If you are suffering from an injury or illness that results in a loss of functional mobility, physical and or occupational therapy can help you return to your daily activities. But before scheduling your therapy evaluation, it is important to speak with your potential clinic and therapist to make sure they are the right choice for you. Be sure to ask our 5 questions below to ensure you are receiving the best care possible!
1. Which insurances do you accept?
While this question may seem obvious to some, many patients attend therapy without even thinking about their insurance coverage. Before scheduling your appointment with a therapist, be sure to ask if his or her office accepts your insurance. This will help save you from any headaches and a large out-of-pocket expense. You also can contact your insurance company to check your therapy benefits and for an approximation of how much your copay may be.
2. Do you specialize in treating my condition?
Some therapists specialize in a specific type of injury or body part while others are generalists. If your child needs therapy, you may want to see a certified pediatric specialist. For orthopedic conditions, a generalist is fully trained to help you. No matter which one you decide to see, be sure to ask your therapist how many patients he or she has treated with your specific problem and approximately how long it took to progress toward their goals. You also can ask your therapist if a specific goal (for example, functional independence) is reasonable for your situation. He or she will be happy to answer all of your questions to ensure you are comfortable during your recovery period!
3. Will my therapy be just exercise?
Treatment should not come only in one form. Rather, it should be a combination of exercises, hands-on manual therapy techniques, patient education, balance and flexibility activities, and pain-relieving treatments. Taking this type of approach will help you have a safe and faster recovery. While exercises are an important part of your rehabilitation and should be followed strictly, it is only one part of complete patient care.
4. How long will the sessions last?
Most initial evaluations take anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half, while typical appointments last about an hour. Your sessions may be shorter or longer, depending on the complexity of your treatment. Most patients attend physical therapy for 12 to 24 visits over the span of 4 to 8 weeks. Be sure to ask when scheduling, so that you have enough time blocked out in your schedule!
5. Will I be seeing the same therapist at each visit?
Many patients may assume that they will be seeing the same therapist for their appointments, but that is not always the case. Some clinics schedule your appointments with the first available therapist, meaning you will see multiple therapists throughout your recovery period. This can allow you to experience different treatment strategies and see which ones are most successful for your body. However, some people prefer to stick to the same therapist to help develop a therapeutic relationship. If you would prefer seeing the same therapist for each of your visits, be sure to ask the clinic if it is possible to do so!