12 Questions answered about physical therapy

Physical Therapy FAQ

If you’re suffering from an injury or chronic pain, or if you’re simply looking to improve your physical wellbeing, physical therapy may be right for you.

Here are 12 frequently asked questions about physical therapy that can help you decide if you need it and how to prepare for an appointment.

1. What is physical therapy?

Physical therapy is the practice of treating injuries and chronic conditions with movements, manipulations, patient guidance and other noninvasive techniques. Physical therapy treatments do not involve the use of drugs, medications, incisions or other invasive and side-effect inducing methods.

2. Are physical therapists licensed healthcare professionals?

Physical therapists are licensed healthcare professionals. They must complete an undergraduate program followed by a complete physical therapy training program. Once education is complete, they must pass a rigorous examination to receive a license to perform physical therapy.

3. Who needs physical therapy?

Physical therapy can help anyone with an injury or condition affecting the musculoskeletal system. This includes your bones, joints, cartilage, muscles, tendons and ligaments. Also, you don’t need to wait until you’re hurt to visit a physical therapist. Physical therapy can help prevent injuries and improve physical performance.

4. What should you expect during your first physical therapy appointment?

During your first appointment, your physical therapist will examine your physical condition and review your medical history. This helps determine what kind of treatments your physical therapists will use. You’ll likely begin treatment on the first day after evaluation.

5. Are physical therapy treatments personalized?

Physical therapy treatments are personalized to the needs of each individual. Injuries and conditions affect people differently depending on age, medical history, fitness levels, lifestyle choices and other factors.

6. Does physical therapy hurt?

One of the main goals of physical therapy is to treat pain, so in the end, it doesn’t hurt. However, some techniques, such as range-of-motion techniques after a joint injury, may be slightly painful, but this is a necessary part of progress.

7. How long does physical therapy treatment last?

An individual physical therapy session lasts around an hour, but it may be longer or shorter depending on your individual treatment.

8. How many physical therapy sessions are required for full treatment?

The number of visits you need to make to a physical therapy clinic for treatment varies depending on the nature and severity of your injury or condition. Some people require physical therapy for a few days a week for a couple of weeks. Others need longer treatment.

9. What should you bring to a physical therapy appointment?

You will need to bring your payment information or insurance card to your physical therapy appointments. You may also need to bring a physician’s referral or workers’ compensation information if necessary.

10. How should you dress for a physical therapy appointment?

You should dress in clothing similar to what you may wear to a gym. This clothing should allow you to move freely. Loose-fitting clothing is preferable because it helps physical therapists access the painful area for certain treatments.

11. Can you do physical therapy at home?

Part of many physical therapy treatments includes exercises and stretches you should perform at home between appointments. Your physical therapist will instruct you on how to safely perform exercises at home.

12. Does insurance cover physical therapy?

Most health insurance providers cover a portion or all of your physical therapy treatment. Talk to your health insurance provider if you have any questions about covering physical therapy.

Visit Holland Physical Therapy for physical therapy

Our physical therapists at Holland Physical Therapy specialize in a variety of techniques to treat many different conditions. Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.