What can Physical Therapy do for you?
Do you know who your physical therapist is? When asked, people can usually name their doctor, dentist, podiatrist, or OBGYN, but they may be hard-pressed to name their physical therapist. We want to take this opportunity to educate you on how physical therapy can be an important part of your healthcare team and why you should get to know your physical therapist!
Did you know that physical therapists can help with:
- Recovery from a sports injury
- Balance problems
- Pregnancy- related pains
- Common aches and pains of muscles and joints
- Urinary/fecal incontinence
- Spine problems
- Recovery from a stroke, brain injury, or spinal cord injury
- Pediatric developmental issues
- Running and overuse injuries
- Cardiopulmonary problems
- Work related injuries/ Work station ergonomics
- Post surgical recovery
- Pre & Post Mastectomy Issues
You are the most important member of your own health care team, and you are entitled to choose the most appropriate health care professional to meet your goals. The role of a physical therapists is to improve and restore motion to your life. As you make the important decisions about health care for you or your family, it is important to remember that physical therapists:
- Significantly improve mobility to perform daily activities;
- Provide an alternative to painful and expensive surgery, in many cases;
- Manage or eliminate pain without medication and its side effects, in many cases.
When it comes to health care, one size does not fit all. A physical therapist’s extensive education, clinical expertise, and “hands on” approach brings you a unique, individualized approach. When you are in the hands of a physical therapist, you have a plan of care that is safe and appropriate and addresses your individual needs and pre-existing conditions.
Freedom of Choice
You have the freedom to choose your own physical therapist. Most states allow you to go directly to a physical therapist without getting a physician’s referral first. In Missouri a physical therapist can evaluate you without a physician referral, but a referral is necessary for treatment. Keep in mind that your insurance policy may require a visit to the primary care physician first or may limit your access to preferred providers only so it is best to check with your insurance plan ahead of time.
You physician may make recommendations of where to go for physical therapy, but you as the consumer HAVE THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE WHERE YOU GO. You are not obligated to receive physical therapy in any specific facility and you want to find one that best fits your needs.
How to Choose a Physical Therapist
Make sure that you receive physical therapy from a licensed physical therapist. Physical therapists are professional health care providers who are licensed by the state in which they practice. When choosing a physical therapist you want to ask if the clinicians specialize in working with your specific condition. Not all physical therapists work with all types of conditions For example, if you were seeking treatment for your urinary incontinence it would be important to ask if the facility had therapists that specialize in pelvic rehabilitation or bladder problems.
Ask the physical therapist’s clinic if it participates with your insurance company. Receiving care from a participating physical therapist should minimize your financial responsibility. There may be good reasons, however, to see a physical therapist who does not participate with your insurance plan. If you need a physical therapist who has special skills related to your particular condition-or if the location or other aspects of the care or the facility meet your needs-this may be a good choice for you.
Ask whether the physical therapist’s clinic will submit claims on your behalf to your insurance company. Some policies require copayments for services, and the amount of the copayment will depend on whether the physical therapist is part of the insurer’s provider network. You also will have to meet your deductible. Your physical therapist’s clinic should be able to help you calculate an estimate of your financial responsibilities.
Your first visit should include an evaluation by the physical therapist. Your physical therapist will perform an examination to identify current and potential problems. Based on the results of the examination, and considering your specific goals, your physical therapist will design a plan of care to include specific interventions and will propose a timetable to achieve these goals and optimize your movement and function. Your physical therapist will likely provide you with instructions to perform exercises at home to facilitate your recovery.
You should feel comfortable asking your physical therapist any questions regarding your course of care, including specifics regarding interventions and expectations. You physical therapist should be a partner in your healthcare goals!
We at Legacy Physical Therapy look forward to a chance to partner with you in your healthcare. Call us any time to schedule your FREE screening/consultation to see if physical therapy is right for you! 636-225-3649