How can a physiotherapist help someone with a disability?


Physiotherapists can play a significant role in assisting people living with a disability. Physiotherapy treatment can help to promote healing by restoring functional abilities and reducing further contractures. In addition to this, physiotherapy services can address a wide range of health conditions and movement challenges, supporting people of all ages, from children to the elderly, looking to improve their strength, movement, and flexibility so they can achieve their goals. Under the NDIS, people living with a disability can access physiotherapy services as part of their support network. These therapeutic supports can promote independence and improve the performance of daily activities. A physiotherapist can support people with a range of disabilities and chronic conditions such as a physical disability, intellectual or psychosocial disability, autism spectrum disorder, and cerebral palsy. Physiotherapy treatments covered by the NDIS can be outlined in various sections of your plan including as a core support or capacity-building support.

This article will focus on how physiotherapy can support and benefit the general wellbeing of an individual with a disability.

  • What is a National Disability Insurance Scheme physiotherapist?
  • What support can a physiotherapist provide?
  • What types of conditions do physiotherapists treat?
  • Is physiotherapy in my NDIS plan?

What is a National Disability Insurance Scheme physiotherapist?

An NDIS physiotherapist is a registered allied health professional and functional movement expert. NDIS physiotherapists work with people with disability to assist in the management of physical difficulties and neurological conditions to improve movement and function.

At AHP Disability and Home Care, our physiotherapists provide services under the NDIS in various areas, and are there to ensure that participants achieve their full potential. Whether you are recuperating from an injury or need assistance treating an ongoing disability, at DHC our physiotherapists are always ready to provide support to help you reach your goals.

What support can a physiotherapist provide?

Physiotherapists are experts in the structure of the human body and its movement. They apply their knowledge to improve someone’s mobility and wellbeing through assessment, exercise, education, and assistive technology. Additionally, physio treatment is designed to foster one’s independence and ability to participate within school, work, home, and local community settings.

The type of support each participant receives from a physiotherapist will vary depending on their unique goals, requirements and current support network. For example, prior to commencing treatment, a physiotherapist may perform an assessment to view how an individual moves around their home and the community. This will assess muscle strength, joint movement, endurance, fitness, and balance. From the initial assessment, a physiotherapist may prescribe equipment, modified exercise, or additional support people to help improve skill level and mobility, and increase social participation, physical health, recreation opportunities, and overall quality of life.

At AHP Disability and Home Care, our physiotherapy advice and assessment services include:

  • Strength and mobility support and assessment
  • Exercise tolerance for weight loss
  • Support of your daily activities (e.g., eating and bathing)
  • Alleviation of pain and chronic conditions
  • Care on how to use supportive equipment (e.g., wheelchairs, orthotic devices, or walking frames).

What types of conditions do physiotherapists treat?

Physiotherapy offers more than just musculoskeletal support, and is used to assist people in managing a range of disabilities by helping them to achieve their independence and assisting with daily activities in everyday life. In addition to this, physiotherapy can also be used to manage mental wellness or neurological conditions.

Physical conditions such as cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis, or lifelong conditions such as spinal cord injury or acquired brain injury can be supported with physiotherapy. For individuals facing mobility challenges, NDIS registered physiotherapists can conduct sessions in a convenient location such as a school, home, or workplace setting.

Here at AHP Disability and Home Care, our experienced physiotherapists provide services under the NDIS in various areas such as the management of neurological and musculoskeletal conditions, rehabilitative conditioning, aging conditions, and gender specific conditions.

Is physiotherapy in my NDIS plan?

The NDIS provide support to eligible people with physical, sensory, cognitive, psychosocial, and intellectual disabilities across the country. Allied health and other therapy needs such as speech therapy, occupational therapy, and physiotherapy are funded by the NDIS. Physiotherapy treatment can exist in various sections of your plan, as core support or capacity-building support. Services with a registered physiotherapist can be arranged through the NDIS Capacity Building funding category ‘improved daily living’.

Many Australian physiotherapists are registered providers with the NDIS. If your plan is agency, or NDIS managed, you must receive your physiotherapy services through a registered provider. However, if your plan is self-managed, any qualified physiotherapist can provide your services.

Need help with navigating or understanding your NDIS plan?

At AHP Disability and Home Care, our highly qualified staff are well-equipped to assist with any and all of your needs.

Contact our team on 1800 247 342, should you require assistance.

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