By Mollie Bracken – Exercise Physiologist
As part of the allied health team at Beyond, our Accredited Exercise Physiologists (AEPs) are here to help you reach all of your exercise and health related goals. In this blog, you will learn exactly what an AEP does and where you can find one, what your appointments with an AEP will look like and who they are qualified to work with.
What is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist and what do they do?
AEPs are allied health professionals who are university qualified experts in prescribing exercise interventions for the treatment of a huge range of conditions. Your AEP will take into consideration your medical history, exercise experience and preferences and barriers to develop the best exercise program to reach your goals.
On top of prescribing the most appropriate exercise for their patients, AEPs are also trained in counselling and lifestyle/behaviour modification. They utilise these skills to help their clients achieve their best outcomes in all aspects of their health.
What conditions can an Accredited Exercise Physiologist treat?
The scope of an AEP is huge, ranging from acute to chronic conditions! These include:
- Musculoskeletal conditions, injuries and imbalances e.g. hamstring strains, rotator cuff tears, pelvic instability, rehabilitation following joint replacement or surgery
- Age related conditions e.g. muscle and balance loss
- Metabolic conditions e.g. diabetes, liver disease
- Neurological conditions e.g. Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Stroke
- Weight management
- Women’s health e.g. pregnancy, post-partum, endometriosis
- Cardiovascular conditions e.g. hypertension, heart failure, rehabilitation following cardiac intervention
- Pulmonary issues e.g. lung disease, asthma
- Mental health conditions e.g. depression
- Cancer – during and after treatment
From initial appointments to treatment plans
Starting to work with an AEP requires an initial assessment just like when you start seeing other allied health professionals. In this appointment your practitioner will ask questions to gather information about things such as your medical and exercise history, any injuries you have or have had in the past and your treatment goals and expectations. They will also conduct a physical assessment of how your body moves at a single joint, in multi-joint movements or by incorporating specific tests relating to your conditions. Together, you and your AEP can then develop a treatment plan which can include face to face exercise sessions and/or a structured home exercise plan. If coming to see your AEP regularly is a bit difficult, many now also offer virtual sessions which can be conducted in the comfort of your own home!
Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to make claims for exercise physiology services through Medicare, TAC, Workcover, DVA, NDIS or your private health insurer if you have extras.
Where can I find an Accredited Exercise Physiologist?
AEPs work in a number of environments, including but not limited to:
- Private multidisciplinary clinics (like Beyond!)
- Community health
- Workplace health and rehabilitation
- Aged care facilities
- Fitness organisations
- Sporting settings
AEPs at Beyond!
Now that you know exactly what an AEP has to offer, it’s time to book an initial assessment with one in our fantastic team to see how they can help you work towards your exercise and lifestyle goals!