1. How will Physical Therapy get rid of my pain?
The primary reason why most people seek outpatient physical therapy is for the relief of pain. 80% of all individuals will have low back pain at some point in their life and 25% will have neck pain. Abolishing pain and helping individuals deal with their pain is, therefore, a common goal of physical therapy. Physical therapy is able to address pain in several ways. Ultimately, the best method for reducing pain is to eliminate the source. Your therapist will spend time using a variety of methods to identify the specific source, or multiple sources, of your pain. Once these sources(s) have been determined, he/she will use such things as soft tissue mobilization, joint mobilization, exercise for flexibility and strength, and pain-relieving modalities. Electric stimulation, moist heat, ice, and ultrasound may be used to eliminate the origin of your pain complaints or to alter your perception of pain. In addition, your therapist will provide instruction about which activities to avoid and which activities or exercises to perform in order to keep your pain under control. Some pain can be abolished, come pain complaints must be managed. Either way, your therapist will work closely with you in controlling your pain so that you can return to a more meaningful and enjoyable lifestyle.
2. What do I need to get started with Wise PT?
To partner with Wise PT on your road to recovery you need nothing more than payment verification, a positive attitude, and high expectations for quality care and resolution of your problem. We want to be sure that you do not get billed for the care that we provide so we will work with you on insuring insurance payment eligibility. After that, it's simply a matter of your willingness to work together with your therapist on addressing the physical problems that are keeping you out of work, sports, and life. There is no physician prescription required to begin your course of physical therapy with Wise PT. If you have a problem with your muscles, bones, and joints stop in and see how we can help you get better.
3. What is my responsibility as a client of Wise PT?
The physical therapy that we provide at Wise PT is based on teamwork generated from a partnership between the therapist and the client. You can expect that we will provide the very best care possible. Our expectation is that you work closely with your therapist on creating a plan of care that achieves your desired goals. This means that we will be developing a plan of care that "includes" you. Once we agree on the plan, we expect that you will attend all scheduled appointments, follow through with your home program, inform your therapist of any changes in your status and how you are responding to each session, and to engage in open and honest communication. At Wise PT, we believe that quality physical therapy can be optimally achieved only through collaboration between the therapist and the client. We will do our part, but we are only as effective as your effort allows.
4. Can I come to Wise PT without seeing my Physician first?
We are pleased to announce that at Wise PT, our therapists possess what is known as Direct Access licensure.1. Pennsylvania was the 44th state to approve of direct access which went into effect in 2004. This form of licensure, allows your therapist to treat you for a designated period of time without the requirement for a physician prescription. Your therapist has direct access to you and you have direct access to them. This form of licensure is believed to save time, reduce cost, and allows us to being working on your problem sooner than others may be able to. To maintain a direct access license, your therapist must have been practicing for greater than 2 years, attend regular continuing education, maintain adequate liability insurance, and maintain a direct access certificate of authorization. The quicker we begin to address your physical impairments the better the outcome. Based on the restrictions for this type of licensure, the therapist will refer you to your physician after 30 days if progress is slow or if your therapist believes that a referral or consultation is necessary. If you have a problem with your bones, muscles, or joints, come in and see us. We will examine you and, if appropriate, get started right away on helping you to manage your problem and get back to optimal living.
5. Can I get a referral from someone other than an MD?
In Pennsylvania, the Physical Therapist practice act allows your therapist to accept prescriptions from MD's, DOs, podiatrists (DPM), nurse practitioners (CRNP's) and Physician Assistants (PA's). We are not able to accept prescriptions from chiropractors and dentists. However, at Wise PT, we are able to see you without a prescription for the first 30 days before requiring a physician prescription.
6. Does Wise PT accept my insurance?
At Wise PT, we accept most major insurances. When you call to make your first appointment, we will check insurance eligibility and immediately let you know whether or not we will be able to bill your insurance.
7. Will I incur any additional costs for coming to PT?
We believe that it is fair that you are aware of any costs associated with your care from the very first visit. There will be no hidden costs for your care. We will let you know what your co-pay is and whether there are any other fees associated with your care that are not paid by your insurance.
