You can expect the following during your first visit:
The therapist will then create a list of your problems and suggest ways to address them. With the input of the patient, a plan is then developed. The plan includes the number of times you should visit your therapist each week, how often you will need therapy, home programs and patient education. It also specifies what to expect after you have been discharged from therapy. This plan will be created with input from your therapist and your doctor.
Your doctor will have provided you with a referral for physical therapy. Also, your payment information. Bring your insurance card if your insurance covers physical therapy. Bring your Workers’ Compensation claim number and contact information. This information is required if you have auto insurance or an attorney lien.
To expose the areas we will be treated, you should wear loose-fitting clothing. For example, you should wear shorts if you have a problem with your knees. A tank top is good for a shoulder problem. Wear loose-fitting pants and a shirt covering the lower back to allow us to examine.
The average treatment session lasts between 30 and 60 minutes.
It is very variable. It is possible to only need one visit or may require months of care. It all depends on the severity of your impairments and your medical history. We will re-evaluate you on a monthly basis. When you visit your doctor, you will receive a progress report and our recommendations.
More than half of Americans suffer from pain. Many people don’t know that physical therapists can treat not only pain but its source as well.
Physical therapists are experts at treating movement and neuro-musculoskeletal disorders. A movement disorder can often be accompanied by pain. Physical therapists can correct it and help relieve the pain.
Most people have heard of physical therapy. Perhaps you’ve heard from someone about the benefits of physical therapy for their back pain. Or maybe you know someone who has needed it after an injury. Perhaps you have even been treated by one yourself. Have you ever thought about what physical therapists do and who they are? Physical therapists are known for their work in helping patients with orthopedic issues, such as knee or low back pain, to reduce pain and regain functionality. Some people may not be aware that physical therapists offer treatment to stroke patients. This includes helping them to regain their ability to walk and use their limbs again.
Your health depends on your ability to keep your body upright and move your arms and legs to complete various tasks. While most of us can live with any medical condition, it is important that we are able to continue working, taking care of our families, and enjoying important moments with our loved ones. These activities all require that you can move freely without pain or difficulty.
Physical therapists are specialists in movement and function so they don’t limit their abilities to people who are sick. A large part of the program of a physical therapy is to prevent injury, loss, or even surgery. In industrial settings, physical therapists act as consultants to improve workplace design and decrease the chance of employees developing low back pain or overusing certain muscles. They offer sports therapy and performance services to athletes at all levels. Many physical therapists offer consulting services to recreational golfers and clubs in order to create safe and effective workouts for those who have already diagnosed a problem with their backs or joints.
Therapy exercise and functional training are the cornerstones of physical therapy. Physical therapists provide “hands-on” treatment, but they also teach patients how to care for themselves and do certain exercises on their own. Physical therapists can “mobilize” joints (that is, they perform specific movements that are beyond your normal range of motion) and massage a muscle to improve movement and function, depending on the individual needs. Physical therapists may also use ultrasound, hot packs, and ice.
While other practitioners might offer these services as “physical therapy”, only physical therapists and assistants with a 2-year education must be qualified to provide physical therapy.
Most forms of physical therapy are covered by your insurance. However, coverage for each plan will differ. Direct access to physical therapy is available in all 50 states. This means patients don’t have to visit their doctors before they see a physical therapist. You don’t have to see your doctor in order to determine if physical therapy is right. For more information about direct access, please contact us.
Because of pain-related movement problems, your doctor may refer you for physical therapy. You have difficulty moving parts of your body, such as difficulty sleeping on your shoulders or bending your low back. This can cause you to have difficulty with daily activities, such as getting up from a chair, walking, or playing sports. These movement disorders and associated pains are treated by physical therapists who can restore your body’s ability for normal movement.
One of our highly-trained, licensed physical therapists will evaluate you and will treat you at subsequent visits. We believe it is important to establish a one-on-1 relationship with you, unlike other clinics where each patient is treated differently. This allows continuity of care. Because only one physical therapist can diagnose your problem, they will work closely with you to accelerate your recovery.
Orthopedic Therapy This is probably the most popular type of physical therapy specialist. These specialists care for post-surgical patients, arthritis, tendinitis/tendinosis, fracture rehabilitation, muscle sprains and strains, neck and back pain, hip and knee problems, and shoulder, elbow, and wrist conditions. Some of these specialists are certified as Orthopedic Certified Specialists, (OCS).
