What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational Therapy is a client-centred health profession concerned with promoting health and well-being through occupation. As an Occupational Therapist, I believe that our ability to engage in meaningful occupation is at the core of our health and wellbeing. That is where the profession of Occupational Therapy was born… with the recognition after World War 1 that returned soldiers needed to feel that they could again engage in the range of tasks and roles that they had performed prior to sustaining their physical, psychological and emotional injuries. They needed more than rest and physical rehabilitation – they needed to feel that they were capable and valued members of their families and communities.

Occupational therapy services typically include:

  • An individualised evaluation, during which the client and therapist determine goals for treatment
  • Customized intervention to improve the client’s ability to perform important tasks and life roles that may include hands on treatment of the client as well as modification to task and environment to promote task performance.
  • Outcome based evaluation and review.

What should I bring to an Occupational Therapy appointment?

As a primary health care provider, any information regarding your medical condition may by useful to me when assessing your needs and determining goals for treatment. Please remember to bring any test results, medical reports and/or medication information with you to the appointment.

If you are undergoing lymphoedema treatment, please bring any previously worn or prescribed garments with you to the appointment.

If you are undergoing hands on treatment, you may feel more comfortable wearing shorts rather than long pants or jeans which would need to be removed for assessment and treatment.

How is Occupational Therapy different to Physiotherapy?

Many people are unsure about the relationship between Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy. There is often confusion about these two professions, and while there are significant differences, there also many grey areas where the two overlap. Both physiotherapists and occupational therapists are trained extensively in the anatomy of the musculoskeletal system resulting in both being knowledgable about musculoskeletal injuries and rehabilitation. Traditionally, Occupational Therapists have focused more on evaluating and improving a person’s functional abilities while the Physiotherapists have tended to focus more on problems with movement. Obviously there is some overlap between the two, and treatment offered by these two professionals is also dependent on the individual therapist’s ongoing education and training. Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists often work collaboratively in rehabilitation settings.

Can I claim through Medicare for Encompass Therapy services?

Encompass Therapy is a registered Medicare provider. Medicare provides claim benefits for chronic medical conditions and for clients with complex care needs. If you are living with a condition that has lasted, or is predicted to last, for six months or longer, you may be eligible for Medicare assistance under the Chronic Disease Management (CDM) scheme. Chronic conditions covered include cancer, lymphoedema, arthritis, heart disease and diabetes. Eligible patients are entitled to Medicare benefits for up to 5 allied health consults (including occupational therapy) per calender year.

To be eligible for Medicare benefits, you will require a referral for Occupational Therapy services from your General Practitioner and our services must be part of an overall care plan. A gap payment will also be required. After your first and fifth consult, Roseanne will provide written feedback to your GP to ensure that your care plan is being followed.

For more information you can refer to the Allied Health under Medicare fact sheet (PDF)

Can I claim through my private health care fund for Encompass Therapy services?

Encompass Therapy can provide occupational therapy services on a fee for service basis to any private client, regardless of whether you have private health cover.

If you have relevant extras cover, you may be eligible for a rebate through your private health fund. We have HICAPS facilities in our clinic so you can claim for your consultation on the spot by presenting your health fund card.

What is Dry Needling treatment?

What is Dry Needling?

Dry needling is a procedure in which a sterile, disposable solid filament needle is inserted into the skin and muscle directly to treat acute or chronic pain and stimulate healing. The needles used are similar to those used in acupuncture treatment. Dry Needling is used in conjunction with other treatment strategies to reduce pain and improve function.

What type of problems can be treated with dry needling?

Dry Needling can be used to treat a variety of musculoskeletal conditions such as:

  • Neck, back and head pain.
  • Arm conditions such as rotator cuff dysfunction, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, golfer’s elbow.
  • Hip, buttock and leg conditions such as sciatica, hamstring and calf strains, muscle tightness/imbalance through the quads or groin.

How does Dry Needling work?

There is more than one theory as to how Dry Needling is effective in reducing musculoskeletal pain. Studies have shown mechanical and biochemical effects at the motor endplate. Other research has emphasized the impact on central processing of the pain signal. The local twitch response at the muscle on needle insertion is viewed as being essential for therapeutic effect. It may take several visits to treat the presenting condition effectively and prevent reoccurrence.

Is the procedure painful?

Most patients do not feel the insertion of the needle. The local twitch response of the muscle can cause a brief painful response similar to a cramp or a small shock. This twitch response signals the resetting of the muscle and is a desirable reaction to treatment.

What can I expect to feel after the treatment?

Most patients will feel more sore after the procedure, but may notice an improvement in freedom of movement. The soreness may be experienced in the treated muscle and over the area of referred symptoms. Typically, the soreness lasts between a few hours and two days and can be likened to muscle soreness after an unfamiliar exercise. Occasionally some bruising may occur if superficial blood vessels are inadvertently hit.

Are there any risks associated with Dry Needling?

Dry needling is generally a safe treatment technique, but like any medical procedure, there are possible complications. While these complications rarely occur, they are real and must be considered prior to giving consent to the procedure. Any time a needle is used there is a small risk of infection. At Encompass Therapy new disposable sterile needles are used and needle handling protocols as outlined by the ASAP Guidelines for Safe Acupuncture and Dry Needling Practice (April 2103) are adhered to strictly.

When a needle is placed close to the chest wall, there is a rare possibility of a pheumothorax (air in the chest cavity). Fortunately these complications are not fatal and are readily reversible.