Frequently Asked Questions

Have you got questions about Physiotherapy? Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

If you’re in need of physiotherapy treatment while you are in hospital, the physiotherapist will typically be made aware that you need physiotherapy and come and see you on the ward or treat you in a dedicated Physiotherapy Department. If you are not in hospital you may be referred to a Chartered Physiotherapist by your G.P. or hospital consultant, but you can also make an appointment for yourself if you believe you are suffering from a condition that requires the intervention of a Physiotherapist.

When choosing a physiotherapist it is important to make sure that they are Chartered (they will have MISCP after their name). Chartered Physiotherapists are autonomous practitioners, which means that you can directly access their services and refer yourself for treatment, however to access treatment within the public system you will usually require a doctor’s referral. You can use our Find a Physio directory on our website to find a chartered physiotherapist working in private practice in your locality.



Occupational Health Schemes

Some employers run occupational health schemes for their employees that may include physiotherapy. Check with your human resources or personnel department to see if you are eligible. Larger organisations often have an in-house physio while smaller businesses may use the services of a local physiotherapy service. There is good evidence that occupational physiotherapy is cost-effective for large and small businesses. If you are an employer or manager, find out more about how physiotherapy can help:

• Reduce sickness absence

• Offer additional business benefits

Physiotherapy is more than just musculoskeletal support. Physiotherapists extend their care to chronic health impacts, like heart disease and diabetes, and lesser-known pelvic floor issues. They’re experts in helping to reduce the alarmingly common health and safety issues associated with working in labour intensive industries, preventing injury as well as getting people back to work quickly and safely. Here are some of the different areas of physiotherapy:

• acupuncture and dry needling

• aquatic

• cancer, palliative care and lymphoedema

• cardiorespiratory

• disability

• emergency department

• gerontology

• mental health

• musculoskeletal

• neurological

• occupational health

• orthopaedic

• paediatric

• pain

• physiotherapy for animals, often working with vets

• sports

• women’s, men’s and pelvic health

Physiotherapists are trained to assess your condition, diagnose the problem, and help you understand what’s wrong. Your treatment plan will take into account your lifestyle, activities and general health. The following are common treatment methods use by physiotherapists:

• exercise programs to improve mobility and strengthen muscles

• joint manipulation and mobilisation to reduce pain and stiffness

• muscle re-education to improve control

• airway clearance techniques and breathing exercises

• soft tissue mobilisation (massage)

• acupuncture and dry needling

• hydrotherapy

• assistance with use of aids, splints, crutches, walking sticks and wheelchairs to help you move around.

If you are visiting a chartered physiotherapist for the first time, you may expect:

• To provide information regarding your past and present medical history

• To have an assessment of your posture and how you move

• To get to the root cause of your pain/injury

• To receive hands-on or manual therapy

• To wear comfortable clothing for ease of examination and movement

• To be given an individually designed Home Exercise Programme

• To be given advice re sport, lifestyle, posture, ergonomics etc.

• To have a range of techniques used to optimise your individual treatment plan

• To be treated respectfully and safely

You can use our Find a Physio directory of Chartered Physiotherapists to find a physiotherapist working in private practice in your locality. You can also use it to check if your physiotherapist is Chartered. All the Physiotherapists in this directory are current members of the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists (ISCP). This is the only association in Ireland recognised by the World Confederation of Physical Therapy. If you need to access a Chartered Physiotherapist in Northern Ireland visit Physio First

Chartered Physiotherapists are autonomous practitioners, which means that you can directly access their services and refer yourself for treatment. However to access treatment within the public system you will usually require a doctor’s referral.

All major Health Insurance providers (VHI, Aviva, Irish Life, Laya etc) provide cover for treatment provided by a private Chartered Physiotherapist. The level of cover will vary in accordance with your individual health insurance plan. Check your policy information to find out what is included in your cover.

You may also be eligible to claim tax relief for your physiotherapy treatments using the Med 1 form (Note: Prior G.P. referral may be required)