What happens during my first visit?
What do I need to bring with me?
- 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 your medical history, pain, goals in physical therapy & any medications taken.
- Therapist will perform the following:
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.
The therapist will move the joint(s) to check for the quality of movement and any restrictions.
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.
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.
The therapist may perform special tests to confirm/rule out the presence of additional problems.
The positions of joints relative to ideal and each other may be assessed.
How should I dress?
Make sure you bring your physical therapy referral (this may have been 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. If you are covered by auto insurance or an attorney lien, make sure you bring this information.
How long will the treatment last?
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.
How many visits will I need?
Treatment sessions typically last 45-60 minutes per visit.
Why are people referred to Physical Therapy?
This is highly variable. You may need one visit or you may need months of care. It depends on your diagnosis, the severity of your impairments, your past medical history, etc. You will be re-evaluated on a regular basis. When you return to your doctor, we will provide you with a progress report with our recommendations.
What Insurances are accepted?
They referred because of a movement dysfunction that may or may not be associated with pain. These dysfunctions very likely result in limitations with your daily activities (e.g. difficulty getting out of a chair, an inability to play sports, or trouble with walking, etc.). Physical Therapists treat these movement dysfunctions and their associated pains to restore your body's ability to move in a normal manner.
Is Physical Therapy Painful?
- Humana Medicare
- First Health Network
- Worker's Compensation
- Blue Cross/Blue Shield PPO
- Wellcare / Staywell
- Beech Street
- Golden Rule
- Champ VA
- United Healthcare
What happens if my problem or pain returns?
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.
What will I do after Physical Therapy?
Flare ups are not uncommon. If you have a flare up (exacerbation), give us a call. We may suggest you come back to see us, return to your doctor, or simply modify your daily activities or exercise routine.
Is my Therapist licensed?
Some patients will need to continue with home exercises. Some may choose to continue with a health and wellness program. Others will complete their rehabilitation and return to normal daily activities. It is important that you communicate your goals to your therapist, so he/she can develop a custom program for you.