What does a physical therapist do and how can they help me?
A physical therapist has attended a credentialed physical therapy program and subsequently passed an exam to become licensed to treat patients. They are the experts in analyzing movement and subsequently treating musculoskeletal disorders that impact function. Much of health care costs today are a result of musculoskeletal disorders and a physical therapist is the first line of defense in treating these problems. Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, including hospitals and doctor’s offices. But, they are not limited to treating patients who are or have been injured or ill. Many times physical therapists treat people before an injury occurs, as with athletes and runners.
What do I need to bring with me to my first visit?
We will need your referral from the physician if you have one or choose to bill insurance and do not have direct access within your plan. We also like to know your current medications, if you have a list, please bring it.
What can I expect at my first visit?
Your initial evaluation is a review of your medical history and an in depth assessment of the reason you are attending physical therapy. You will discuss your pain, how your problems are impacting your life and what goals you would like to achieve while attending therapy.
You will also be tested for strength, mobility, pain, and range of motion as well as any special tests the therapist might feel necessary to perform to help address your problems. The therapist will set goals with you and will develop a plan of care that is approved by your physician if you have been referred by one.
What should I wear?
Wear comfortable clothing that makes it easy for the therapist to access the areas being treated. Loose fitting pants that expose your knee or a tank top for a shoulder is always a good idea. Comfortable shoes are also important as you may be asked to perform a gait assessment.
How long will a session last?
A typical evaluation lasts between 45 minutes to 1 hour. Treatments sessions may last from 30-60 minutes.
How long will I need to come?
Treatment duration varies for every patient. We always try to customize your treatment to your specific needs and we are sensitive to your scheduling conflicts and your financial situation. Your goals for therapy are also important, and we often give patients home exercise programs to manage on their own with regular check-ins with the therapist by phone or in person. We customize every treatment plan to your individual needs.
Will my insurance pay for physical therapy?
Most insurance companies have benefits that cover physical therapy. Some insurance companies require a co-payment and others require a co-insurance. We recommend that you call your insurance company before starting physical therapy to verify your benefits. We will confirm these befits at or before your initial visit.