Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What happens during my 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 "Forms" link to the left) •You will provide us with your prescription for physical therapy. •We will copy your insurance card and driver’s license. •You will be seen for the initial evaluation by the physical therapist.
The therapist enquire about the following:
1.Your medical history. 2.Your current problems and complaints. 3.If you have pain, what aggravates and eases the problem. Also, how the pain is impacting your daily activities and function. 4.Your goals with physical therapy. 5.Medications (please bring a list if you have one), tests (x-rays, MRI’s, CT scans, etc. and procedures related to your health.
The therapist will perform an evaluation which will minimally include some of the following:
1.Palpation – light pressure around the area of the pain/problem. Areas that relate to the problem will also be assessed as needed. This is done to check for the presence of tenderness, swelling, soft tissue integrity, muscle tone, tissue temperature, inflammation, and relative position of one joint to another. 2.Range of Motion (ROM) Testing - 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. This is to determine the 4.Neurological Testing - the therapist may check to see how the nerves are communicating with the body, sensing touch, pain, vibration, or temperature. Reflexes will be assessed. 5.Special Tests - the therapist may perform special tests to help determine the exact cause of the problem and to rule out other problems. 6.Posture Assessment – observation of the body in general but also the area(s) that relate to your complaints.
Once the evaluation is completed, the therapist will discuss the reasons for the problems you are having and if physical therapy treatment can help. Goals will be determined based on the evaluation and your input.
Treatment will most of the time be two visits per week but this may vary based on need and independence of the individual. You will be educated on how to help your symptoms, as much as possible, starting with the first visit.
What do I need to bring with me?
1.The prescription ordering physical therapy given to you by your doctor. 2.Insurance cards and driver’s license. 3.List of medications you are currently taking. 4.Any diagnostic reports you have, like x-rays or MRI’s. 5.If you are covered by Workers' Compensation, bring your claim number and your case manager's contact information. 6.If you are being covered by auto insurance bring any claim numbers and we will supply an attorney lien to sign.
How should I dress?
You should wear loose fitting clothing so you can expose the area that we will be evaluating and treating.
How long will each treatment last?
The first visit is usually 1 hour and subsequent visits are approximately 45 minutes.
How many visits will I need?
This will vary between individuals. You may need only a few (2-3) or several weeks of care. The length of treatments depends on your diagnosis, the nature of your problem, your past medical history, and any factors that may compound your problem.
Is my therapist licensed?
Physical therapists (PT's) and physical therapist assistants (PTA's) must be licensed by the state in which they work. The license of all therapists should be prominently displayed.
Is physical therapy painful?
For many patients, one of the primary objectives is pain relief. This is frequently accomplished with hands-on techniques and modalities which are things like cold laser, electrical stimulation, and moist hot packs. Specific directions of movement often provide pain relief as well. Your physical therapist will provide you with the appropriate exercises not only to decrease pain but to increase range of motion and ultimately strength and prior function.
In some cases it is impossible to avoid pain. If you are coming to us in significant pain please realize that that problem already exists and can some times be difficult to get under control. Everything we do is to try an help you get better as quick as possible and with as little pain as possible!
Will I need to return to physical therapy?
If you have a recurrent problem after your discharge from physical therapy, how/if you will return to physical therapy will depend on a number of factors. It would depend if it was a re-injury of the same specific problem, how long it has been since you were last in physical therapy, how long it's been since you saw the physician (if a physician referred you), and many other factors. In general, if you are discharged from physical therapy and feel the need to return, you should contact the physical therapist who treated you. He or she will review your chart and call back to discuss with you what should be done, depending on the problem you are having.
What is the co-pay for physical therapy?
Co-pays are dependent upon your individual insurance. Physical therapy is considered a specialist by most insurance companies. We try and help you in any way we can with this process too. Please keep in mind that we did not choose your insurance coverage and we only relay the information that is given to us by your company.
What is my responsibility in physical therapy?
Your participation is essential! Your physical therapist cannot do it without you! We ask that all patients and clients cooperate by following through with their home exercise programs and instructions, as this is extremely important in expediting your recovery. Showing up on time for your scheduled appointment is essential to get the proper treatment in each week. (See cancellation and no-show policy).