8. Do I have to come to PT for a specific amount of time and must I sign a contract?
The amount of time that you will attend PT is specific to your individual needs. There is NO predetermined amount of time and NO contract that you will sign. At the time of your first visit, your therapist will thoroughly examine and evaluate your problem and, with your input, develop a plan of care based on the examination findings. This plan of care will be specific to YOUR needs and not based on a predetermined amount of time. At the time of your first visit, your therapist will share with you the significant findings from the examination, the goals for physical therapy, and his/her prognosis for how long your physical therapy might take. As we proceed, the time expected to reach the desired outcomes may vary depending on how you respond but we will be sure to communicate any changes in what is expected to both you and your referring physician all along the way.
9. How will I know if I've done too much in my therapy session?
During your first several visits to PT, your therapist will be attempting to assess your response and overall tolerance for the care that is being provided. Therefore, it is vital during the initial stages of PT that you closely monitor your response to each session immediately after each session and into the following day. It is not uncommon for clients to respond well to a specific intervention while it is being administered but find that later in the day or the following day their symptoms have increased. It is our belief that PT should not increase your primary complaint, however, slight soreness from using muscles and joints in a fashion in which they may not be accustomed may be expected. As a general rule, we will know that you have done too much in therapy if your symptoms following your session increase to the point where they impact your ability to function (ie. sleep, walk, work, etc) or if they are mild but last more than 24 hours after your session. We call this the "24 hour rule". If your symptoms behave in this fashion it is your responsibility to inform your therapist at the time of your next visit. We can not always know how you may respond to our care between visits unless you inform us in a timely fashion. Once informed, your therapist will modify your intervention to facilitate better tolerance. We will not keep doing the same things, nor will we be alarmed and abandon our course or lose hope. We will carefully identify the specific activities that need to be modified and continually reassess your response. Open and honest communication with your therapist is necessary in order to insure that your PT program is on track and perfectly meeting your needs.
10. When would it be best to see a physician first before coming to PT?
You are able to come to Wise PT without a physician prescription, however, not every problem is appropriate for physical therapy. Your physical therapist has received specialized training in the examination, evaluation, diagnosis, and prognosis of issues related to your bones, joint, and muscles. However, he/she is not trained in the diagnosis and care of disease, medical pathology, or life endangering or emergent condition. If you are suffering from a return of a condition that previously required the services of your physician than it may be best to see your physician prior to coming to PT. If you suffered an injury that might need surgical management or immediate medical care than it would be best to see your physician first. If you are unsure about the need to see a physician first, stop by our office and after we examine you, we will be able to refer you to the most appropriate health care provider. As always, if you are faced with an emergency situation that requires immediate medical attention, please call 911 or go directly to the hospital emergency room.
11. What happens if my problem doesn't get better?
At Wise PT we are committed to providing the most evidence-based, innovative, and effective care possible. The care that we provide is dictated by your needs and we promise to offer you our best. Despite our best efforts, however, there are occasions when clients do not respond to physical therapy. There are often several potential reasons why this may happen. There are times, when the condition that you are suffering from is not amenable to physical therapy care. It may be that your condition is too advanced and may require more invasive or surgical intervention, such as a joint with arthritis that needs a joint replacement. Occasionally, the client's condition may involve medical pathology and although PT may help to truly address the problem a medical consultation is required. There are times, when your condition may be appropriate for physical therapy care but the irritability and acuity of the problem may prohibit your therapist from being able to fully address it and make changes, such as an individual with neck pain from a car accident that happened yesterday. Physical therapy is typically helpful in most cases that involve injury or impairment of the joint, muscle, and bone, however, sometimes consultation or referral with another health care provider may be indicated. Our objective is to identify issues that require consultation early in the rehabilitation process to insure that you get the care that you need as soon as possible and avoid wasting valuable time and resources.
If you have any questions or would like to book an appointment then please email us at or call us at (610) 683-5686.