Is Physiotherapy free on a Medicare card? What about with health insurance?

Capital Physiotherapy clinic provides bulk billing for our clients at some of our clinics (please call the individual clinics for more information). In some of our clinics, we no longer provide bulk billing, but you may still use your Care Plan to subsidise part of your visit (there will be a gap payment). 

Please note that we do take Medicare bulk billing if you have a very specific doctor’s referral letter called the EPC letter (Enhanced Primary Care Program). Please ask your GP if you meet certain criteria before you are eligible for an EPC and Medicare services. Unfortunately, only your GP (not us) knows your eligibility or is able to provide you with that letter. If you are qualified, you will have up to 5 free visits/year to a physio.

Before you come to your EPC Physiotherapy appointment, please bring along your:

-EPC referral letter (that is written for Capital Physiotherapy)

-A physical copy of your debit card (for the rebate to go into your debit card)

-Your Medicare card

Is Physiotherapy covered by health insurance?

When it comes to physiotherapy insurance, Australia has various options depending on your circumstances. In short, most basic health insurance won’t always cover physiotherapy. Instead, you’ll get benefits like private hospital cover and ambulance insurance.

However, if you choose an insurance policy that has extras cover, it will most likely include physiotherapy appointments. Each policy has waiting periods and limits, but you’ll often be able to see a physiotherapist for consultations, follow-ups, treatment plans and rehabilitation if you’re covered by private health extras.

Should I take out health cover for Physiotherapy?
Statistics have shown that one in seven Australians will need physiotherapy at least once in their lifetime. Since physiotherapy is based on evidence-based science, most health insurance extras policies cover physiotherapy and many Australians find their physio treatments to be incredibly beneficial. People who undergo physiotherapy treatment will have higher than >80% of recovery compared to people who do not engage a physiotherapist for rehab. Physiotherapy addresses many health concerns, from physical therapy to health conditions to rehabilitation.

Although physiotherapy has a high success rate, it can be a long process. Taking out health cover for physiotherapy is a good idea because you won’t be seeing a physiotherapist just once. You’ll usually need multiple visits to your physiotherapist to complete a treatment plan.

Private health cover with extras will help you pay for regular physiotherapy treatments so that you can improve your quality of life over time. This includes covering the cost of initial consultations, follow-up appointments and long-term treatment plans up to the limits of your policy.

Hence, taking our private health extra cover is therefore advisable before you have the injuries. Given the percentage of people needing extra cover services, it is an overall advisable approach to have yourself covered incase of future needs.

Waiting Periods for Physio Covered by Insurance

Most private health extras (and health insurance policies in general) require waiting periods before you can use your benefits. Each individual company and policy sets its own waiting periods before you can see a physiotherapist and claim benefits. However, in general, the wait time is about two months before you can make a claim for your physio invoice.

Once you serve the waiting period and either maintain the same level of cover or increase your cover, you may be able to switch policies without waiting again. Be on the lookout for special promotions from health funds because you’ll often see offers for extras cover with no waiting periods to attract new customers.

Do I have to pay for Physio if the doctor has referred?

Yes, even with a GP referral, you’ll likely still need to pay for some of your physiotherapy appointment.

With a referral, you may not have to pay as much as you would without one, but generally, you’ll need to pay some out-of-pocket expenses for your physio treatment, unless you received your treatment as a hospital inpatient, in which case these may be covered by Medicare.

With private health insurance extras cover, you can swipe your insurance card at your physiotherapy clinic to pay only the remaining balance, or you will pay for the appointment out-of-pocket (sometimes referred to as a ‘gap’) expenses and submit a claim to your health insurer to get reimbursed for either a percentage of the cost or a fixed rate.

It’s also important to remember that many health insurers place a time limit for extras claims, which means you shouldn’t wait too long to submit your claim. It’s best to do so as soon as possible after your appointment.

Tip: Always keep your receipts to ensure you are getting the benefits of your private health cover.

