Ask your medical doctor about physiotherapy:
Did you know that physiotherapists are so called "first consultants" in South Africa? It means that you can go to your physio even if your doctor did not refer you. Physios can accurately diagnose especially musculo-skeletal conditions and certain other conditions. We also know when to refer to other medical specialists.
Some medical aids have in recent years placed an emphasis on general practitioners (your GP/ medical doctor) as "gatekeepers" to limit medical costs. Depending on your doctor's knowledge & personal experience of physiotherapy he/she may or may not refer you for physiotherapy.
There are some conditions that may take very long to improve without physio if at all. Physio can therefore potentially save health care costs as well as suffering. There are other conditions where physio is not advised. Be sure to tell your physio about all your conditions. This is to ensure that you can react positively on physio. Your treatment regime may be adapted to accommodate for your medical condition. Best is to also ask your physio if you are unsure whether physiotherapy can help you.
Remember, physio is usually not only a consultation, but a treatment too. Having a "treatment reaction" is not always a bad thing, but should always be discussed with your physio in the same way that you would discuss an adverse reaction to a tablet with your doctor. It should be evaluated by your physio and the treatment adapted in consultation with the patient and sometimes in consultation with the doctor too.
In my practice, I do prefer patients to have the benefit of expertise from both your medical practitioner/ specialist and your physiotherapist. This is to ensure that you obtain your health goals within the best possible time frame and spend your healthcare resources wisely. Remember, you should be an active part of your health care team!
Kindly note that you will need to obtain a referral letter from your doctor or specialist for any children treated in my practice who are under the age of 18 years. Parental consent will also be required according to the current legal requirements in South Africa, and whenever possible I also obtain the child's consent for treatment. Your understanding in this regard is appreciated!