Top 10 Questions about PT

Many of our patients come into therapy not knowing what to expect.  I have complied a list to help prepare you to get the most out of your Physical Therapy appointment.


Do I really need physical therapy?

If you’re suffering from a musculoskeletal condition or injury, then physical therapy can help. In fact, research has demonstrated that physical therapy is as effective as surgery—if not more effective than surgery—in the treatment many conditions, including rotator cuff tears, degenerative disk disease, meniscal tears, and some forms of knee osteoarthritis. During your initial evaluation, a skilled physical therapist will evaluate your physical condition—and discuss your medical history—to develop a plan of care that specifically addresses your current health situation. This plan will tell you what to do, how often to do it and how to reach your goals the fastest!


Do I need to obtain a referral to see you?

In most cases, no.  You can always go to a physical therapist without a referral in North Carolina!  Some insurances, such as Medicare and Tricare, require a referral in order to pay for the treatment.  Others, such as Blue Cross, Aetna and Cigna do not.  To find out if your insurance requires a referral, just call our office!


Will physical therapy hurt?

No!  The theory “No Pain, No Gain” does not apply here! Recovering from an injury or improving a physical condition can cause some discomfort, pressure or pulling.  It should not cause pain.  If you are feeling pain… anything that makes you squint your eyes or say ouch… you are going too far. It’s my job—as a physical therapist—to minimize any discomfort you may feel and work within the bounds of your pain tolerance. The American Physical Therapy Association found that while 71% of people who had never experienced physical therapy assumed PT was painful, that number dropped dramatically for patients who had actually worked with a PT. Make sure to tell your therapist how you’re feeling during each session, especially if you’re experiencing any pain or discomfort. We can modify the program and exercises to meet your needs.


Will I have to get undressed?

No. However, we do recommend wearing loose-fitting athletic clothing that enables us to access the area of the body in which the injury or condition is occurring.  Make sure to wear shorts if you have a hip or knee injury.  If we do have to inspect a private area, you will be in a closed room or curtain.



How will I know if PT is working?

First of all, you should notice an improvement in mobility, function, and/or pain levels—or at least a slowdown or halt in deterioration, depending on your specific condition—within the first 2 weeks.  You will also be re-evaluated periodically by your physical therapist during your treatments.  They will discuss the results of your measurements during each appointment, so you can identify markers for improvement. If at any time you feel that your physical therapy program is not producing the desired results, please discuss this with me. I’ll either help reset expectations or tweak your plan of care to better align with the improvements you’re seeking.


Have you gone to school for this—and are you any good?

Yes.  And Yes!  To be a physical therapist, you must obtain a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university—usually in a health-related field—as well as a master’s and/or doctorate degree in Physical Therapy.  So that’s 6 or 7 years of college! Furthermore, all practicing PTs must also complete their state licensing and continuing education requirements to obtain—and retain—their license. As far as the quality of care we provide, we have hundreds of testimonials from our patients saying how much better they are … and showing all the things that they can do now… after PT at Total Body Therapy & Wellness!  The proof is in the pudding (or in this case hanging on the wall!) showing our patients get better—faster—and back to living their lives!


How long will PT take?

There is no one-size-fits-all protocol for physical therapy; the number of physical therapy sessions you’ll need depends on your injury/condition, overall health, and if you are doing your Exercise Homework at home.  The more you follow your PT’s advice on what you should — and should not do — at home, the quicker you will get better. Most sessions will last about 60 minutes.


Does insurance pay for PT?

In most cases, insurance will cover your physical therapy sessions. However, depending on your specific plan, you may need to meet your deductible first and/or pay a copay or coinsurance amount at the time of your service. To find out exactly how much your insurance will pay, you can contact your insurance carrier or bring your card into TBTW.  We’ll be happy to look into your benefit information for you!



Can you treat my grandmother or my children, too?

Absolutely. We treat patients of all ages from 0 to 100+.  I consider a family member recommendation to be the highest form of gratitude and respect for our services.  At Total Body, we love our Seniors!  We specialize in the special challenges our Senior Citizens have… and are well known for our Top Notch Balance Program!


Now as far as your munchkins go, TBTW is one of the only clinics in the area that treats kids!  We treat ages 0 and up.  We have several therapists that specialize in Pediatrics of various ages, abilities and disorders.  So no matter how mild or severe your child’s issues, know we have the skills to get your little one back to playing better than anyone around!


There you have it, (almost) everything our patients want to know about PT—but are too afraid to ask.  Didn’t see your question here?  No problem!  Call or email us and we’ll be happy to get you the answers you need.  So what are you waiting for??  Are you ready to ‘Heal Your Body, Live Your Life’ ???