Frequently Asked Questions
What should I do to prepare for my first visit and will I need a referral?
Usually patients are referred from a MD, DO, PAC, podiatrist, or dentist for therapy, but as of Jan. 1st, 2015, in Michigan it is now legal to seek treatment from a physical therapist without a physician referral for 21 days or 10 visits, whichever comes first. However, not all insurance plans cover therapy with direct access. Some Priority Health and commercial plans do cover direct access treatment, but we recommend checking with your insurance company if you have questions.
Bring a physician’s referral if you have one, your health insurance card and driver’s license, and bring flexible athletic clothing so we can assess the painful region. For example, don’t wear tight blue jeans for a hip or knee issue. Come 15 minutes early to fill out paperwork.
What should I expect from my physical therapy on my first visit?
First and foremost, we assess to see if you are appropriate for PT services and will not hesitate to tell you if further imaging or a surgical consult might be needed. We only want to treat patients that we can help. You should expect to have a comprehensive history taken, then a thorough physical examination and movement assessment to evaluate not only the site of pain but also surrounding structures that can contribute to pain. We will also provide you with an initial home exercise program to start to correct some of the issues, along with hands on manual therapy techniques to help with immediate pain relief.
How long will each visit last?
Plan on 45-60 minutes for each visit, depending on how you are feeling and what your therapist feels needs to be accomplished during each visit.
My child is under the age of 18; do I need to come to every visit?
Please come to the initial visit to sign paperwork. After that, it is your choice but not necessary to be there.
Does it matter how often I do my home exercises?
Absolutely; we prescribe exercise like your physician prescribes medicine. You wouldn’t take a antibiotic every 3 days when you are supposed to take it every day for 7 days. Some exercises are for pain relief and should be done frequently to decrease symptoms, some exercises are for postural strength and should be done to maintain good posture, and some exercises are for overall strength and need to be done less often. Every patient is unique and so is the prescription of exercises. You will NOT get a generic program, but a specific program tailored to your pain, functional limitations, and your therapy goals.
How long will I need to go to physical therapy?
Every patient is unique; some issues go away quickly while others take longer. Sometimes with an acute mechanical/joint issue of an extremity or a spine problem, it will only take a couple visits. However, with long-standing issues that came on gradually, the improvement is usually slower but should be steady.
What information do you need to know about me prior to treatment?
If you think it may be helpful, please make a list of chronic medical issues, previous surgeries, medications, and all previous injuries that you have had. If there are any additional concerns that may impact treatment, please let us know so we can accommodate your individual needs.