Have any more questions? Feel free to email us at and one of our team would be happy to discuss how we can help you!

Why do I feel worse after my physiotherapy appointment?

Following on from our previous blogpost, Can physio make you worse before it gets better?, we’ve got some more details on the healing process of physiotherapy.

Communication with your physiotherapist is essential to your recovery

Sometimes, patients fail to inform their physiotherapists about the pain they feel after a treatment session. Staying quiet about this pain can lead to worsening discomfort and even additional injury.

Instead, you should feel comfortable communicating with your physio whenever you have a question or concern about your recovery. If you are experiencing pain, you may be doing an exercise wrong, need a different exercise, or require some other change to your regimen.

Your physiotherapist is there to help you to evaluate the pain you are feeling and find solutions that help you heal. If you do not feel comfortable telling your PT about discomfort after your sessions, you should find another therapist. The professional you choose should be someone who is compassionate, attentive, and easy to talk to, no matter what questions you have about your recovery.

Know what to do if you experience pain after therapy

If you do experience pain, limited range of motion, or other problems after your physiotherapy session, you should know what to do in order to address your concerns and ensure that you remain on the path to health.

The first step is to stop whatever is making your pain worse. This may mean suspending a specific exercise, for example.

The next step is to communicate with your physio. Expressing your concerns allows your therapist to identify the problem and take steps to change it so you can continue healing, but without pain.

Here at Capital Physiotherapy, our physiotherapists are here to help you lead a healthier and pain free lifestyle. We are experts in helping you to fix your issues as well as all the discomfort that comes with it!

Our physiotherapist will be able to give you a full assessment and create an individual advice/ treatment plan that is tailored for your particular needs.

For any physiotherapy related concerns, drop us an email or make an appointment through our booking system! 

Can physiotherapy make you feel worse before it gets better?

While many patients perceive physical therapy as a process that increases pain (with physical therapists sometimes referred to jokingly as “torturing” patients), the reality is that a physiotherapist’s purpose is to reduce pain, not increase it.

While it is true that you may experience discomfort as you engage with a tailored treatment program, the program is designed to heal and strengthen your body. Over time, a physiotherapy regimen that works should result in less pain, and greater functionality.

You can attend your therapy sessions with confidence, knowing you and your physio have the same goal – to set you on the path to better health and a more fulfilling life by reducing the pain you currently experience.

One of the biggest distinctions that physiotherapists draw when dealing with your experience of pain after therapy is that between discomfort and actual pain. Discomfort and soreness are to be expected, because physical therapy, in order to work, you must train your body. This is the same principle that applies when building strength through exercising or working out. The muscles must experience a certain amount of stress, which can lead to irritation and soreness. It’s also where the proverb “no pain, no gain” comes from!

This stress encourages the muscle to heal and strengthen, and so this soreness can be considered “good pain.” This is the same type of beneficial discomfort you might experience after a good workout or a new physical activity.

As a result, patients should embrace any soreness after their physical therapy session as a sign that their regimen is working.

We will continue this in Why do I feel worse after my physiotherapy appointment?

Have any more questions?

Please contact us here or email us on if you have any questions or would like to talk about your specific condition. One of our team would be happy to assist you.

What can I expect at my first Physiotherapy appointment?

This is a very good and common question asked. 

At Capital Physiotherapy, our philosophy is always around a high client contact, high client care model. Our standard appointment length is 60 minutes, letting you spend every minute of the appointment one-on-one with the physio. These longer one-on-one sessions allow us to more accurately diagnose your issues and allow us to treat your condition effectively and efficiently. We have strong emphasis on proper diagnosis and also medical referral where it’s appropriate.

In your initial consultation, our physiotherapists will incorporate:

  • A thorough assessment of your condition
  • Give you a detailed diagnosis
  • Explain their recommended treatment
  • Prescribe appropriate therapies and home exercises
  • Estimated prognosis timeframe for recovery

Have any more questions? Feel free to email us at and one of our team would be happy to discuss how we can help you!

