What Every PT Patient Should Know Before Their First Visit

Physical therapy is steadily gaining ground as an essential part of every patient’s life-long health care plan. Yet many patients remain in the dark about what physical therapy is and how it works. Educating new patients prior to their first session is key to instilling trust and gaining compliance and cooperation throughout the course of care.

Following are a few questions new patients may ask prior to their first visit:

1. I am already under a doctor’s care; why do I need physical therapy?

Your doctor referred you to physical therapy because they recognized the need to restore full physical function after your injury or surgery. In many cases, physical therapy surpasses surgery as an effective and lasting treatment for common conditions like rotator cuff tears, low back pain, knee dysfunction and more. Physical therapy provides a safe and non-invasive way to treat pain and promote healing.

2. Is a referral necessary to see a physical therapist?

You do not need a referral to see a physical therapist. However, insurance providers may not cover your PT care unless it has been prescribed by a physician. Consult your insurance provider to see what your plan covers.

3.Will physical therapy be painful?

You may experience discomfort at times during your physical therapy sessions. However, your therapist will make every effort to work within your pain tolerance parameters.

4. What should I wear to physical therapy? Will I have to undress?

You will not have to undress for physical therapy. However, you should wear comfortable non-restrictive clothing similar to workout wear. Athletic shoes are also recommended.

5. I am a larger person; will the therapist be able to lift me?

Physical therapists are trained in proper body mechanics and know how to move patients without getting hurt. Your therapist will also educate you and your caregiver about lifting safety.

6. How long will therapy take?

Most therapy sessions take between 30 minutes to one hour. The frequency and duration of your course of care will be based on your initial evaluation and markers of progress.

7. How can I tell if physical therapy is working?

You should notice gradual improvements in mobility, function and range of motion. You should also notice a gradual reduction of pain. Your progress will be closely tracked and recorded, and your therapist will frequently review your progress with you.

8. Will my insurance pay for physical therapy?

Most insurance plans will cover some of the cost of physical therapy. You may be required to meet your deductible or make a copayment at the time of your session. Review your specific plan or consult your insurance provider for details of coverage.

Patient Education is Key

One way to educate new patients is to send them an email or pamphlet that explains the process, describes the clinic and staff, provides directions and gives other useful information to allay their fears and establish trust.

At Back to Health, our therapists spend quality time with each patient, building trust while utilizing the most innovative and evidence-based therapy programs. We are dedicated to producing the fastest and most effective long-term results.

Patients at Back to Health play an integral role in their treatment, becoming a part of our team of experts. Patient education is a key element is achieving optimal results. Contact Back to Health today, and see why our professional staff and clinics are considered the very best in Brooklyn.

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