Manual Therapy– Manual therapy refers to a wide range of techniques used to treat movement disorders. Many manual therapists take continuing education courses and get certified in manual therapy. They can also sit for board certification with the American Physical Therapy Association or other organizations. Manual therapy is a common part of the treatment plan for most physical therapists.
Geriatric Physical Therapy Some therapists are trained in rehabilitation for seniors. There are many challenges that arise as the body age. Our strength and balance decrease as we age. We also lose our endurance, bone strength, and flexibility. Seniors need to be aware of the importance of balance and falling prevention. Some clinics are dedicated to treating those with balance issues. Many physical therapists are able to work with elderly patients. Others have completed additional education and passed the board exam to earn the Geriatric Certified Specialist title.
Sports Rehabilitation Experts in helping with injury and surgery recovery. Many sports specialists can help athletes retrain using running, throwing, and jumping as well as sport-specific programs. The Sports Certified Specialist (SCS), title is awarded to a therapist who has passed a board certification test.
Wellness – Our physical therapists have the expertise to assist you with your wellness and fitness goals. Physical therapists are available to help you if you have difficulty with your weight, osteoporosis, diabetes, or want to prevent falling. These are just some of the many programs that physical therapists offer.
Hand Therapy Most physical therapists have the ability to treat wrist and hand conditions. Some therapists have completed additional training and passed a certification exam in hand therapy. These therapists are known as Certified Hand Therapists (CHTs).
Women’s Health Some therapists are trained to treat women’s problems such as incontinence, pelvic pain, pregnancy issues, and pelvic pain. These women can receive special treatment. Many who suffer from incontinence don’t need it. An occupational therapist might be able to assist.
Industrial Rehabilitation– These specialists in industrial rehabilitation assist those who have sustained on-the-job injuries. They can also help you redesign your workflow to reduce the chance of injury. Many times, industrial rehabilitation specialists will assess your ability to complete certain tasks using a Functional Capacity Evaluation.
Pediatric Physical Therapists – These therapists are trained in the rehabilitation and care of children. They can help children with cerebral palsy, developmental disorders, and neurological disorders as well as orthopedic problems. The American Physical Therapy Association offers a certification called Pediatric Certified Specialist (PCS).
Aquatic Physical therapy – Aquatic Therapy uses the physical properties and benefits of water to aid in the rehabilitation process. The rehabilitation of patients can be assisted by the use of buoyancy, turbulence, and hydrostatic pressure as well as thermal properties. Aquatherapy can be beneficial for many patient groups, including those with chronic pain, osteoarthritis, and fibromyalgia, as well as those who have limited weight or are prone to rheumatoid disease.
Cardiac Rehabilitation – This discipline is only practiced by a small number of physical therapists. The title of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Certified Specialist (CCS), is awarded to those who pass the board exam. This certification allows them to work with patients with heart and lung problems. Because many patients have orthopedic conditions that affect their ability to function, physical therapists can help. A physical therapist can treat both the heart and lung issues as well as the muscular problems concurrently.
Spinal Cord Injury, Traumatic Brain Injury and Neurological Rehabilitation – Many physical therapists treat patients with these conditions. These therapists offer a variety of services to patients with neurological involvement, including functional retraining, which includes walking, using a wheelchair, moving in and out of beds (transfer training), and helping to retrain patients to use their arms, shoulders, and hands. A Neurologic Certified Specialist (NCS) title is awarded to a certified specialist.
Balance and dizziness, as well as Vertigo Rehabilitation. Many people suffer from dizziness (or benign paroxysmal situational vertigo). Some clinics are specialized in vertigo rehabilitation. Rehabilitation programs include patient education, strengthening, safety awareness and walking exercises.
Amputee Rehabilitation Many physical therapists are trained in rehabilitation for amputees. Care for injured limb, walking and functional training, as well as training in the use prosthetic limbs (crutches or canes), are all provided by a therapist who specializes in amputee rehabilitation. A therapist who is a specialist in amputee care will provide these services.
Wound care – Some therapists are trained in the treatment and care for wounds. This involves the removal of ineligible tissue (debridement), application of special dressings, prescription drugs/ointments and use of ultrasound, electric stimulation and aquatic modalities to promote healing. A wound care program should include patient education and exercise.