What conditions can be treated by Physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy is a profession dedicated to the treatment and management of muscle, joint and nerve disorders, aiming to restore normal function that may have been compromised through injury, ageing, disease or environmental factors.

At Capital Physiotherapy, our physiotherapists are highly trained in movement analysis. We are experts in assessing and treating sports injuries, work related injuries, motor vehicle injuries and general physical injuries/discomfort. Physiotherapists also play a critical role in rehabilitation following more serious injuries, especially after surgery.

Your initial consultation at Capital Physiotherapy is one hour long. This allows your physiotherapists to provide you with:

  • A thorough assessment of your condition
  • Give you a detailed diagnosis
  • Explain their recommended treatment
  • Prescribe appropriate therapies and home exercises

So what conditions can a physiotherapist treat?

Physiotherapy is a viable treatment option for a number of physical conditions, including:

  • Neck pain and stiffness including whiplash and wry neck
  • Headaches
  • Back pain including disc injuries and pinched nerves, Sciatica
  • Dance & sports injuries, assessment & conditioning
  • Pre & post-natal conditions
  • Workplace injuries
  • Pre and Post-operative rehabilitation
  • Conditions such as arthritis, multiple sclerosis and other neurological disorders.

What if I’ve got something different I need help with?

Please contact us here or email us on if you have any questions or would like to talk about your specific condition. One of our team would be happy to assist you.

Should I see a Chiropractor or a Physiotherapist?

Physiotherapy (also known as physical therapy) and Chiropractic care share a similar space in the treatment and management of pain and stiffness in your body. Both are practised by licensed professionals with years of education in the sciences, but their approaches can be slightly different.

Physical Therapy/PhysiotherapyChiropractic Care
Pain-free movement is one of the key primary goals.Pain relief and alignment of the spine are key primary goals.
Focuses on how the body moves and functions as a whole.Focuses mostly on issues related to back pain, neck pain, joint pain in the arms or legs, and headaches.
Physiotherapists help you perform stretches and exercises, as well as performing some manipulations for certain conditions, to improve your mobility.Chiropractors perform manipulations and adjustments to help your body heal itself.
Physiotherapists work in just about any healthcare environment, as well as your home.Chiropractors usually need specialised spaces and equipment to perform adjustments and manipulations.

Which therapy should you choose? 

So, what’s the best way to determine which type of therapy is right for you? That really depends on the type of condition you have and your specific needs.

Sometimes, depending on your condition, you may even want to use both Physio and chiropractic care to help relieve pain and improve your quality of life.

Have any more questions? Feel free to email us at and one of our team would be happy to discuss how we can help you!

Treating a Football Player in Middle Park Due to Injury

When football season strikes, I always tell my fellow physiotherapists at the clinic to be ready for possible entry of patients with sport injuries, sprains and muscle problems. I guess my prediction was right, although not one hundred percent accurate. Just right after a championship game at the Middle Park Football Club, a number of football players went to my clinic and requested for rehab and massage therapy. Each player was attended by one therapist and one assistant.

My clinic has been operating for quite some time now and I am just so thankful because we have gradually grown in number over the years. At this time, several medical practitioners are working in my clinic, comprising of certified physiotherapists and physiotherapy assistants, all of which are well-trained and competent in their own fields. The work environment is very conducive that is why patients and clientele are increasing as well. In my clinic, break times are often bypassed because patients are our priority. We follow a system of taking breaks alternately so that patients won’t stay long on the queue.

Yesterday, most of our patients were football players. And since we have discussed about the possibility of their coming to the clinic, we have prepared ourselves for remediation techniques and methods. While most of them complained about body aches and muscle spasm, one from Middle Park Football Club has gotten an injury which needs further rehab. He has swollen ankle on his right foot probably due to a bad kick or wrong position during the game. With this, I required him to undergo five more sessions to ensure full recovery. Also, he is definitely not allowed to play in the meantime or engage into any strenuous activity.

