Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
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What happens during my first visit?
You will be thoroughly evaluated by a doctor of physical therapy, who will be your physical therapist at each and every visit. During this evaluation process some of the information you will review with your physical therapist includes, but is not limited to:
- Your medical history, including medications.
- Tests and procedures, you have had performed and their results.
- Your current problems/complaints.
- Pain intensity, what aggravates and eases the problem.
- How this is impacting your daily activities or your functional limitations.
- Your goals with physical therapy.
The therapist will then perform the objective evaluation which may include some of the following: range of motion measurements, strength testing, palpation of affected areas, neurological assessment, gait analysis, balance testing, functional movement testing, special tests to rule in/out pathology, posture evaluation and other tests as deemed necessary to identify what options will bring you relief. Your physical therapist will explain these findings and plan with you the ideal treatment plan to accomplish your goals.
What do I need to bring with me?
Make sure you bring to your first visit:
- your physical therapy referral, if you have one,
- the completed paperwork from the ‘registration forms’ button
- your insurance card(s),
- photo identification, (such as your license),
- financial payment obligations
- any copies of important medical tests performed
- comfortable clothing that you can easily move in
How should I dress?
You should wear loose fitting clothing so you can expose the area that we will be evaluating and treating. For example, if you have a knee problem, it is best to wear shorts. For a shoulder problem, a tank top is a good choice, and for low back problems, wear a loose-fitting shirt and pants, again so we can perform a thorough examination.
How long will each treatment last?
Treatment sessions typically last about 60 minutes per visit.
How many visits will I need?
This is highly variable. You may need just a few visits or you may need months of care. It depends on your diagnosis, the severity of your impairments, your past medical history, etc. You will be re-evaluated on a monthly basis and/or each time you see your doctor. A progress report with our recommendations will be written and sent to your physician.
Why is physical therapy a good choice?
More than half of all Americans are suffering from pain. Whether it is a recent episode or chronic, an ABC News/Stanford study revealed that pain in America is a serious problem. However, many do not even know that physical therapists are well equipped to not only treat pain but also its source.
Physical therapists are experts at treating movement and neuro-musculoskeletal disorders. Pain often accompanies a movement disorder, and physical therapists can help correct the disorder and relieve the pain.
Why are people referred to physical therapy?
You and others may be referred to physical therapy because of a movement dysfunction associated with pain. Your difficulty with moving part(s) of your body (like bending at the low back or difficulty sleeping on your shoulder, etc.) very likely results in limitations with your daily activities (e.g., difficulty getting out of a chair, an inability to play sports, or trouble with walking, etc.). Physical therapists treat these movement dysfunctions and their associated pains and restore your body's ability to move in a normal manner.
Why should I choose a private practice physical therapist?
We believe that we can provide you with the highest quality of care available and do it in a cost-effective manner. You will work closely with the same physical from the beginning to the end of your experience with us.
Who pays for the treatment?
In most cases, health insurance will cover your treatment. Click on our insurance link above for a summary of insurances we accept and make sure you talk to our receptionist so we can help you clarify your insurance coverage.
Is physical therapy painful?
For many patients, one of the primary objectives is pain relief. This is frequently accomplished with hands-on manual techniques, pain relieving modalities, and appropriately prescribed adjunctive therapeutic exercise. Movement, specifically designed for each patient, often provides pain relief as well. Your physical therapist will provide you with the appropriate exercises not only for pain relief; but to recover range of motion, strength, and muscular endurance.
In some cases, physical therapy techniques can be painful. For example, recovering knee range of motion after total knee replacement or shoulder range of motion after shoulder surgery may be painful. Your physical therapist will utilize a variety of techniques to help minimize your pain responses. It is important that you communicate the intensity, frequency, and duration of pain to your therapist. Without this information, it is difficult for the therapist to adjust your treatment plan.
Will I get a massage at physical therapy?
Massage may be part of your treatment. Rehabilitation specialists are trained in a variety of techniques that may help with your recovery. Deep tissue techniques may be part of the rehabilitative process. Massage is used for three reasons typically - to facilitate venous return from a swollen area, to relax a tight muscle, or to relieve pain.
What happens if my problem or pain returns?
Flare ups are not uncommon. If you have a flare up (exacerbation), give us a call. We may suggest you come back to see us, return to your doctor, or simply modify your daily activities or exercise routine.
Can I go directly to my physical therapist?
Connecticut allows patients to see a physical therapist without first seeing a physician. However, your insurance carrier may have rules in place that requires a physician referral before attending physical therapy. Call our office at 860-741-2541 and we will gladly help you determine the route you must take. If you are not making progress within the first 6 visits with your physical therapist, we will refer you to an appropriate practitioner that will be able to help you.
How does the billing process work?
Billing for physical therapy services is similar to what happens at your doctor's office. When you are seen for treatment, the following occurs:
- The physical therapist bills your insurance company, Workers' Comp, or charges you based on Common Procedure Terminology (CPT) codes.
- Those codes are transferred to a billing form that is either mailed or electronically communicated to the payer.
- The payer processes this information and makes payments according to an agreed upon fee schedule.
- An Explanation of Benefits (EOB) is generated and sent to the patient and the physical therapy clinic with a check for payment and a balance due by the patient.
- The patient is expected to make the payment on the balance if any.
It is important to understand that there are many small steps (beyond the outline provided above) within the process. Exceptions are common to the above example as well. At any time along the way, information may be missing, miscommunicated, or misunderstood. This can delay the payment process. While it is common for the payment process to be completed in 60 days or less, it is not uncommon for the physical therapy clinic to receive payment as long as six months after the treatment date.
What will I have to do after physical therapy?
Some patients will need to continue with home exercises. Some may choose to continue with a gym exercise program. Others will complete their rehabilitation and return to normal daily activities. It is important that you communicate your goals to your therapist, so he/she can develop a custom program for you.
Is my therapist licensed?
Physical therapists (PTs) are licensed in the state of Connecticut.
How do I choose a physical therapy clinic?
These are some things you may consider when seeking a physical therapy clinic:
- The therapist should be licensed in the state.
- The first visit should include a thorough medical history and physical examination before any treatment is rendered.
- The patient goals should be discussed in detail during the first visit.
- Care should include a variety of techniques which might include hands-on techniques, soft tissue work, therapeutic exercises and in some cases heat, cold, electrical stimulation or ultrasound.
- Do they have a service that can address your problem?
- Do they take your insurance or are they willing to work with you if they are not a preferred provider?
- They should be conveniently located. Since sitting and driving often aggravate orthopedic problems, there should be a very good reason for you to drive a long distance for rehabilitation.
- What are the hours of operation?
- Can they provide satisfaction survey results?
- The therapist should provide the treatment.
- Can you briefly interview the therapist before the first visit?
- Ask your family and friends who they would recommend.