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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is physical therapy?
     
  2. Is physical therapy like massage therapy or chiropractic care?
     
  3. I just had orthopedic surgery; will physical therapy help me heal faster?
     
  4. Do I need a prescription from my doctor to get physical therapy?
     
  5. What types of injuries can be treated by a physical therapist at Sandy Physical Therapy?
     
  6. When is the best time to begin physical therapy? 
     
  7. Will my insurance pay for physical therapy?
     
  8. I had physical therapy there a year ago; I am now having the same problem.  Do I still need to see a doctor first?
     
  9. I live out of state and will be visiting in your area for awhile. Can I have my physical therapy at your clinic while I’m on vacation?  What do I have to do to receive physical therapy here?
     
  10. Can I receive women’s health services without a prescription?
     
  11. How long is a typical appointment?
     
  12. What does a physical therapy session include?
     
  13. Whom will I work with in physical therapy?
     
  14. What is involved in the initial examination?
     
  15. What is ergonomics?
     
  16. How could I benefit from an ergonomic evaluation?
     
  17. Why should I have my running form evaluated?

 

1.  What is physical therapy?

"Physical therapists are good people to know. They’re educated in understanding the interaction of all your body parts. Their hands-on approach begins with examination, diagnosis, and treatment of the immediate problem. Then they teach you how to take care of yourself by showing you how to do exercises and how to use your body properly to gain strength and mobility and prevent recurring injury. You’ll find them advising on proper posture and body motion in the work place, treating injuries, consulting on fitness, and administering physical therapy in the home. Today physical therapists provide help for every part of the body to everyone from infants to the elderly — more than 1 million people every day!"

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2.  Is physical therapy like massage therapy or chiropractic care?

At Sandy Physical Therapy, we may use massage as part of our treatment to decrease pain, but generally will not rely on massage alone to help our patient's condition improve.  We may also use other modalities such as electric stimulation, ultra sound, or heat/ice.  After symptoms begin to decrease, we instruct our patients in exercises for range of motion, strength, endurance and posture to help them return to full function.

Some physical therapists have received additional training that allows them to perform many of the physical adjustments chiropractors use.  However, traditional physical therapy and chiropractic care differs quite a bit.  Chiropractors rely on joint manipulations to decrease pain.  Often, chiropractic care continues for several months and may extend for years.  A physical therapist relies on massage, modalities, manipulations, and individualized exercises in their treatment plan.  Once this is achieved, treatment focuses on teaching a patient methods they will be able to use to prevent symptoms in the future.  Most patients are seen 4-8 times.    <
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3.  I just had orthopedic surgery; will physical therapy help me heal faster?

Yes!  At Sandy Physical Therapy, we can make use of several ways to decrease swelling and inflammation.  Additionally, you will work on range of motion, strength and endurance all of which will help the involved bones, muscles and other soft tissues heal much quicker than letting them heal on their own.    <
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4. Do I need a prescription from my doctor to get physical therapy?

Technically no.  Both the therapists at Sandy Physical Therapy have received advanced training and certification that allows them to see patients without a referral from a physician.  However, most insurance companies will not pay for physical therapy unless ordered by a doctor.  Contact your insurance company to see if they require a doctor's referral.         <
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5. What types of injuries can be treated by a physical therapist at Sandy Physical Therapy?

At Sandy Physical Therapy we treat a wide variety of injuries stemming from work, car accident, sports or disease.  We specialize in treatment of orthopedic problems.  These include neck and low back pain, shoulder, elbow, knee, and foot injuries, posture problems, TMJ and repetitive work injuries.  We also provide rehabilitation after surgery for rotator cuff repair, total knee replacement, ACL reconstruction, ankle reconstruction, disc surgery of the spine and sport or exercise related injuries.  We also provide ergonomics evaluations, running assessments and posture evaluations.  We provide patient education and management training for conditions such as fibromyalgia, reconditioning after stroke, osteoporosis and back pain during pregnancy.            <
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6.  When is the best time to begin physical therapy? 

Physical therapy treatment should begin as early as possible.  Early treatment can help prevent the problem from becoming chronic or from affecting other areas.  Early treatment can also decrease the length of time needed in physical therapy and reduces healthcare costs.         <
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7.  Will my insurance pay for physical therapy?

Most insurance companies offer coverage for physical therapy services.  However, the amount of coverage varies from policy to policy, so be sure to check your insurance company’s handbook or call your insurance company to verify your benefits for physical therapy.  You may have co-pay per visit, or be responsible for meeting a deductible.  Once a deductible is met, insurance typically pays 70-100% of charges and you are responsible for the difference. It is important to remember that the doctor’s prescription does not mean that you have authorization from your insurance company for physical therapy.  We at Sandy Physical Therapy are providers for most insurance companies and managed healthcare organizations.  We will do all we can to help you through the process of understanding your coverage prior to treatment.            <
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8. I had physical therapy there a year ago; I am now having the same problem.  Do I still need to see a doctor first?

