F.A.Q

Why a physical therapist?

Physical therapists can help improve or restore the mobility you need to move forward with your life. If you are looking for a possible alternative to surgery and/or pain medication, consider a physical therapist.

Your Physical Therapist Can Help You With:

  • Arthritis
  • Back Pain
  • Knee Pain
  • Osteoporosis
  • Overuse Injuries
  • Shoulder Pain
  • Stroke
  • Sprains, strains, and fractures
  • And much more

About Physical Therapists

Intensive Education and Clinical Expertise . . .

Physical therapists apply research and proven techniques to help people get back in motion. All physical therapists are required to receive a graduate degree – either a masters or a clinical doctorate -- from an accredited physical therapist program before taking the national licensure examination that allows them to practice. State licensure is required in each state in which a physical therapist practices. They are trusted health care professionals with extensive clinical experience who examine, diagnose, and then prevent or treat conditions that limit the body’s ability to move and function in daily life.

Caring to suit anyone’s needs . . .

Physical therapists provide care for people in a variety of settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, schools, sports and fitness facilities, work settings, and nursing homes. Physical therapists diagnose and treat people of all ages, including newborns, children, and elderly individuals. They may consult and practice with other health professionals to help you improve your mobility.

The optimal combination of treatments . . .

Blending science with inspiration, your physical therapist will teach you how to prevent or manage a health condition and help motivate you during your treatment so you can function optimally. Your physical therapist will work with you to help you understand your body so you will achieve long-term health benefits.

A personal wellness plan tailored for you . . .

Your physical therapist will examine you and develop a plan of care using a variety of treatment techniques that help you move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability. Your physical therapist can also help you prevent loss of mobility and motion by developing a fitness- and wellness-oriented program tailored to your specific needs.

Your partner in health . . .

A physical therapist is your partner throughout your journey to restoring and maintaining motion so that you can function at your personal best.

Source: APTA

Do I need a prescription for physical therapy? 

A new law was recently passed that allows for Direct Access (no prescription necessary).  However, most insurance companies still require a physicians prescritpion in order for the treatment to be covered. 

What do I expect on the first visit?

During your first visit you can expect the following:

  • Arrive at your appointment with your paperwork completed (you can download it from our website - see the paperwork or forms link)
  • You will provide us with your prescription for physical therapy.
  • We will copy your insurance card.
  • You will be seen for the initial evaluation by the therapist.
  • The therapist will discuss the following:

          1. Your medical history
          2. Your current problems/complaints
          3. Pain intensity, what aggravates and eases the problem
          4. How this is impacting your daily activities or your functional limitations
          5. Your goals with physical therapy
          6. Medications, tests, and procedures related to your health.

The therapist will then perform the objective evaluation which may include some of the following:

        1. Palpation - touching around the area of the pain/problem. This is done to check for the presence of tenderness, swelling, soft tissue integrity, tissue temperature, inflammation, etc
        2. Range of Motion (ROM) - the therapist will move the joint(s) to check for the quality of movement and any restrictions
        3. Muscle Testing - the therapist is checking for strength and the quality of the muscle contraction. Pain and weakness may be noted. Often the muscle strength is graded. This is also part of a neurological screening
        4. Neurological Screening - the therapist may check to see how the nerves are communicating with the muscles, sensing touch, pain, vibration, or temperature. Reflexes may be assessed as well
        5. Special Tests - the therapist may perform special tests to confirm/rule out the presence of additional problems
        6. Posture Assessment - the positions of joints relative to ideal and each other may be assessed.

The therapist will then formulate a list of problems you are having, and how to treat those problems. A plan is subsequently developed with the patient's input. This includes how many times you should see the therapist per week, how many weeks you will need therapy, home programs, patient education, short-term/long-term goals, and what is expected after discharge from therapy. This plan is created from input from you, your therapist, and your doctor.

What should I wear?

You should wear loose fitting clothing so you can expose the area that we will be evaluating and treating. For example, if you have a knee problem, it is best to wear shorts. For a shoulder problem, a tank top is a good choice, and for low back problems, wear a loose fitting shirt and pants, again so we can perform a thorough examination.

What do I bring to the first visit?

Make sure you bring your physical therapy referral (provided to you by your doctor) and your payment information. If your insurance is covering the cost of physical therapy, bring your insurance card. If you are covered by Workers' Compensation, bring your claim number and your case manager's contact information. Please make sure to bring a list of your medications and past surgical history.  If you do not have a list be prepared to fill out the information for us.  

Will my insurance pay for physical therapy?

In most cases, health insurance will cover your treatment. We participate in most insurance networks, but make sure you talk to our receptionist so we can help you clarify your insurance coverage.

How long will my physical therapy appointments last?

The initial visit will generally be longer than subsequent visits. Plan to spend 1 ½ hours for the first visit, and about an hour for later visits. The length of your treatment sessions will be determined by your treatment plan, and may be longer or shorter.

Is physical therapy painful?

For many patients, one of the primary objectives is pain relief. This is frequently accomplished with hands-on techniques, modalities such as ultrasound, electrical stimulation, and/or heat or cold therapy. Movement often provides pain relief as well. Your physical therapist will provide you with the appropriate exercises not only for pain relief but to recover range of motion, strength, and endurance.

In some cases, physical therapy techniques can be painful. For example, recovering knee range of motion after total knee replacement or shoulder range of motion after shoulder surgery may be painful. Your physical therapist will utilize a variety of techniques to help maximize your treatment goals. It is important that you communicate the intensity, frequency, and duration of pain to your therapist. Without this information, it is difficult for the therapist to adjust your treatment plan.

Can I go to any physical therapy clinic?

In most cases, you have the right to choose any physical therapy clinic. Our practice is a provider for many different insurance plans.

The best thing to do is give us a call and we will attempt to answer all of your questions.