Your Healthcare Team

Summary

  • Muscle, bone and joint conditions can be effectively managed 
  • A team approach, with you at the centre, is the best way to manage your condition 
  • It is important that you understand the specific roles of healthcare workers and how they can help you manage your health

On this page

Muscle, bone and joint conditions can be effectively managed.  The best approach is a team which includes you and your health professionals, and those closest to you. Family, friends and support groups all play a role in this team.  But at the heart of the team is you. You know how your body is feeling and what problems you are having.  

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General practitioner (GP)

Your GP is an important partner in the management of your condition. They are central to your care and can help you manage day-to-day, as well as helping you access other health professionals and services. They are likely to be the health professional you see most often – both for managing your muscle, bone or joint condition, as well as any other health problems you may have. 

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The rest of your team

There are a vast range of health professionals who can work with you to manage your condition. You may see them on an ongoing basis, or you may visit them from time to time as needed. 

This is a brief summary of some of the more common health professionals that may be part of your team.

Spe‚Äčcialists - You may from time to time need to see a specialist. Your GP may refer you to a rheumatologist or an endocrinologist if you are experiencing complications relating to your condition, or if they feel an expert eye will ensure you are receiving the best possible care.   

  • Rheumatologist - a doctor who specialises in diagnosing and treating problems of the joints, immune system and bones (eg rheumatoid arthritis)
  • Endocrinologist - a doctor who specialises in diagnosing and treating problems of the endocrine system (eg osteoporosis)

Physiotherapist - assess, diagnose, treat and work to prevent disease and disability through physical means. Physiotherapists are experts in movement and function and work with you to overcome movement disorders. They can also show you pain relief techniques and design an individual exercise program for you. 

Exercise physiologist - helps to improve your health and fitness through clinical exercises programs tailored to your individual needs as well as support to live a healthy lifestyle. Also known as an EP

Occupational therapist - helps you learn better ways to do everyday activities such as bathing, dressing, cooking, working, eating or driving.They can also provide information on aids and equipment to make everyday activities easier. Also known as an OT

Dietitian - can provide information and advice on food and nutrition. They can assist in developing individual healthy eating plans. Help you with your diet to ensure it is as healthy as possible 

Pharmacist - can help you with information and advice about medications – both prescription and over-the-counter 

Podiatrist - will assess, diagnose and treat foot and lower limb problems. These may include skin and nail problems, foot and ankle injuries, foot complications related to medical conditions and problems with gait or walking. They can provide appropriate footwear advice.   

Psychologist - can help you to work through your feelings, particularly if you are feeling anxious or depressed. They are also helpful in goal setting when self-managing chronic health conditions.

Hand therapist - an occupational therapist or physiotherapist who has with extra training who can help you in the treatment of problem conditions relating to your hands, wrists and elbows.

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Accessing healthcare professionals

You can access allied health professionals in a number of ways including:

  • Public Hospital and outpatient clinics
  • Community health centres
  • Community rehabilitation service
  • Private health care providers may need a referral from a GP. Private health insurance extras may cover some of the costs.
  • GP Chronic Disease Management Plan – Talk to your GP to see if you are eligible for a GP Management Plan. You may be eligible for 5 visits in a calendar year with an allied health professional. The plan covers most of the cost of the visit although out of pocket expenses may vary.

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Tips for preparing for your appointments

  • Prepare for your appointment by writing down your questions 
  • Prioritise the most important questions
  • Consider making a longer appointment if you have a lot of questions. That way you can get through all of your questions without having to rush
  • Consider taking someone with you.

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Useful resources

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More information

  • Need medical information regarding your condition and commonly prescribed treatments? Or assistance navigating the health, disability and social services systems? Contact our nurses on our Help Line on 1800 263 265 or email helpline@move.org.au.
  • Interested in finding out about our upcoming webinars and seminars and other events. Click here to learn more

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Move - muscle, bone and joint health, the new voice of Arthritis Victoria

Welcome to MOVE muscle, bone & joint health, the new voice of Arthritis and Osteoporosis Victoria.

We may have a new name but since 1968 we have been the leading provider of supported solutions and trusted knowledge to the one-in-three Australians who live with these conditions.

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