FAQs

Below is a list of some of the frequently asked questions about physical therapy. If you have a question which isn't on the list then please don't hesitate to contact us for an answer.

  • What is Physical Therapy?  
  • Who can benefit from Physical Therapy?
  • What is involved in the Physical Therapy process?
  • What do I need to do for my first visit?
  • How long does the Initial Evaluation take?
  • How long will my follow-up visits take?
  • If I have questions about my Home Exercise Program, should I call or wait until my next visit?
  • How often will I need to come to Physical Therapy?  
  • What should I wear to Physical Therapy?
  • Do you have a locker room?  
  • What are my benefits for Physical Therapy?
  • Do I need a prescription?  
  • What is a referral and how do I know if I need one?
  • Should I let your office know when my next doctor's appointment is?
  • What if I change insurance carriers during my therapy duration?  
  • Can I keep in touch with my physical therapist after I am discharged?

What is Physical Therapy? 
Physical Therapy involves the direct treatment of physical injuries or "dysfunction." We work to assist people in returning to their previous functional status. The emphasis is always on the goals that the patient has in mind. This can be as simple as returning to daily activities, or as advanced as retuning to sports activities. The goal of PT is also to educate the individual on the underlying cause of their symptoms/injury in order to help them prevent a recurrence of problems in the future. 

Who can benefit from Physical Therapy? 
Physical therapy can help people with both acute and chronic conditions and can help people of all ages. People of all health and fitness levels are candidates for physical therapy depending on your injury. Physical therapy is not just for individuals who have had a specific injury or surgery. Some of our patients suffer from chronic aches and pains without ever having had a specific injury. Contact the office closest to you for more information and to see if you are candidate for physical therapy at Saint Peter's Sports Medicine Institute. 

What is involved in the Physical Therapy process?  
If you decide to become a patient at Saint Peter's Sports Medicine Institute, we will assist you in every way possible on your road to recovery. After scheduling you initial evaluation, the patient will be required to fill out all necessary paperwork prior to treatment. During the evaluation your history of the symptoms and functional limitations are discussed, followed by a thorough physical examination of the injured site. This assessment includes analysis of strength, flexibility, joint mobility, range of motion, posture, and body mechanics of the involved side compared to the non-involved side to determine the proper course of treatment. We then develop a manual treatment program that addresses all of these specific findings in addition to a stretching, and strengthening program to be completed during your visit. A customized Home Exercise Program is also developed and given to the patient to perform when he/she is not in PT. 

What do I need to do for my first visit? 
First you must call the office where you would like to attend physical therapy and schedule your initial evaluation. For your convenience we have posted most new patient forms on this site under the "forms" link. There you can print out the necessary new patient forms and fill them out prior to your appointment. You will also need to bring your insurance card(s), a photo ID, the prescription from your doctor if you have one and your referral (if required). 

How long does the Initial Evaluation take? 
Plan on your first visit taking approximately 60 minutes. Your physical therapist will first evaluate your current condition. The therapist will then create an individualized program specific to your injury as well as design and instruct you on your Home Exercise Program. 

How long will my follow-up visits take? 
After your Initial Evaluation, your standard visits will take approximately 30 to 45 minutes. Please note that these programs are individually customized, so each program will vary in time based on the patient's particular requirements. Please note, your physical therapist may ask you to arrive 15 minutes early prior your scheduled appointment time to warm-up. 

If I have questions about my Home Exercise Program, should I call or wait until my next visit? 
Please call our office if you ever have any questions regarding your treatment or your home program. We would prefer that you speak to your physical therapist to confirm that you are doing your exercises properly. Doing your exercises properly will help avoid any further injury. 

How often will I need to come to Physical Therapy? 
Your therapy schedule will be constructed based on the recommendation of your doctor and your therapist. People can either come in for a single visit to obtain a home program, or schedule a number of visits that often range from 12 to 24 visits. The average schedule is 2 to 3 times per week and depends on the degree of injury/dysfunction and the available time of the patient. 

What should I wear to Physical Therapy? 
For your comfort and to allow access to the injured area by your therapist, please wear loose, comfortable (gym style) clothing and sneakers. Please be conscious of attire specific to your injury. Example: neck or shoulder injury, wear a tank top, knee or hip injury, wear shorts, etc. We have locker rooms for your changing needs. If you need to change clothes, please allot enough time so that you can start promptly at your scheduled appointment time or 15 minutes earlier if your therapist would like you to warm-up. 

Do you have a locker room? 
Our facility has a locker room where you can change and secure your belongings.. 

What are my benefits for Physical Therapy? 
Physical therapy benefits vary depending on your insurance carrier. Our staff will verify physical therapy benefits as a courtesy to you. Verification of benefits is not a guarantee of payment. You are responsible for knowing your insurance benefits and the coverage for physical therapy as well as for the payment of your account. If your insurance requires a referral it is your responsibility to obtain one prior to your first visit. You are ultimately responsible for any and all charges for professional services whether or not they are paid for by the insurance carrier. 

Do I need a prescription? 
A prescription is not usually required. Although please note that some insurance carriers may require a prescription and Medicare ALWAYS requires a prescription. 

What is a referral and how do I know if I need one? 
A referral is an authorization generated from your Primary Care Physician allowing you to see a specialist. The referral is on-file with your insurance carrier and is valid for a specified number of visits as well as a specific range of dates of service. Not all insurance carriers require a referral to see a specialist. It is the patient's responsibility to obtain the referral from your PCP prior to your first physical therapy visit. 

Should I let your office know when my next doctor's appointment is? 
Communication between your healthcare team is vital to your recovery. This includes sharing information regarding your injury between your physical therapist and orthopedist or primary care physician. To maintain the open lines of communication, please let your physical therapist know one week in advance of your doctor's appointment. This will enable the therapist to reevaluate your progress and provide a report to your physician. 

What if I change insurance carriers during my therapy duration? 
Please let the front office know as soon as possible if your insurance carrier will be changing. Failure to have correct billing information on file with our office may result in lack of insurance coverage for those visits, and ultimately become your financial responsibility. 

Can I keep in touch with my physical therapist after I am discharged? 
We encourage an open line of communication. When a patient is discharged from physical therapy, not only do the therapists feel it is ok to call, it is recommmended. Saint Peter's Sports Medicine Institute is your physical therapy source for life. Open communication ensures that if any symptoms recur, or another injury happens, we can address them immediately. 

 

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