WHAT ARE PHYSICAL THERAPISTS?
Physical Therapists (PT/DPT) are health care professionals in the field of injury care and prevention. Through professional evaluation, diagnosis and innovative treatment techniques, physical therapists can optimize the healing and recovery of your muscle, joint and neurological disorders.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT AS A PATIENT?
Your first appointment will consist of a physical evaluation, a review of your medical history, and a discussion of your treatment goals. If your symptoms allow, the therapist will check your swelling, flexibility, strength, balance, coordination and posture. Lastly, they will evaluate your performance during various body mechanic exercises and functional activities. With this information gathered, a treatment plan will be initiated and managed closely during the following visits. Initially, treatment follows a structured plan: reduce pain and swelling, restore or improve flexibility, then increase strength and endurance. Once these goals are accomplished, the therapist will begin adding activities and exercises that mimic everyday tasks or chores. Progress will be examined throughout treatment dates to ensure improvements are being made. Once treatment goals are met and the referring physician is confident in your results, you will be given proper education for further success and discharged from physical therapy.
HOW DO I SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT?
If you are in need of physical therapy, simply call one of our SportsCare locations or Request an Appointment Online to schedule an evaluation. After your initial evaluation, your physical therapist and referring physician will agree on a frequency and duration for treatment, and our front desk staff will schedule you to meet those requirements. We do everything we can to accommodate your requests for appointment days and times. Please inform us of any scheduling restrictions, and we will do our best to work around them.
HOW LONG WITH MY PHYSICAL THERAPY APPOINTMENTS LAST?
Appointments typically last 45 minutes. Your therapist will do everything in their power to get you out on time, but please expect to be here a couple minutes past the scheduled end time.
WHAT SHOULD I BRING TO MY FIRST APPOINTMENT?
Please bring photo identification, your insurance card or claim number, a copy of the written referral from your doctor (if applicable), and a list of any medications you are currently taking. Please arrive 15 minutes early to your first appointment in order to fill out the necessary paperwork, if you have not already done so at home by printing them off our website. Also, if you are currently wearing a brace, please wear or bring it to your first appointment. Other than those small details, bring a good attitude and a willingness to get better!
WHAT SHOULD I WEAR TO MY PHYSICAL THERAPY APPOINTMENT?
Appropriate exercise clothing is highly recommended. Please refrain from wearing skirts/dresses, restrictive clothing and heels or sandals. If you have a shoulder injury, consider wearing a loose sleeve top so the therapist can access the injury site. Likewise, if you have a lower extremity injury, consider wearing shorts or loose sweats so the therapist can access the injury site. If you are currently wearing a brace, please wear or bring it to your appointment.
HOW MANY PHYSICAL THERAPY APPOINTMENTS WILL I HAVE?
After the initial evaluation, the physical therapist will contact the referring physician to discuss a treatment plan. The therapist will suggest a treatment duration and frequency, while considering insurance plan coverage, which the doctor will either sign off on or adjust. Once an agreement has been made between the therapist and doctor, SportsCare will contact the patient to schedule the recommended appointments. Initially, patients attend physical therapy about two times every week. As the patient advances through treatment and shows steady improvements, office visits will likely be fewer and further between, typically once every week or other week. During this time, patients will continue self- treatment at home using a prescribed individual “home exercise program.” Once the treatment goals have been met, the physical therapist and doctor will agree to discharge the patient from therapy.
WHAT TYPES OF EDUCATION/TRAINING DO THE PHYSICAL THERAPISTS HAVE?
All of our physical therapists have completed the necessary didactic and clinical education, as well as the required certification examinations, to practice physical therapy in the state of Oregon. Our physical therapists hold a minimum of a Master degree in Physical Therapy, with many of them earning a Doctorate in Physical Therapy, which has recently become the standard for new graduates. Every year, physical therapists must increase their level of education by attending continuing education classes.
WILL INSURANCE PAY FOR MY PHYSICAL THERAPY?
Most insurance agencies pay for a portion, if not all, of physical therapy services redeemed. If you are unsure of your benefits, SportsCare will gladly assist you in understanding your benefit coverage.
DO I NEED A DOCTOR’S REFERRAL OR PRESCRIPTION FOR PHYSICAL THERAPY?
In most cases, no. Oregon law allows patients to receive direct access to physical therapy without a physician referral. Most health insurance agencies have changed policies to honor this law, but not all. If you plan on using insurance during your therapy visits, and are unsure of your benefits, SportsCare will gladly call and confirm this detail for you. In the state of Oregon, a referral is always required for Workers Comp claims, Motor Vehicle injuries; and all Medicare and Medicaid plans.