ECS (Clinical Electrophysiologic Certified Specialist) – A physical therapist who is board certified to perform electroneurophysiology examinations such as nerve conduction studies and electromyography.
Lymphedema Treatment – Although we take this for granted, a special part of our circulatory system, called the lymph system filters and drains fluid from our legs and arms. Painful swelling can occur when this drainage system is compromised. As it is known, some therapists are trained in lymphedema treatment. The lymphedema specialist uses special positioning, massage, and bandaging techniques.
Osteoporosis Rehabilitation & Prevention – Some doctors specialize in treating osteoporosis patients. The therapist will often create a customized weight-bearing program and resistance training program in collaboration with your doctor.
Pain relief is a primary goal for many patients. This can be achieved with hands-on techniques such as ultrasound, electric stimulation and/or heat/cold therapy. Pain relief can often be found in movement. Your physical therapist will recommend the right exercises to help you not only with pain relief, but also for strength and endurance, range of motion, and strength.
Physical therapy can sometimes be painful in some cases. It can be painful to recover knee range of motion following total knee replacement, or shoulder range after shoulder surgery. To help you achieve your goals, your physical therapist may use a variety of methods. Your therapist should be able to tell you the severity, frequency, duration, and duration of your pain. It is very difficult for the therapist adjust your treatment plan without this information.
There are many different types of treatment options. Here’s a list:
Active range of Motion (AROM) – The patient lifts or moves an area of the body through range of motion against gravity. AROM is often one of the first treatments for arthritis.
Active Assistive range of Motion (AAROM), – Therapist-assisted active range. This treatment is often used to strengthen or gentle stretch a weak area of the body.
Stationary Bike – With or without resistance. This is often prescribed to improve strength, range, and endurance of the lower extremities or back as well as cardiovascular endurance.
Walking Training is a visual analysis of walking problems. It involves visually inspecting the interaction between the low back, the joints of the legs, thighs, and feet at various stages, such as initial contact, loading, response, mid stance and terminal stance, pre swing and mid swing, and terminal and terminal swing. Gait abnormalities can cause or manifest problems in the back, leg, ankle and foot.
Isometrics is muscle contraction without any joint movement. This is often prescribed to strengthen the joint without damaging or stressing it (e.g. arthritis or exercises that can be done in a cast or right after surgery, if the doctor recommends).
Isotonics– muscles contracting through the resistance of the ROM. This is often used to strengthen.
Soft tissue mobilization is a therapeutic massage using the hands. Soft tissue mobilization can be used to relax muscles, decrease swelling, decrease scar tissue adhesions and provide pain relief.
Mobilization is a hands-on therapy procedure that increases joint mobility and soft tissue. Mobilization is used to improve mobility, delay progressive stiffness and relieve pain. There are many mobilization methods, including Maitland and Kaltenborn, Isometric Mobilizations, and others.
Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) – A system of manually resisted exercise performed in diagonal patterns to imitate functional movements. PNF was originally used for neurologically and developmentally impaired patients. However, it is now used in nearly every aspect of neuromuscular training from athletes in athletic facilities to the very weak in hospitals or nursing homes.
Posture Training: Instruction in correct biomechanical alignment to the body to reduce strain on muscles and joints, ligaments, discs, soft tissues, and other organs. Although there is an ideal position, most people don’t have it. The therapists teach patients how to improve their posture in daily activities. To improve postural health and prevent future disability or recurrences, strengthening and stretching exercises can be recommended.
Progressive Resistive exercises (PRE) are exercises that gradually increase resistance (weights) as well as repetitions. PRE is often prescribed to strengthen muscles and retrain them. As resistance, weights, rubber bands and your body weight are all possible.
Passive range of motion (PROM) The patient or therapist moves a body part through a range without using the muscles that “actively move” the joint(s).
Stretching/Flexibility Exercise – exercise designed to lengthen muscle(s) or soft tissue. Stretching is often prescribed to increase flexibility in muscles that have become stiffened from disuse, pain, spasm, or immobilization.
Cold Therapy or Cryotherapy – This is used to cause vasoconstriction, which causes blood vessels to constrict or decrease in diameter. It also reduces fluid that leaks from the capillaries into tissue spaces. Acute injuries are the most common use of ice or cold. However, it is also a pain reliever that works well for chronic pain.
