Common Questions

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What is Physical Therapy?

Physical therapy is a non-invasive and direct treatment that helps patients maintain or restore physical function. Physical therapy can be done at any age and is used to treat injuries, aid in the healing process, relieve pain, treat a chronic condition and prevent future injuries. The main goal of physical therapy is to improve both your health and overall quality of life.

Physical therapists will generally conduct an evaluation by physically examining you and looking over your medical history. Using this information, the physical therapist will recommend a treatment plan, recommend a certain number of repeat visits in order to monitor your progress, and provide hands-on support during exercise routines.

Physical therapists will show you how you can avoid injury while working, having fun, or working out.

Who uses Physical or Rehabilitative Therapy?

Those who benefit most from Physical Therapy are individuals who are in need of restoring injured body parts, increasing flexibility, or building strength. We also help improve posture, which if left uncorrected can cause damaging musculoskeletal conditions. Additionally, we help patients who have undergone surgeries and who are in need of therapy to regain optimal physical functionality.

What should I bring with me to my first appointment?

Please bring any records from your previous doctor, a list of your medications, allergies and a list of prior doctors. We also recommend bringing in a list of any questions or concerns you may have. Please make sure that you arrive at least 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment so that you can provide us the necessary paperwork and insurance information to put you in our system. To save time, you can also print the Intake Forms located on our forms page, and bring them completed to your appointment.

What should I wear?

We highly recommend you bring comfortable, nonrestrictive clothing or athletic wear to our physical rehab clinic because oftentimes we will be stretching or exercising you. Your clothes should also allow us to evaluate your area of injury, so please dress accordingly. As for footwear, we suggest comfortable, closed-toe shoes, preferably sneakers. If you have any questions, please contact us prior to your first appointment. Don't Forget Mask.

How long does each visit take?

The initial visit takes a little longer than the subsequent visits due to the paperwork that you need to fill out, in addition to the completion of the assessment process. Normally, appointments are usually 60 minutes.

How long will I need physical therapy?

You will need to attend physical therapy sessions until you and your therapist decide that you have reached your desired level of function or that further therapy would not be beneficial. Often therapy will also be monitored by your physician.

When should I start seeing improvement?

Again that depends on the same factors associated with how long treatment will take. We make a treatment plan for you, which includes follow up and regular maintenance visits to our physical rehab clinic. If at any point you feel like you are not progressing at a satisfactory rate, we will collaborate with you and modify your treatment plan. We will always keep you informed as well about your progress.

Will my insurance pay for therapy?

Generally, most insurance companies pay for physical Therapy. Some companies only offer limited coverage. We recommend that you call the benefit number listed on your insurance card to check on your insurance benefits before you start therapy.

What is Direct Access PT?

Direct Access PT means a patient may be evaluated and treated for a musculoskeletal injury by a physical therapist without being referred by a doctor or other healthcare practitioner. Prior to January 1, 2015 in the state of Virginia, a patient was required to have a physician’s prescription before starting physical therapy. If you feel you have a problem that may benefit from the skilled services of a physical therapist, you may be able to refer yourself to physical therapy for treatment. Sometimes direct access is called self-referral. This can save valuable time and money.

What if I need to see a Physician?

When this is the case, patients will be referred to an appropriate specialist. Physical Therapists are trained to recognize signs and symptoms that may indicate the need to see a physician for an evaluation.

There are some limitations/restrictions in seeking PT through Direct Access.

Direct Access is for physical therapy only. Occupational therapy requires a written prescription from your physician.

The patient must not have been evaluated for the same injury within the last three months in order for the therapist to perform an initial evaluation through Direct Access.

The patient can receive Physical Therapy for one month, through Direct Access. After that time a valid prescription from a physician is required.

The patient must give the therapist the name of the licensed healthcare provider the patient plans to see if his or her condition does not improve within the 30-day time frame

The patient must provide written consent that the therapist can release records to that healthcare provider.

The therapist must contact the healthcare provider at the end of the 30-day period to see if he or she will authorize any further physical therapy treatment until the patient is able to see the provider.