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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is physical therapy?

    Physical therapy is a medical, hands-on approach to relieving pain and restoring function.

    Physical therapists are medical experts in musculoskeletal and neurological conditions and work closely with physicians.

    Our physical therapists evaluate your movement patterns, identify the cause of your pain, and work with you to eliminate it.

    While every patient’s condition and pain is unique, your physical therapist will use a variety of gentle hands-on techniques, exercises, and equipment to relieve pain quickly and restore your function to optimum levels. The overall goal is to restore pain-free mobility and function to the level you had before pain showed up or higher and to prevent the injury or pain from recurring.

  • What should I expect during physical therapy treatment?

    What can Physical Therapy do for my pain?

    At your first appointment, the physical therapist will:

    • Perform an evaluation to determine a baseline status for the tissues and body systems to be treated including range of motion, strength, gait, balance, functional movement patterns and others.
    • Discuss with you and set appropriate goals that are function based that will guide further treatment sessions.
    • At follow up visits, the physical therapist will use various treatment techniques such as manual therapy, therapeutic exercise, patient education and possibly modalities to achieve the functional goals that have been determined at the time of the initial evaluation.

     

    How many visits will it take?

    The therapist and you will come up with a plan of care that depends on the diagnosis, time line that the symptoms have been around, complexity of the symptoms and many more components to determine how many times a week and for how many weeks care is needed to get you to the level of health you want to be at.

    What can I do to help myself?

    Are we ever glad you asked! One of our goals in physical therapy is instructing you in how to manage your pain. We will provide you with resources to better understand your pain as well as knowledge and exercises with appropriate progression to improve your current level of function. We are here to support you as you begin this journey in improving your health!

    • There is a lot of research that indicates that people in pain are interested in knowing more about their pain. In studies where patients go through education sessions and gain a deeper understanding of their pain it was found that they have less fear, better attitudes about pain, move easier, have the ability to work more despite slight discomfort, have the ability to exercise more, and have less nerve sensitivity.
  • Why do I have pain?

    Pain is described by the International Association for the study of Pain as an “unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage.”

    Pain is a natural occurring phenomenon to protect us from danger. For example, if we place our hand near a burner, the pain we feel urges us to remove our hand from the stimuli before tissue damage can occur. The neuroscience approach to understanding pain hopes to explain why pain persists long after the danger and tissue healing has occurred. The brain is a complex organ that must filter thousands of pieces of information every second. Having a sensitive nervous system and how the brain processes this information directly will affect the levels of pain felt.

    Pain is a normal human experience, living in pain is not.

    Research has demonstrated that the more you know about your pain and the factors that are a part of the pain the better you are at understanding how to deal with the sensitive nervous system. Our role as physical  therapists is to bring this understanding to you. This will allow you to ask more questions, learn more about your nervous system and make changes in your life to reduce discomfort and more importantly take back your life from the pain that you have been experiencing.

    The topics discussed may include:

    1. Where do we feel pain?
    2. What is the purpose of pain?
    3. What are the types of pain?
    4. What is the brain’s role in pain?
    5. What is the nervous system’s role in pain?
    6. How your treatment can allow you to take back your life from pain?
  • How do I know if physical therapy will help me?

    Working with you and your doctor, we can discuss your options and help determine if physical therapy will be the right choice for you. Contact us today to discuss your current condition and even set up a free consultation if you choose.

  • Can I go to any physical therapist I choose?

    As a patient you have the right to receive physical therapy at any place you choose.

    At Total Function Physical Therapy PC, you will receive the highest quality care while achieving the results you need.

    We pride ourselves on providing a positive, encouraging environment with well-trained, friendly staff.

    We are confident in our ability to help you reach your goals and live a pain-free life.

  • How do I schedule an appointment?

    Our scheduling is easy and we offer convenient locations and appointment times for you. We have morning and evening appointments available to meet the demands of your busy schedule. Call us today!

  • What should I bring to my first appointment?

    Please have a prescription (if needed) for physical therapy from your referring physician, Nurse Practitioner or Physician’s Assistant (PA).

    To bring on your first visit:

    • A prescription (if needed) for physical therapy from your referring physician, Nurse Practitioner or Physician’s Assistant (PA).
    • Insurance information (we will make a copy of your card).
    • Print out the patient forms, fill them out, and bring them with you.
    • In case of an automobile accident or worker’s compensation claim, also bring any case manager or insurance adjuster contact names, phone numbers, and claim number.
    • Please arrive 15 minutes early to complete any remaining paperwork, so you can maximize your time in your evaluation.
    • Please wear comfortable clothing that allows easy access to your problem areas.
  • Will it hurt?

    Physical therapy is not meant to hurt, but to relieve pain. However, as you restore your mobility, pain levels, at times can fluctuate. You might experience some temporary soreness from using muscles that are weakened or recovering. This is a normal response to therapy treatment. Good communication with your therapist will help minimize any discomfort. We want you on your way to quick pain relief and back to normal activities.

  • Does insurance cover my treatment?

    Yes, in most cases it does. As a courtesy our office staff will be happy to assist in contacting your insurance company and determining your coverage based on your individual policy. For more information, visit our insurance plan page and please do not hesitate to contact our office. We do offer different payment options for your convenience.

  • What if I don’t have insurance?

    For patients who do not have insurance, we offer a discounted fee, due at the time of service.

  • What type of payment do you accept?

    We accept cash, check, debit card and credit card. We are happy to discuss payment plan options as well. It is our policy that payment is made at the time of service. Your insurance benefits will be determined before your second visit, and you will be informed of what, if any, payment is necessary on that date.

  • What do I wear?

    Dress comfortably with clothes that allow easy access for the therapist to examine your problem areas. For treatments, loose fitting clothes that are comfortable for gentle exercises and supportive sneakers are often good choices to wear.

  • How long will my therapy sessions last?

    Typically, the first session lasts for about 45 minutes but with the paperwork up front and scheduling after the appointment count on about 1 hour 15 minutes. Each session after that will be about 45-60 minutes. The amount of time will be based on your specific needs, and your therapist will discuss this with you.

  • How many sessions will I have?

    Each patient’s diagnosis is different, so together with your referring physician, your therapist will develop a Plan of Care that is right for you. Your plan of care and number of visits will be determined during your first visit and explained to you by your physical therapist.

  • What types of education/training do your therapists have?

    Physical therapists have years of university level training in anatomy, physiology, kinesiology (study of joint and body movement), neurology, pathology and many of the other medical sciences. Our physical therapists have graduated from accredited physical therapy programs and are state licensed. Depending on the university, the physical therapy program is either a bachelors, a masters or a doctorate level degree. Rest assured, your therapist is well trained to evaluate and treat your condition.

  • Do you offer programs for me once I’m better?

    Yes, once you have completed your therapy sessions, your therapist will review your continuing home program.  We can make arrangements to meet you at your gym to work with you on determining what equipment may be beneficial, and what exercises would be helpful in your continued recovery.