Frequently Asked Questions
What is Physical Therapy? (PT) - This is not a textbook definition, however physical therapy is a form of rehabilitation that involves the assessment and treatment of various physical ailments. There are many different areas that a physical therapist can be involved in such as: Orthopedics, Pediatrics, Neurology, Wound Care, Chest PT and Geriatric PT to name a few. The therapist will perform an initial evaluation and then develop a treatment plan that will meet each individual's patients specific needs.
Is Physical Therapy like Massage Therapy or Chiropractic Care? - Well, this is a tough one. In reference to massage therapy, yes, except a PT can administer massage therapy, but massage therapists cannot administer PT. In some cases the use of various forms of massage is an integral part of the physical therapist's treatment plan.
Chiropractic care differs quite a bit in the sense that a Chiropractor relies heavily on performing joint manipulations. Chiropractors typically will see a patient for much longer than a physical therapist for continued joint manipulations or "adjustments" whereas a physical therapist will rehab the injury or painful area and then instruct the patient in a Home Exercise Program for continued care. A physical therapist with specialized training can effectively perform many of the physical adjustments that a Chiropractor utilizes.
How can Physical Therapy help back pain? - Physical Therapy helps control back pain by reducing pain, controlling swelling and through therapeutic exercises. Patient education such as home exercises and lifting techniques also play a large role is assisting the patient in controlling low back pain.
I just had orthopedic surgery, will physical therapy help me heal faster? Of Course! Physical Therapy can help reduce swelling, increase active and passive range of motion and increase strength and endurance after orthopedic surgery. Most importantly, attending physical therapy increases the functioning of the involved muscles, bones and other soft tissues much more quickly and effectively than just "staying at home" after surgery.
Do I need a Dr.'s prescription? Yes, a script is needed for treatment, but a therapist can perform an initial evaluation without a script to let you know if your condition would benefit from PT.
What is involved in an initial examination? - An initial examination involves the therapist examining the problem area and developing an effective treatment plan. Usually the initial examination takes between 15 - 45 minutes. During this initial consultation, the patient will be asked various questions regarding how the injury took place, and what type of symptoms are present.
How do I know that physical therapy can help me?- Physical therapy can help anyone who is suffering from musculoskeletal injuries, recovering from surgeries or other difficulties such as balance/walking problems, or neurological problems such as stroke and acquired brain injuries. Even people recovering from non-orthopedic surgeries (internal problems, cancer) can benefit from PT by regaining strength and endurance. The realm of physical therapy is huge and encompasses the whole body and its functioning. To learn how PT can specifically help your condition, or stop by any of our locations for a Free Consultation / Screening.