If it is a swollen muscle issue, what we do is facilitate a combination of hot pack/cold pack application, followed by massage and assisted exercise. On the fifth session of rehab, patient should move normally without any pain involved. This applied to our patient with swollen ankle.

Football is a strenuous game where all of the body muscles, specifically leg and foot, are at work. When these muscles work beyond the limits, they become stressed and swollen. Immediate treatment is required in order for the muscle strands to get back to their normal position and functioning.

Sport injuries are common problems that we treat here at Middle Park Physiotherapy. My co-physiotherapists and I went through extensive studies on treating injuries related to sports and gaming activities. We perform techniques that are only applicable to the patient’s threshold to pain. This means, we do not force the patient to undergo rehab procedures when they are in severe pain. The reason why we conduct more than one session is because we have to ensure that pain slowly disappears and normality in movement becomes progressive. When the patient reaches full recovery, this indicates the end of the rehab sessions.

Physiotherapy is not only focused on sport injuries. It covers a wide range of treatment methods intended for patients of all ages and of various health problems. We also facilitate preventive treatment methods to patients who want to prevent or combat pain due to a pre-existing health issue.

If you live in Middle Park and require physio treatments, don’t hesitate to contact us.

My Routine Fitness at Genesis St Kilda Road

Capital Physiotherapy welcomes clients from St Kilda, a multicultural riverside suburb that’s popular with professionals, singles, families, retirees, and hipsters to our South Yarra Physio Clinic.

As a full-time physiotherapist, I always make it a point to keep myself strong and healthy. Obviously, combining this two responsibilities is definitely not an easy task, but I never regret a thing. To be able to do all my duties well, I enrolled at Fit441 on St Kilda Road for a fitness class where I spend one hour per session for three days in a week. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoon, from 5pm – 6pm, I am at the Fit441 St Kilda Rd doing workout activities with the help of a fitness instructor.

Being in the medical industry, I’ve always known that health is a priority factor in life. I know for a fact that food intake should be taken in the right amount so as not to go obese. Although, I am not overweight, I want to ensure that my weight is within the normal range. I am always on the look-out on what I eat to make sure I have a good diet.

Being the head therapist in my clinic, working five days a week at 7-8 hours a days is quite tiring. When I started as the only therapist in the clinic, I become very exhausted at the end of the day as I have to attend to a long queue of patients. Years have gone by and my clinic now has ten physiotherapists. This gives me the peace of mind that every patient can be attended to well. I take pride on having a team of certified and efficient physiotherapists because I was able to train them well. Without my supervision, I feel at ease because they have exhibited professionalism and expertise in their job.

Towards the end of the day, I can leave earlier as I have to attend my fitness class. Fit441 Fitness Center St Kilda Road is just a few minutes from my clinic. This makes it more convenient for me because I only have to walk a few blocks. Working out is such a pleasurable activity because I get to sweat a lot and learn new exercise modules every session. At the gym, I was able to meet some career moms like me. We can relate very well because inserting some time for fitness is sometimes difficult to do. But with proper time management, we finally have gotten the opportunity to enroll in fitness. For us first-timers, it is expected that body aches will are part of the regimen. And so I took the opportunity to invite them for a massage at my clinic. They love the idea and will pay a visit at physio clinic soon. I also asked them to visit for more details they want to know.

At this point, I have managed my time well between work, family and fitness. My partner is very supportive as he picks me up at 6pm together. When there’s no more time to cook, we just dine out for a healthy dinner. While they order their favorite food, I enjoy my salads.

Helping Our Middle Park Neighbour

Being a new resident in Middle Park gives me the peace of mind that I no longer need to travel long distance just to reach my physiotherapy clinic. In fact, I sometimes get up at 7am because I don’t need to join the morning rush. One thing that I appreciate here in Middle Park is its close proximity to the business area. From banks to salon, grocery to coffee shops, almost everything is complete. Weekends are best spent for wellness regimen. My family enjoys the morning walk at the park as we head to the market place for some grocery shopping. Across the park are other residents who are doing their fitness routine.

