Visiting a physio

Find a physio


When you visit your physio for the first time, it's a good idea to wear clothes that you'll be comfortable in and to bring along any important information, such as your X-rays.

The physio will talk to you about your medical history and assess your health issue. They'll discuss what you'd like to achieve from the treatment.

From there, they'll develop a treatment plan just for you. They'll explain what it involves, what results you can expect, how long it'll take and how much it'll cost. If you agree, your treatment can start.

What to expect

Physiotherapists use a variety of treatments. These may include:

  • Exercise programmes
  • Manipulation and mobilisation
  • Lifestyle advice
  • Education to prevent future injury
  • Acupuncture
  • Massage
  • Hydrotherapy

If you don't understand a procedure or exercise, ask your physiotherapist to explain it again or to demonstrate it. Your physiotherapist may provide you with written instructions and diagrams of exercises to continue with at home.

If you have any side effects from your treatment, please let your physiotherapist know immediately.

ACC claims and referrals

Remember, physios are registered health professionals who can lodge an ACC claim for you if you have an injury. You can see a physio directly - you do not need a referral from your doctor.

Your rights and responsibilities:

  • To be treated with care and skill, dignity and respect
  • To bring a family member, whānau, friend, caregiver and/or interpreter to your treatment
  • To withdraw from your treatment at any stage or seek a second opinion.

If you are concerned about the physiotherapy treatment that you received then you can make a complaint.

Person and Whānau Centred Care

Physiotherapy New Zealand's Professional Development Committee has developed a model of Person and Whānau Centred Care for physiotherapy in Aotearoa New Zealand. Person and whānau centred care is healthcare that focuses on what you and your whānau need, value, and want to achieve.

This model highlights how physiotherapists can provide care that meets the needs of you and your whānau, and improves your health outcomes. Physiotherapists can use the model to plan their professional development, and to enhance their professional practice.

The person and whānau centred care poster explains the model in plain-English. Download

The person and whānau centred care document explains the model in detail. Download