Physiotherapy Outpatient Service
Our physiotherapy team helps women, men and gender diverse people living with pelvic floor symptoms or pelvic health conditions.
We offer both individual services as well as group based programs.
Our Physiotherapists are highly trained and can manage the following conditions:
- Bladder leakage (also known as urinary incontinence)
- Bladder problems (such as urgency or having to rush to the toilet, difficulty emptying, or going too often to the toilet overnight)
- Bladder pain (that might occur when the bladder is full or with emptying)
- Bowel leakage (also known as faecal incontinence)
- Bowel problems (such as constipation, bloating and other gut symptoms)
- Bowel or bottom pain (that might occur with bloating or emptying the bowel)
- Sexual pain (pain around the vagina, anus, penis or genitals)
- Sexual dysfunction (difficulties with libido, arousal or other parts of sexual activity)
- Pelvic pain (that might occur in or around the genitals (vulva, vaginal, penis, scrotum, anus) or in the pelvic (that might occur in or around the bladder, uterus, ovaries or bowel)
- Lymphoedema in the arms or legs
- Post-prostatectomy incontinence
- Back pain and pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy
- Carpal tunnel and de Quervain’s syndrome in pregnancy
- Severe and/or complex symptoms of the menopause
- Gestational diabetes
Our Physiotherapists are highly trained and can provide the following treatments:
- Exercise programs to improve mobility and strengthen muscles
- Pelvic floor muscle training
- Joint mobilisation to reduce pain and stiffness
- Muscle re-education to help you control your movements
- Bladder re-training
- Breathing exercises and techniques to help you clear your airways
- Bowel management including techniques to improve emptying
- Garment fitting and/or bandaging for the management of lymphoedema
- Exercise programs to improve recovery from cancer treatment
- Assistance with use of aids, splints, crutches, walking sticks and wheelchairs
- Education regarding your condition and how you can help manage it yourself.
Health professional referral:
To come to the Physiotherapy Outpatient Department you will need to have your local doctor (GP) or treating specialist write you a referral letter explaining your relevant surgical and medical history. The referral may then be mailed, emailed or faxed to us or you can bring it into our department in person.
To make or cancel an appointment please telephone 9382 6540.
We try to see all of our patients as quickly as possible. However, we have a large number of patients seeking treatment. Appointments are offered based on urgency. Urgent conditions are generally given an appointment within a few days of receiving the referral. Non-urgent conditions may need to go on a waiting list. It can take up to 2 months for non-urgent conditions to receive an appointment.
Can I chose the day and time I attend appointments?
We will try to find appointment times that suit your availability. Our hours of operation however are 8:30am - 4:00pm Monday to Friday. We do not offer weekend treatments.
Self-referral for Physiotherapy services:
For your first appointment, please bring:
- Any test/scan results that you have had recently
- Wear comfortable clothing and footwear
- A list of any medicines that you are taking
If you arrive 5-10mins before your appointment time we will ask you to complete a short symptom survey. Your physiotherapist will discuss the results with you and might ask you to repeat the survey after a few sessions to measure your progress.
At your first appointment we will ask about your medical history and your health needs. We will conduct a physical examination, which might include pelvic floor assessment. We will then discuss what type of physiotherapy will benefit you. This can include a combination of appointments at the hospital with a physiotherapist and a plan for you to follow at home. Physiotherapy treatments involve education, movement training, exercise programming, manual therapy (hands on techniques) and may involve the use of ice, heat, ultrasound or, electrical stimulation. Your physiotherapist will always provide options for the physical examination and your treatment so that you can make decisions about your care and have an active role in your health.
You can expect your physiotherapist to provide you with information about your:
- Diagnosis (what is wrong, or the name of the problem, including how severe it is and what might have caused it)
- Prognosis (how long it will take to recover, what you can do to help and how physiotherapy can help)
- Tests (results from tests completed by the physiotherapist, if you will need any further tests or referrals)
- Treatment plan (the options for treatment, pros and cons, number of appointments and how often, etc.)
Will I always see the same physiotherapist at each visit?
As we are a teaching hospital you will be treated by a physiotherapist or a student physiotherapist. We will try to only have one therapist treating you. However, many of our staff rotate in their roles so you may find during the course of your treatment program you may receive treatment from more than one therapist. If this happens, we will make sure an effective and comprehensive handover takes place.
How often will I need to attend the Physiotherapy Department?
This will vary depending on your needs. Usually we offer up to 6 treatment sessions.
How long do the treatment sessions take?
Your first session will take 60 minutes. Follow-up sessions generally take 30 minutes.
Does the Physiotherapy Outpatients Department generally run on time or will I have to wait?
We try to run an on-time clinic. You will rarely have to wait more than 15 minutes for your appointment. To minimise stress, please make sure that you arrive 10 minutes earlier than your scheduled appointment time. You can ask the administration officer when you arrive if your physiotherapist is running on time. If you are more than 15 minutes late you may be asked to reschedule your appointment.
Will I always receive hands-on treatment such as massage, heatpacks or ultrasound?
Your physiotherapy treatment plan will be based on current research and best practice. Your therapist will discuss with you what would work best for your condition and provide options. They will do this after your first appointment.
Will I be expected to do exercise outside of my physiotherapy appointments?
Your physiotherapy treatment plan will be based on current research. It is highly likely that your therapist will ask you to do certain activities or exercises as part of your treatment plan. They will teach you anything you need to do like exercises and provide you with opportunity to decide when and how you can complete your treatment plan in your every day life.
Will my physiotherapist talk with my doctor?
Your physiotherapist will work in partnership with your referring doctor. They will contact your doctor if they have any questions. When you finish your treatment plan your GP will receive a discharge summary letter outlining your initial assessment, the treatment plan you completed and the outcomes achieved. Our physiotherapists work closely with specialists at POWH and RHW and will share outcomes of any discussions they have about your care with your treating team.
Will I need to undress during my treatment sessions and will the therapist touch me?
At times we will need to touch you to assess your needs or to provide hands on treatment. If this is needed you may need to undress. You may be provided with a hospital gown. Your modesty, privacy and dignity will be respected by your therapist at all times. Our team of physiotherapists are
Will I experience soreness as a result of my physiotherapy?
With any exercise program it is normal to have some muscle soreness the next day. This should only last for a short time. If you have any ongoing soreness or pain please let your physiotherapist know.
Can I receive ongoing treatment for my problem?
Your physiotherapy treatment plan will be based on current research. Many conditions are chronic and require ongoing management. In these instances, we will identify what you can do for yourself after your treatment program finishes.
We are a teaching hospital and you may be asked to be involved in research or for a student to be present at your appointment. You have a right to say no. If you do so, this will not impact in any way on the services we will provide. All physiotherapists in our team are committed to achieving the best possible health outcome for you and complete regular supervision with a senior or specialist physiotherapist. You can ask your physiotherapist if your care can be reviewed with a senior or specialist physiotherapist and your physiotherapist might suggest this from time to time.
Please let us know if you need an interpreter. You can contact us telephoning the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) on 131 450. Tell the operator what language you speak and then ask the interpreter to set up a telephone conversation between you, an interpreter, and the healthcare professional you want to speak with.