Question: What actually happens in physical therapy?
Answer: In a typical session, a physical therapist will assess your needs for that day's treatment. Tight muscles are stretched manually. If necessary, therapeutic massage and/or joint mobilization may be performed. You might be guided through exercises with weights or resistance equipment. Balance or posture exercises may also be given as appropriate. Pain control is addressed with various modalities including the use of electric stimulation and ultrasound. The program changes as you progress so that you remain challenged and motivated.
Question: Does it work?
Answer: Most patients attain the goals that are set. Your results depend on many factors, from the type and severity of the problem to how well you comply with medical advice.
Question: Does it hurt?
Answer: New techniques in medicine and physical therapy have significantly reduced the pain and disability encountered after an injury or surgery. Working on an injured body part can be somewhat uncomfortable; but patients who avoid formal rehabilitation are inviting more stiffness, pain and long term disability.
Question: How long does it take?
Answer: The nature and extent of the problem determines how many sessions you will need. Restoring functional use to an injured body part, or returning your body to a pain-free state occurs at different rates for different people. (Your insurance company may also have additional guidelines regarding the extent of your physical therapy coverage.) Therapist-recommended home exercises will also speed your recovery.
Question: Does my insurance cover it?
Answer: Most insurers will cover physical therapy; check your individual plan. We participate in several health plans, including Medicare, Oxford, HIP, United, HealthNet and many others. Click on "Insurance Questions" in our table of contents.