Because most insurance companies require a prescription for coverage of services it is a good idea to obtain a prescription if we will be billing your insurance.  You can try calling the doctor’s office and asking for a referral.  This saves your and the physician’s time and money and we will certainly evaluate you to rule out any other contributing factors that may require physician intervention.  If you are paying cash you do not need a prescription.          <
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9.  I live out of state and will be visiting in your area for awhile. Can I have my physical therapy at your clinic while I’m on vacation?  What do I have to do to receive physical therapy here?

Yes, have your doctor fax a referral prescription to our office with your phone number and we will telephone you to set up a date and time that is convenient for you.  You can also call us and give us the doctor’s information so we can fax him/her for a referral.
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10.  Can I receive women’s health services without a prescription?

Yes, but check with your insurance company first, to see if they require a prescription for payment of services.  We treat several conditions specific to women, such as back pain in pregnancy, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia and stress incontinence.  (Men too, can suffer from fibromyalgia, osteoporosis and incontinence, but not as frequently.)         <
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11. How long is a typical appointment?

The length of your appointment depends on several factors; such as, what area of your body we are treating, whether your injury is acute or chronic, and how far along you are in your therapy.  In general, your first appointment will last from 60 to 90 minutes.  Subsequent appointments usually last between 45 and 60 minutes.      <
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12.  What does a physical therapy session include?

A typical physical therapy session begins with you reporting on your current condition.  For example: "Have symptoms decreased?" or "Do you have any questions about your home exercise program?"  Etc.  Your treatment will then depend upon your answers.  Treatment may include ultra sound, moist heat, cold packs, massage, relaxation techniques, electric stimulation, body mechanics training, range of motion exercises, posture strengthening, therapeutic exercise, joint mobilization, gait training, or job simulated activities.          <
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13.  Whom will I work with in physical therapy?

At Sandy Physical Therapy, we have two physical therapists and one physical therapy assistant.  Generally, your care will be provided by the same physical therapist.  On occasion, another therapist may see you.  This allows us to schedule appointments that are most convenient for you.

We have a female and a male therapist; so, if you feel more comfortable with one or the other just let us know when you schedule your first appointment.  We would be happy to accommodate you however we can.

Other personnel at Sandy Physical Therapy include our office staff.  They are here to help you with scheduling and answer your insurance and billing questions.             <
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14. What is involved in the initial examination?

The initial evaluation begins with the therapist asking questions about your symptoms.  These questions provide an opportunity for you to explain how your symptoms started, the nature of your symptoms, and limitation you have because of your symptoms.

Next, the therapist will perform several tests to help determine the cause of your symptoms.  These test may include ligament tests, range of motion, strength, posture evaluation, and palpation.

Based on the results of the above test, the therapist will then formulate of plan of care that will serve as a guide for your future treatment sessions.            <
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15.  What is ergonomics?

Ergonomics is the study of the interaction between a person and the place they work whether in an office, a factory, or somewhere in between.  The purpose of this kind of study is to reduce the amount of stress on the person and thus decrease the probability of injury.            <
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16. How could I benefit from an ergonomic evaluation?

As an employer, you could benefit from an evaluation by decreasing the number of injuries experienced by your work force.  This will directly affect the number of days lost due to injury.  An evaluation can also aid you by increasing the productivity of your employees by make their tasks less stressful and easier to perform.

As an employee, you could benefit from an evaluation by making your job less stressful on your body, thus increasing your ability to perform your job with less discomfort.         <
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17. Why should I have my running form evaluated?

A comprehensive running exam can be very beneficial to you.  After you have been evaluated, you will be taught specific exercises to help prevent injuries that you are susceptible to because of your running style.  You will also learn ways to improve the efficiency of your running form that can help to increase your running pace for both workouts and races.         <
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Specific Areas Where We Can Help you.
Sandy Physical Therapy

Automobile Related Injuries | Back Pain | Back Pain in Pregnancy | Back Rehab After Surgery | Balance Training
Bursitis | Carpal Tunnel Syndrome | ConditioningExcercise in Pregnancy | Fibromyalgia  | Headache | Incontinence
 
Personal Fitness Training | Posture | Post Back Surgery Rehab | Pulled Muscles | Osteoporosis | Relaxation Training
 
Repetitive Injury Prevention/Management | Restricted Joint Movement | Rotator Cuff | Running Analysis | Sports Injuries - Rehabilitation | Sports Training & Fitness | Tendonitis
Tension Release | TMJ | Women’s Health | Work Related Injuries
 

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