Below you will find answers to Frequently Asked Questions concerning your physical therapy treatment and related topics. Our goal at Physical Therapy Solutions is to make your appointments comfortable, enjoyable, and productive. Please feel free to call with any questions and concerns you may have.
Physical Therapy Benefits
What are some of the benefits of physical therapy?
Physical therapy offers many patients non-invasive options to treat injuries and conditions. Physical Therapy promotes range of motion, strength, flexibility, pain reduction, improved balance, and overall well-being.
Is physical therapy only useful after surgery?
No. Physical therapy can assist many people suffering from chronic medical conditions such as degenerative disc disease, tendonitis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, TMJ, and plantar fasciitis, to name a few. There are also conditions where surgery is not indicated that necessitate conservative management. Even if surgery is necessary, physical therapy addresses and minimizes deficits prior to surgery which in turn can improve post-operative results and healing, making your recovery quicker and less painful.
How is Physical Therapy helpful in comparison to the treatment options of traditional medical treatments (injections, surgery, medicines)?
The goal of traditional medical treatments may be to treat your symptoms, e.g. medicines or treatments to reduce inflammation or pain. The goal of Physical Therapy is to improve posture, flexibility, strength and range of motion thereby reducing pain. By addressing these impairments throughout the body that may be causing the symptoms, the need for traditional medical treatments may be reduced or eliminated.
Why would I seek the advice of a physical therapist before seeing my PCP or an orthopedic specialist?
You should consider all of your treatment options. Physical therapists have extensive training in the diagnosis and management of neuromusculoskeletal disorders. While you may be feeling a great deal of pain or discomfort from your injury or condition, proper range of motion, strength and posture may make you feel better. Physical therapists usually can get the patient into the clinic sooner than specialists. By starting physical therapy sooner, you can feel better sooner. Also your progress with physical therapy provides information to the specialist should you need to seek the advice of a specialist. In some instances, Physical Therapy treatment may provide the relief you need avoiding the need for specialists and doctors visits.
What should I expect at my first appointment?
The first appointment usually takes 45 minutes. If you have not done so prior to the appointment, you will need to complete paperwork including a past medical history questionnaire, a pain assessment and an insurance verification. All of these documents will be explained to you. The first part of the examination is to meet with the physical therapist to review the information you provided, discuss your reasons for seeking physical therapy and your goals for physical therapy. The next part of the evaluation is comprised of testing your range of motion, strength, posture, flexibility, pain level, and special tests related to your injury/condition being evaluated. After the testing portion of the examination, your Physical Therapist will explain to you the reasons behind what you are experiencing and the ways in which Physical Therapy may help you overcome your symptoms. The plan of treatment will be discussed with you as well, allowing time for questions at the end. The Physical Therapist may or may not begin your home exercise program on this first appointment.
What should I bring to my first appointment?
Please bring the paperwork given to you if you came into the clinic prior to the evaluation. Bring your insurance card(s) and the doctor’s prescription if a prescription was given to you. If your injury is a result of a work-related accident or motor vehicle accident, please bring supporting documents from the responsible carriers (workers’ comp insurer, your motor vehicle insurer policy information). Bring your schedule/calendar/day planner so that you can schedule follow up appointments. Please bring a form of payment for copayments/coinsurances. If you have copies of medical reports that are pertinent to your diagnosis (e.g. x-rays/MRI reports, surgical reports) you can bring these as well.
What should I wear?
You should wear loose-fitting comfortable clothing that will allow you to move freely. Wear athletic shoes if possible.
Do I need a prescription to receive physical therapy?
In the state of Massachusetts, patients have the right to directly access Physical Therapy treatment without a doctor's prescription for physical therapy. This means that a prescription is not required to receive physical therapy and that the physical therapist can evaluate and treat you as they feel is clinically indicated. But some insurance carriers require a prescription and/or referral for Physical Therapy to be covered and paid for by your insurance company. Please call our office and we can determine what you need in order to start physical therapy treatment.
How long will I be in treatment?
The length of your treatment is dependent on a number of factors: 1. the number of visits allowable by your insurance plan; 2. the type/severity of your injury or condition; 3. your individual progress and goals; 4. your diligence with performing your home exercise program.
How long is my appointment?
Appointments generally run 45 - 60 minutes. There is no required duration for each appointment and the duration of each treatment will be based on what you need to improve.
How is my treatment plan determined?
Your treatment plan is determined after your physical therapist discusses your injury/condition with you, reviews your medical history and performs an assessment. Together you will arrive at a treatment plan that considers all of these things plus your individual goals and lifestyle.