Physical Therapy FAQ’s
Do I need a physician’s referral/prescription to attend physical therapy?
No, you do not need a prescription to receive physical therapy. In California, patients are able to be evaluated and treated by a licensed physical therapy without a physicians referral under legislation called Direct Access. This immediate access to physical therapy will lead to a much higher rate of success in a timely manner. However, under California law AB1000, physical therapists can provide direct care for a period of up to 45 calendar days or 12 visits, whichever occurs first, after which time a signed plan of care will be required by a licensed physician.
Do I choose the physical therapy clinic?
Yes, you can choose which ever clinic you want to receive your physical therapy. This allows you to perform “due diligence” and find a quality clinic and therapist that will provide the care you need.
What should I expect on my first visit?
After your appointment has been scheduled, you will be required to complete a medical history questionnaire and information sheet. The physical therapist will review the questionnaire and perform an evaluation to determine the exact cause of the problem and discuss a treatment plan with you. Treatment is performed and corrective techniques are provided the same day. The initial visit may take 90 minutes to complete.
Will my insurance cover physical therapy?
Most insurance companies will have coverage for some kind of physical therapy services. Contact your insurance carrier to find out more information regarding deductibles, co-pays and percentage of coverage.
I don’t have insurance, can you work out a financial agreement with me?
Absolutely, we provide competitive cash packages that are affordable and realistic.
How long and how often will I come to physical therapy?
Length of physical therapy will determine on the severity of your physical condition. Typical sprains and strains may take a 4-6 weeks while post surgical procedures may take 3-4 months to rehab.
What should I wear and bring to my first appointment?
Comfortable work out clothing or loose fitting clothes are best. During the evaluation and treatments, the therapist will need to access your skin, muscles and joints to determine what is problem is and treat it effectively.
How is my progress measured?
Typically goals are established during the evaluation and used to measure progress. Primarily, therapists measure progress based on improvements in swelling, range of motion and mobility, strength and muscle activation, improvements in alignment and posture. Coordinating more complex movements and performing exercise techniques correctly without pain or compensations is another sign for progress. Patients are required to complete outcome satisfaction surveys every 4 weeks and re-evaluated to make sure progress is being made.
How long are the visits?
Visits typically last 60 minutes.
How many visits will I need?
Number of visits will depend directly on how extensive the injury is. Most injuries take 4-6 weeks to heal. For most basic sprains or strains, the average number of visits are 8-12. If your goal is to return to a sport or competitive activity, more visits will be required to focus on strength and power and preparing the tissue to withstand greater forces of impact.
Is physical therapy painful?
Ideally no, however with any kind of injury there will be pain to a certain degree. If the injury is left untreated, pain may become more chronic and severe. Typically the first goal for physical therapy is reduce pain and muscle guarding so the earlier therapy is initiated, the less painful it will be in the long run.
What will I have to do after physical therapy?
During the entire process of therapy, your treatment plan is constantly being updated. Exercise are progressed and typically get more challenging every 2 weeks. Ultimately, the goal after therapy is to be able to exercise independently at home or in the gym. You will be provided with an updated home exercise program with written instructions and video training.