Frequently Asked Questions
Physical Therapists are experts in movement and function, so they do not confine their talents to only treating people who are ill. A large part of a Physical Therapist’s program is directed at preventing injury, loss of movement, and even surgery. Physical Therapists work as consultants in industrial settings to improve the design of the workplace and reduce the risk of workers overusing certain muscles or developing lower back pain. They also provide services to athletes at all levels to screen for potential problems and institute preventive exercise programs.
The cornerstones of Physical Therapy treatment are therapeutic exercise and functional training. In addition to “hands-on” care, Physical Therapists also educate patients to take care of themselves and to perform certain exercises on their own. Depending on the particular needs of a patient, Physical Therapists may also “mobilize” a joint (that is, perform certain types of movements at the end of your range of motion) or massage a muscle to promote proper movement and function. Physical Therapists also use methods such as ultrasound (which uses high frequency waves to produce heat), hot packs, and ice.
Most forms of Physical Therapy treatment are covered by insurance, but the coverage will vary with each plan. Most states do not legally require patients to see their physicians before seeing a Physical Therapist (Direct Access). Most of the time all you have to do is ask your doctor if Physical Therapy is right for you.
More than half of all Americans are suffering from pain. Whether it is a recent episode or chronic, an ABC News/Stanford study revealed that pain in America is a serious problem. However, many do not even know that Physical Therapists are well equipped to not only treat pain but also its source.
Physical Therapists are experts at treating movement and neuro-musculoskeletal disorders. Pain often accompanies a movement disorder, and Physical Therapists can help correct the disorder and relieve the pain.
Would you prefer treatment from a Physical Therapist (PT) who works for a physician or one that owns a private practice? We leave it up to you to draw your own conclusions but here are some facts from three different studies:
- Results indicate there were more treatments, and the cost was greater for those patients that attended a physician-owned Physical Therapy practice vs. private physical therapy practice (visits per patient were 39% to 45% higher in physician-owned clinics; and both gross and net revenue per patient were 30% to 40% higher in physician-owned clinics).
- Results indicate that licensed and non-licensed Physical Therapy providers spent less time with each patient in physician-owned clinics, and more often, Physical Therapy Assistants were substituted for Physical Therapists.
- Results concluded that “Therapists who had treated patients through Direct Access were significantly more likely to believe that Direct Access had benefited them professionally and benefited their patients than were Therapists who had not practiced through Direct Access.”
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 Physical Therapist to adjust your Treatment Plan.
In most cases, health insurance will cover your treatment. Be sure to talk to our Receptionists so we can help clarify your insurance coverage.
Direct Access at the State Level. As of January 1, 2015, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the US Virgin Islands allow patients to seek some level of treatment from a licensed physical therapist without a prescription or referral from a physician.
Come dressed as if you would if you were going to exercise. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes.
At your first visit, we’ll ask some questions, establish goals, determine your condition and set up a treatment plan. We may begin treatment during your first session.
Please bring your completed forms, your insurance card and proper attire to your first appointment.