Physiotherapy is a treatment that helps people affected by any injury, illness, or accident that affects their ability to walk or move about. This injury or illness could affect certain or specific areas of the body such as the arms, hands, or feet, or it could be an overall general weakness that needs help, assistance, and support. The aim of physiotherapy is to make sure the patient speeds up their recovery process through rehabilitation and to reduce the risk of further injury or illness. The right treatment will help in recovery and will also help reduce the risk of re-injury in the future as well. Today, physiotherapy is considered a proper and comprehensive rehabilitation strategy that can help patients return back to normal life quickly.
There are two main types of physiotherapy, passive physiotherapy and active physiotherapy.
In patients who have the strength to move around themselves, active physiotherapy techniques are used to incorporate movements and exercises that the patient can do easily. The physiotherapist will use appropriate equipment and instructions to tell the patient what to do.
When a patient is too weak or feeble to carry out specific exercises, or if they experience pain or discomfort when doing certain exercises, they can use passive physiotherapy to get relief. This involves the use of light therapy, heat therapy, as well as electrical stimulation, and hydrotherapy to reduce stress and stiffness in the muscles. The aim of passive physiotherapy is to help accelerate the regeneration of damaged tissues.
In New Zealand, ACC follows a no-fault policy. This means that anyone who is injured in an accident is covered under ACC. It does not matter what actions led to you being injured. As long as you suffered an injury, you will be covered under ACC. However, the injury must be due to an accident to be covered under ACC and not due to any illness. Other factors which are not covered under ACC are age-related illnesses or emotional issues. Some common injuries that are covered by ACC include sprains and strains as well as fractures and dislocations.
If your injury is covered under ACC, you must contact a registered ACC provider in order to qualify for treatment. The ACC provider will tell you the process which will make you eligible for physiotherapy treatments including rehabilitation. If you are consulting a physiotherapist for your rehabilitation, you must ask them if they are covered under ACC. If they are covered, then ACC will pay part of each physio appointment you have with the physiotherapist.