Electromuscular Electrical Stimulation – The application of electrical stimulation to improve strength (e.g. the quadriceps muscles after a knee injury or surgery). NMES can also be used to reduce pain and swelling, and to treat muscle spasm.
Neck Traction is a gentle longitudinal/axial pull on your neck that can be either mechanical or manual, intermittently or continuously for relief from neck pain. It helps reduce muscle spasms and unload the spine.
Heat– heat is recommended for chronic pain relief, relaxation of muscles and pain relief. It should not be used for an “acute” or “new” injury.
Iontophoresis-Medications are propelled through skin by an electric charge. This modality is based on the principle that like charges repel one another. Therefore, a positively charged medication will be pulled through the skin to the underlying tissue by an iontophoresis pad. Iontophoresis is often prescribed for injuries like elbow or shoulder bursitis.
Pelvic Traction is a longitudinal/axial pull on a lumbar spine. It can be either mechanical or manual, intermittent, continuous, or even periodic. For muscle spasm and low back pain relief, pelvic traction can be useful.
Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation – A relatively low voltage is applied to painful areas using small, self-adhesive electrodes. The electrical stimulation “disguises” pain and “overrides” it. It is a portable, small unit that can be used intermittently to reduce pain and dependence on drugs. It is often prescribed to relieve pain.
Ultrasound– Ultrasound uses a high-frequency sound wave that is emitted by the sound head after electricity passes through a quartz crystal. The sound waves create vibrations deep in tissue, which cause a heating effect. The sound waves cause tissue vibration rather than heating when they are pulsed. The sound waves help with nutrition exchange and cell healing. Ultrasound has been shown to be beneficial for healing ligaments and, clinically speaking, for muscle spasm and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Whirlpool is the submersion of a body part in water. Small “agitators” are used to gently massage the area. Warm whirlpools are great for muscle spasm relief and pain relief. They can also be used as a prelude to exercise or stretching. A cold whirlpool can be used to reduce inflammation and swelling.
Your treatment may include massage. Your recovery may be helped by rehabilitation specialists who are skilled in many techniques. Rehabilitative techniques can include deep tissue techniques. Three reasons massage is commonly used are to ease pain, relax tight muscles, and to allow venous return to a swollen region. Massage does not increase circulation contrary to popular belief.
Flare-ups can happen. We can help you if you are experiencing a flare-up (exacerbation). You may be asked to come back to us, to visit your doctor, or to modify your exercise or daily routine.
You have the right to choose any clinic for physical therapy in most cases. We are a provider of many insurance plans. Give us a call, and we will try to answer any questions.
Each state has some type of direct access. Most cases that do not see significant improvement in 30 days the therapist will refer the patient to their physician.
Most states do not allow physical therapists to make a diagnosis. Your doctor will be able to provide this information.
Your medical team should include physical therapists. At this time, doctors are the primary health care providers who will give you a diagnosis.
The billing process for physical therapy services is the same as that at your doctor’s office. The following happens when you go to see a physical therapist.
It is important that you understand the many steps involved in the process. There are exceptions to the above example. Information may become lost, miscommunicated or misunderstood at any stage. This could delay the payment process. Although it is quite common for the payment process not to take more than 60 days, it is not unusual for physical therapy clinics to receive payment for up to six months after treatment.
Some patients may need to continue home exercise. Others may continue their gym exercises. Others may complete their rehabilitation and resume normal activities. Your therapist should know your goals so that he/she can create a customized program.
Physical therapists and any physical therapy assistants will be licensed by the state they practice in.
These are just a few things to consider when looking for a clinic for physical therapy.
GET A “GOOD FAITH ESTIMAT”
A “Good Faith Estimate” is a written estimate of the cost of your medical care. The law requires that health care providers give estimates of medical costs to patients without insurance or not using it.
* You can request a Good Faith Estimate of the expected cost of all non-emergency services or items. This includes any related costs such as prescription drugs, equipment and medical tests.
* Get a Good Faith estimate from your doctor at least one business day prior to your item or medical service. Before you schedule an item, service, or procedure, you can ask your healthcare provider and any other provider that you prefer for a Good Faith estimate.
* You can contest a bill that you receive that is more than your Good Faith estimate by $400
* Save a copy of or a picture of your Good Faith estimate.
For questions or more information about your right to a Good Faith Estimate, visit www.cms.gov/nosurprises or call our number on our website for more information.