3 Frequently Asked Physical Therapy Questions
I frequently get the same questions about physical therapy and I thought it best to update everyone on the answers.
1. Should physical therapy be painful?
Occasionally there is some discomfort depending on the condition you being treated for. But there should NEVER be pain that you cannot tolerate. The magic word to use at all times is "STOP." Some conditions are definitely more uncomfortable. The best example is a frozen shoulder. This condition is caused by an acute painful episode not getting the proper treatment followed by the person avoiding using it. This creates a very tight, painful and inflamed shoulder. The only way to prevent it is to move the shoulder early, but the proper diagnosis is required. Once the frozen shoulder develops, be prepared for significant discomfort during rehab but NEVER pain!
2. Do I need a prescription from a physician to come in for treatment?
The only situation that requires a physician referral is receiving physical therapy under a PIP claim in which you were injured during a motor vehicle accident. In addition, if you have Medicare as your insurance, your physician must sign a plan of care created by your physical therapist in order for Medicare to pay the claim. In all other situations, A PHYSICIAN'S PRESCRIPTION OR REFERRAL IS NOT REQUIRED! Quite often past patients will call for an appointment when they develop a new musculoskeletal problem such as shoulder pain, neck stiffness, an ankle sprain or acute lower back pain. These and many other conditions often respond to a short course of physical therapy and education about the condition.
3. Why is it important to receive care in a physical therapist-owned practice?
It all comes down to getting advice that is in your best interest. The independently owned practice will be focusing on your recovery and not using your treatment as a profit center. Referral for profit situations in which physicians own another professional service and refer patients to it, is purely in the interest of generating profit. You will notice an influx of chiropractors hiring physical therapists to work in their offices. I find these practices offensive in that they don't always have the patients' best interest in mind. In summary, a word of mouth referral is extremely important when seeking a health care provider. We at db Orthopedic Physical Therapy, PC have built a reputation based primarily by word of mouth marketing. Thank you for the continued support!
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