Middle Park is such a friendly place for families. There’s a golf area, tennis court, badminton court, swimming pool and a bowling lane for those who are enthusiasts of these sports. We love sports that is why we visit these spots often. While spending some time at the bowling club last Sunday, one of the players met an accident. He accidentally slipped into the side lane of the bowling area and fell on the floor while the ball was still in his fingers. Paramedics came and rushed him to the hospital. That person happens to be our neighbour and so I was concerned about his condition. I suspected sprain or fractured bone occurred to him because I saw him in pain after the accident. Also, I know he would be needing physiotherapy treatment.

The next day I went to visit our next door neighbour and check on his condition. He had a fracture on his left leg as caused by falling and swollen muscles on his right hand, particularly near the wrist. Based on doctor’s advice, he is recommended to undergo rehab after two weeks. I offered my clinic for his rehab and I will not charge him for this. Since he is limited to some movements at the moment, I told her wife to visit our site and check how we conduct treatment to our patients. My husband and I are just so glad we could be of help to them. I know how important work is, that is why I am looking forward to his recovery. Good thing, he is working in a company with a kind and understanding supervisor.

My clinic which is close to Middle Park is staffed with licensed and well-trained physiotherapists who are performing their duties efficiently. We attend to our patients on a one-on-one scheme following a specific number of minutes per session. Physiotherapy encompasses a number of treatment methods focusing on the different parts of the body. Our massage therapy applies not only to injured patients but also to persons who are experiencing body pain due to stress and bad posture. Our goal is to achieve complete recovery at the end of the session.

In two weeks-time, my Middle Park neighbour will have his therapy in my clinic and I will facilitate the therapy myself. I hope that he get to recover fast so he’d be able to get back to work as well.

Finding an Apartment to Rent at Middle Park

Working as a physiotherapist can sometimes be demanding at the same time enjoyable. It feels good to see patients improve from their condition and be able to live life normally. I have to stay at the clinic more than eight hours a day because I also work with my accountant to check on the clinic’s earnings and employees payroll. There are times when I have to go home at 8pm or 9pm just to ensure that paperwork is done. This routine is very tiring so I thought of finding a way to make life easier.

My fiancée and I talked about this matter last weekend and we both made it final. We are going to rent an apartment close to my clinic. In that way, my family can easily reach out to me even if I have to extend my working hours later in the evening.

Finding a place to stay can sometimes be a daunting task, especially here in Middle Park. There are number of factors that I have to consider such as payment terms, neighborhood environment, kids’ schooling, proximity to basic facilities and others. If I can find all these in one apartment unit, then I would be very happy to transfer soon.

Today I made my research over the net and stumbled on a site that displays nice apartments for rent in Middle Park. Based on the factors mentioned earlier, I can say that all these are feasible. I am thinking of using the weekend to do an ocular so that I can assess the probability of hiring a moving company to transfer our belongings to this new place. Most importantly, I need to discuss with the landlord about the rental fee as well as the terms and conditions included. Should the place be conducive for my family, I wouldn’t have a hard time traveling to and from the clinic. For sure, my kids will love the idea of living in a house close to where I work. This will create a big change in our lifestyle since everything is going to be more convenient for all of us.

I can’t wait to see this apartment because commuting from our current home is really time-consuming and stressful. Now that I have established my physio in Middle Park, it is also high time that I focus on my family’s dwelling place. Living in an apartment close to my clinic is such great savings. While I can save on gas consumption, I too can spend more time at home rather stressing myself with the morning rush. It is just a matter of adjusting ourselves to a new environment.

There’s just so many ideas coming into my mind right now such as house-cleaning, hiring a moving company, establishing a new postal address and a lot more. Well, all these shall come into place. What I have to do right now is attend to my patients and then wait for the weekend for some decision-making. Personally, I think my decision to check out Middle Park is a good one. I shall see.