What is an Exercise physiologist?
Clinical exercise physiologists are tertiary qualified allied health professionals that have extensive knowledge of the human body and its response to exercise. EP’s use exercise as a modality of treatment to assess and treat a number of conditions including but not limited to:
- Musculoskeletal injuries
- Cardiovascular disease
- Chronic pain
- Neurological conditions
Exercise Physiologists take a holistic approach focussing on managing your condition and improving your quality of life long term. Exercise Physiologists will do so much more than just treat symptoms. We will consider the ”how” and “why” of your circumstances and address the cause of your problem so that we can manage the issue, and also prevent future recurrences.
Who should see an Exercise Physiologist?
If the effects of Exercise could be replicated and placed into a pill it would be the most prescribed medicine on the planet. With this in mind, no one should be exempt from seeing an Exercise Physiologist. An Exercise Physiologist can use their extensive skill set to create a management plan to suit your needs and achieve your goals.
Some common conditions our exercise physiologists can help prevent and/or manage:
- Cardiovascular – high blood pressure (hypertension), coronary artery disease, cardiac rehab post heart attack, chronic heart failure
- Neurological – stroke, spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, parkinsons
- Pain & Fatigue – Chronic pain, chronic fatigue syndrome
- Musculoskeletal – injury rehabilitation, low back pain, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, pre and post surgery rehabilitation
- Metabolic – Type 2 diabetes, PCOS, obesity,
- Mental health – depression, anxiety
- Respiratory & pulmonary – Asthma, COPD
- Pre & post natal
How is exercise physiology different to Personal Training?
Exercise physiologists are more than just a fitness professional (Personal Trainer). Exercises physiologists are Allied Health Professionals with medicare provider numbers. Whilst Exercise Physiologists and Personal trainers both prescribe exercise, the type of populations each profession works with and the setting they work in are vastly different.
In addition, Exercise Physiologists are required to adhere to strict ongoing professional development to ensure that we stay up to date with the latest research and provide the best quality of care.
What can you expect from your first appointment at Upwell Health Collective?
Your initial assessment with your Exercise Physiologist will be 45 minutes long. During this time we;
- Have an in depth discussion to get an understanding of your medical history, current health, injury concerns and physical status.
- Discuss where your concerns are showing up in your life, what are you having trouble doing day to day, how is this impacting you?
- Take a holistic approach to health care and will discuss other factors that can contribute to your health such as sleep, diet and stress.
- Discuss your exercise and treatment history, what has worked for you in the past, have you seen any other allied health professionals, what exercise do you enjoy, what don’t you enjoy?.
- Establish a set of goals and outcomes that we will work towards along with strategies to achieve these goals.
- Complete a physical assessment – this might involve but not limited to injury assessment, movement pattern analysis, strength test, postural assessment, height, weight and blood pressure.
From all the information gathered during your initial assessment, we will design an evidence based program specific to you and your goals.
Following your appointment, you will receive your patient pathway which is an overview of the initial assessment and the treatment plan which will include a rough timeline.
If we feel your health would be enhanced by input from any other Upwell service (e.g. physiotherapy, podiatry, myotherapy. pilates etc), we will recommend this as part of the PathwayPlan.
What should I wear to my exercise physiology appointment?
As ‘exercise’ is our form of treatment, we often get asked from patients if they will be exercising heavily during their first appointments – this absolutely isn’t the case, sometimes our initial consults will be a simple movement analysis. We recommend wearing clothes that you feel comfortable to move in. We have change and shower facilities at Upwell that you can utilise before and after your appointment.
How regularly will I need to do exercise physiology?
The frequency of appointments will depend on the findings from your initial consultation and the goals and/outcomes we wish to achieve during your treatment. Your follow up appointment will likely be 2 days after your initial so that we can get stuck straight into your treatment plan and don’t lose momentum.
We find that the patients that achieve the greatest outcomes attend 1-2 appointments each week in addition to completing home exercises set by their exercise physiologist which complement their treatment.
Below is an example of two cases and how their treatment plan and appointments may differ.
Attended Upwell with a long history of Chronic back pain (8+ years), overweight, Osteoarthritis and mild depression.
She has been attending the clinic once per week for the last 6 months and completing a regular home exercise program consisting of aerobic, strength and flexibility interventions. As part of Grace’s treatment plan, we have also educated her in regards to chronic pain and how to live a healthier lifestyle.
Grace has become more functional over the last 6 months improving her strength and range of motion and is now able to enjoy the simple things such as going for a leisurely walk with a friend, or playing with her kids pain free which has been great for her mental health.
Ben attended Upwell after he started experiencing left anterior knee pain. An assessment identified it to be consistent with patello femoral pain syndrome and he was prescribed an individualised exercise program.
He attended 2 appointments a week for 2 weeks and 1 a week for 6 weeks after that and was compliant with his rehab exercises at home.
Ben’s symptoms improved, he was able to regain full pain-free range of movement in his knee, his strength on his left leg improved to equal that of his right, and he was able to return to walking up and down stairs, squatting and sitting pain free. Ben was then discharged after 8 weeks of treatment.
Do I need a referral from my doctor or specialist for exercise physiology?
Upwell’s exercise physiologists are considered to be Primary Healthcare Practitioners, which means our patients can access their care without a referral from a GP or specialist.
We do however accept referrals from GPs and/or specialists in cases where a GP Management Plan or Team Care Arrangements (formerly known as Enhanced Primary Care Plan) has been developed.
Many GPs and specialists are likely to refer you to seek exercise physiology, and we will work closely with your circle of care to ensure you achieve your health and wellbeing goals.
Other practitioners/specialists that refer to us
- Diabetes educators
- Hospital outpatient programs
Is exercise physiology claimable on Medicare or Private health?
You may be eligible to receive a Medicare rebate on your exercise physiology appointments at Upwell Health Collective. In order to do so, you will need to obtain a GP Management Plan or Team Care Arrangements (formerly known as Enhanced Primary Care Plan (EPC)) from your GP.
Once you have your approved plan from your GP, you can then bring that into Upwell Health Collective and receive a Medicare rebate which will cover you for part-portion of the service fee. Medicare rebate is available for a maximum of five services per patient each calendar year.
Most health insurance providers cover exercise physiology as part of extras coverage. If you are unsure if your insurance will cover you, feel free to give us a call and we can provide a quote on what portion of your appointment will be covered.
7 x Award Winning Exercise Physiology Camberwell