What Happens During My First Visit?
You should allow 60 minutes for your first appointment. Please arrive with the necessary paperwork, including your prescription from your doctor for physical therapy. Your physical therapist will conduct your initial evaluation and go over the following:
• Your medical history.
• Your current physical issues and complaints.
• The intensity of your pain.
• How your condition is impacting your everyday life.
• Your physical therapy goals.
• A history of medications, tests and other things related to your health.
After your initial evaluation has been completion, your therapist will perform a series of test that may include any of the following:
• Palpation: The area around the source of the pain is gently touched to check for tenderness, swelling, temperature and inflammation.
• Range of Motion: Your joints are examined to determine the quality of movement and any restrictions are noted.
• Muscle Testing: Your muscles will be tested to determine the quality of your muscle contraction, and pain and weakness will be noted.
• Neurological Screening: Your therapist will test the communication between your nerves, muscles. You’re reflexes may also be tested.
• Special Tests: These tests are performed establish or rule out any other conditions that may be causing your pain.
• Posture Test: Your joint position, relative to ideal and other joints, is tested.
Using both the initial evaluation and the results of these other tests, your therapist will then develop a treatment plan to help treat the problems, including the frequency of your sessions, the duration of your therapy and home programs. This treatment plan is determined with a mix of input between yourself, your therapist and your doctor.
How Should I Dress for My Therapy
To encourage positive movement during your therapy, you should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing that allows you to expose the area receiving treatment. If you are receiving treatment for a knee injury, you should wear shorts. Tank tops are good for upper back and shoulder therapy, while loose pants and shirts are better for lower back injuries.
What Do I Need to Bring With Me?
There are several items you need to bring with you for your first visit, including:
• Your physical therapy referral form from your doctor.
• Your payment information, including insurance information if your provider will cover your treatment.
• Your insurance card.
• Your claim number and case manager’s contact information if you’re cover by Workers’ Compensation.
• If you’re receiving coverage from an auto insurance provider or an attorney lien, this information should be presented.
Are There Physical Therapy Specialists?
Physical therapists can specialize in several areas, including:
• Orthopedic Physical Therapy (OCS): Therapy for post-surgical care, arthritis, tendinitis, muscle sprains and extremity pain.
• Manual Therapy: A hands-on technique using several exercises to improve mobility and range of motion.
• Geriatric Therapy (GCS): A physical therapist specializes in providing care for seniors.
• Sports Rehabilitation (SCS): Physical therapists assist in treatment and rehabilitation after sports injury and surgery.
• Fitness and Wellness: Physical therapists provide special therapy centered around fitness, exercise programs to treat obesity, osteoporosis, diabetes issues and fall prevention.
• Hand Therapy (CHT): Therapist take additional courses to specialize in become certified in hand therapy.
• Women’s Health: Therapists specialize in treating health issues related to women, including problems related to pregnancy, pelvic pain and incontinence.
• Industrial Rehabilitation: Therapy is provided to individuals who have sustained injuries while on-the-job. Often comes with a Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE).
• Pediatric Physical Therapy (PCS): Programs are designed specifically for rehabilitation of children for conditions like cerebral palsy, developmental disorders and neurological disorders.
• Aquatic Physical Therapy: Water is used to assist in a patient’s rehabilitation. Often used for those dealing with chronic pain, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis or other conditions affecting weight-bearing status.
• Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (CCS): Therapists are specially trained to help patients recovering from heart attacks, heart surgery, breathing problems, emphysema and other conditions affecting the heart or lungs.
• Neurological, Spinal Cord Injury and Traumatic Brain Injury Rehab (NCS): Patients go through functional retraining with their therapist, focusing on walking, using wheelchairs, sitting and standing, bed mobility and retraining patients to use their arms, shoulders and hands.
• Balance, Dizziness and Vertigo Rehabilitation: Patients are provided with education, safety awareness and strength exercises to improve balance and gait.
• Amputee Rehabilitation: Patients receive care for the injured limb and go through various trainings for walking, using assistive devices and prosthetic limb education.
• Wound Care: Damaged tissue is removed if it cannot recover and the therapists applies special dressings and ointments and uses ultrasound, electric stimulation and other measures to promote healing.
• Electrophysiologic Certified Specialist (ECS): Therapists become certified to perform special examinations for nerve conduction studies and electromyography using special equipment.
• Lymphedema Rehabilitation: When the lymph system is inhibited and stops working effectively, therapists use special massage and bandaging techniques to encourage fluid flow and reduce edema.
• Osteoporosis Rehabilitation and Prevention: Therapists work with physicians to provide specialized weight-bearing exercises and resistance training programs.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists provide a wide range of services, from helping patients with orthopedic problems like low-back pain to those who have suffered a severe injury and face a long road to recovery and normal function. Physical therapists are experts in the way the body moves and functions, and are therefore experts in developing treatment plans to correct issues you may be having. They are trained to treat patients of all ages from all walks of life. At Horizon Rehab, we believe in providing hands-on care and providing patients with education to continue their treatment effectively at home.
Should I Receive Chiropractic or Other Forms of Treatment at the Same Time as Physical Therapy?
There are many interventions available to treat chronic pain and musculoskeletal injuries. Our staff at Horizon Rehab encourage our patients to follow the plan of care outlined by your primary care physician and physical therapist. Our treatment interventions are most effective when we are able to monitor the response of that particular intervention. If more than one intervention is taking place at a time, it can alter the effect of the physical therapy intervention and potentially delay recovery.
Can I Go Directly to a Physical Therapist?
Yes. In fact it may save you money to go to a physical therapist rather than directly to your physician. Usually, if your condition hasn’t improved within 30 days, you will be referred to your physician.
Who Will I See During My Sessions?
Horizon Rehab believes in developing a relationship with you. You’re not just a number to us. During each visit or session, you will be seen by a licensed physical therapist or physical therapist assistant, who you will see on all of your visits a vast majority of the time. We believe this model helps improve results and ultimately speeds up your recovery.