilet on time.
Pregnancy and childbirth history including how many pregnancies and children you’ve had, the types of deliveries and the weight of your babies.
Any symptoms of prolapse, including a feeling of something dropping internally or a heaviness, lump or bulging inside the vagina or rectum.
Questions related to sexual intercourse or penetration, including whether you find this painful or if you have any difficulties or concerns.
Your medical history including current medical problems, medications you’re taking and any past surgeries.
What you do for work and in your leisure time, so we can understand how your problem may be impacting on your daily activities.
Your knowledge on connecting with your pelvic floor muscles and their function.
DO YOU PROVIDE INTERNAL PELVIC FLOOR EXAMS AND WHAT IS INVOLVED?
When seeing a pelvic floor physio for pelvic floor problems, it is likely that at some stage we will need to examine your pelvic floor muscles. However, internal pelvic floor exams are not mandatory but it is the gold standard method of assessing the pelvic floor muscles and connective tissues within the pelvis. This will commonly occur at the first appointment, but not always.
Prior to an internal exam, we will complete a comprehensive pelvic health assessment which includes your current concerns, what activities/hobbies you enjoy, current lifestyle, past medical and birth history as well as types of treatments you have already tried for your symptoms. Additionally, we will ask you questions related to your bladder and bowel. Discussing your history will provide a good indication of what assessment and treatment techniques may be helpful. It may also be necessary to take a look at your movement patterns, assess if you have any muscle imbalances or connective tissue defects related to your pelvis from the outside.
Following on from this, an internal exam may be recommended to further investigate the symptoms you are describing. However, we will first discuss and show you where your pelvic floor muscles are, how these muscles are assessed as well as the clinical reasoning and risks with carrying out an internal exam. You will always be asked to provide consent before any assessment or treatment and you are welcome to remove your consent at any time.
For the internal assessment, we will leave the room for you to undress from the waist down and have you lie on the treatment table (similar to your doctor's clinic) and drape/cover yourself with a sheet provided. We will use a clean technique, using non-latex gloves and water-based lubricant for the internal exam. We will first observe your pelvic floor externally. The internal portion involves your physiotherapist inserting one or two gloved fingers into the vaginal canal, or one finger is inserted into the rectum in order to access the front and back portions of the pelvic floor muscles. We are assessing your pelvic floor strength, tone, laxity, coordination and connective tissue integrity. We will talk you through the entire physical exam with you providing feedback during the assessment. After the exam, we talk about how to get the pelvic floor muscles activated or relaxed, figure out a plan and establish some homework to get you started using the muscles again at home correctly. If you are not comfortable with an internal exam, there are other external treatment options that can be used to successfully treat your symptoms. However, this may mean we cannot diagnose and treat your problem as best to our ability, and we can discuss that with you.