What IS Physical Therapy? Get the FAQs

by Athletico2 Comments

As physical therapy becomes more popular, we thought it was a good time to address some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) from our patients.

From learning how to get started with a physical therapy program to knowing what to wear at your first
appointment, discover answers to some of the most common physical therapy-related questions by checking out our guide below:

What is Physical Therapy?

Physical therapy is the treatment or management of physical disability, malfunction or pain through the use of treatment techniques such as therapeutic exercise, manual therapy, education and modalities to help patients achieve their long-term health benefits.

All physical therapists are required to complete a graduate degree in Physical Therapy from an accredited physical therapist program before taking the national licensure examination that allows them to practice.

How do I get an appointment?

To schedule an appointment, contact any one of our more than 400 locations to set one up today.

In addition, Athletico offers free assessments, which are a great place to start if you are wondering if physical therapy is the right choice for you.

Regardless of where you live, you can take advantage of Athletico’s free assessments.* It is important to note that some states require patients to obtain a referral from another healthcare provider to obtain treatment via physical therapy. This is because each state has its own requirements for referrals to therapy services. If you are unsure of your state’s policy, feel free to call an Athletico clinic in your state to learn more. You can also utilize your insurance company’s list of “in network” providers to find out which physical therapy providers fit within your insurance coverage.

*Per federal guidelines, beneficiaries of federally funded plans are not eligible for free assessments.

What is Direct Access?

Direct access allows patients to access physical therapy services without obtaining a referral. State law varies regarding the level of access to physical therapy services. In addition, payer restrictions may limit payment for services without a referral. Patients interested in learning more about physical therapy accessibility in their state should call their nearest Athletico clinic to schedule a comprehensive initial evaluation.

Will my physician be involved in my physical therapy rehabilitation?

The relationship between physician and therapist can be important to make sure you are receiving a comprehensive program to meet your goals. Depending on your initial assessment, a detailed copy of your evaluation may be sent to your physician. If this is the case,  progress notes will also be sent to update your physician on your development.

What should I bring and wear to my first appointment?

You should wear comfortable clothes that are suitable for your treatment. In addition, you should bring your insurance card, the referral from your physician and any other paperwork that you may have regarding your condition. Lastly, if you are using medical assistive devices, like a brace, splint or crutches, please bring this equipment with to your appointment.

What can I expect through my therapy?

At the start of physical therapy, you will undergo an initial evaluation and go over your goals with your physical therapist.

Although every individual’s physical therapy experience varies, follow-up appointments may consist of a variety of therapeutic exercises, manual therapy, modalities, review of home-exercise programs, patient education and functional/activity-specific exercises.

At the end of the physical therapy process, your therapist will discuss next steps with you. This may include reviewing goals and progress, finalizing a home exercise program, following up with referring providers like your physician, and communicating with family or care-givers when necessary.

Click to Request an Appointment Today

The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.

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  1. Mark David

    This is nice article & thank you for sharing detail on Physical Therapy. This article is very helpful. Can you please tell me which are those 350 locations you are available.

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