Frequently Asked Questions

We are always receiving questions from patients. If you do not see the answer to what you are looking for below give us a call and we’ll be happy to help you.

What Is Physical Therapy?

Surprisingly enough this is probably the most common question I get asked by friends, relatives and even patients that get sent to therapy by their doctor without a clear explanation of what to expect. Others have a misconception that physical therapy is just massage, hot/ cold packs, and electrical stimulation. Physical therapy is identifying the cause of a person’s pain or movement dysfunction, treating said cause and then educating the person on how they can change their habits and lifestyle that are predisposing them to re-injury. A physical therapists main job is to guide the patient to take responsibility for their own pain and show them how they can cause an objective change in their pain through movement.

How Do I Know If Physical Therapy Is Right For Me?

Working with you and your doctor, we can discuss your options and help determine if physical therapy would be right for you. Talk to your doctor or call us to set up a consultation.

Do I need a doctor's referral to see a Physical Therapist?

No. All 50 states have granted physical therapists direct access to patients, meaning that the therapist is able to evaluate and treat the patient for up to one month without needing a referral from a doctor. This is greatly beneficial for the patient who no longer has to wait to schedule a doctors appointment and then be told to go start therapy. In most cases, the patient has to wait several weeks while their pain or symptoms worsen when they could have just seen a PT first. 

Without a referral from a doctor, how will my physical therapist know what to do?

Every physical therapy program in the US is a postgraduate program that grants a doctorate in physical therapy. This means that the therapist will have the medical knowledge to evaluate, screen and treat patients. Depending on the therapist’s differential diagnosis during the evaluation, they are able to identify if the root cause of the issue is musculoskeletal or not. If the diagnosis is out of the scope of physical therapy or a medical emergency they can always refer out to a physician. 

If I have pain isn't the best thing to do is rest?

Immobilization is quickly becoming a very archaic way of treating injuries. Prolonged bed rest or lack of movement leads to disuse muscle atrophy, degenerative changes in tendons and ligaments, and shrinking of the joint capsule (i.e. frozen shoulder). Many patients have chronic pain for many months and do not move the affected limb only to see the pain progressively worsen. Human beings heal through movement and movement is truly the best medicine.

There is an appropriate time frame when rest and immobilization are needed to allow the tissue to heal, but this is best left for a medical professional to decide.

How is manual therapy helping me?

At Fox Physical Therapy, we pride ourselves in our application of manual therapy techniques. Manual therapy is the hands-on techniques such as soft tissue mobilization and joint mobilization/ manipulation that are geared at improving a specific impairment. Soft tissue mobilization entails Graston technique, active release technique, trigger point release, cupping, deep tissue massage, etc. The goal is to breakdown myofascial restrictions and scar tissue that develops after surgery, immobilization, faulty exercise technique, and asymmetries/ muscle imbalances. Joint mobilization/ manipulation is a skilled passive movement of the articular surfaces of a joint geared towards reducing pain and/ or improving range of motion depending on the technique and grade of force used. All of these manual therapy techniques work at the neurological level as the muscles release mechanoreceptors that reduce perception of pain and improve range of motion. Always the end goal of manual therapy should be an immediate objective change in symptoms, which is then further reinforced with appropriate therapeutic exercise.

What Can I Expect On My First Visit?

The physical therapist will:

  • Complete your evaluation, which typically consists of obtaining a thorough past medical history and testing your functional movement, flexibility, and strength.
  • Initiate treatment to help eliminate pain and increase flexibility.

What Should I Bring On My First Visit?

  1. A prescription for physical therapy from your referring physician.
  2. Insurance information (we will take a copy of your card).
  3. Comfortable athletic clothing and shoes.

Does Health Insurance Cover Physical Therapy?

Yes. Our office will be happy to assist in contacting your insurance company and determining your coverage.

What Form Of Payment Do You Accept?

We accept cash, check, debit card, and credit card (Visa, MasterCard, debit). We are happy to discuss payment plan options, as well.

What Do I Wear For Physical Therapy Treatment?

Dress comfortably. For instance, if your goal is to get back to running after a knee injury, please bring clothes that will allow your therapist to visually inspect and evaluate your knee without restriction.

How Long Does Physical Therapy Treatment Last?

Typically, your first session can last for one hour. Each session after that may be 30-45 minutes. The time will be based on your specific needs and injury. 

How Many Physical Therapy Treatments Will I Need?

Each patient’s diagnosis is different, Fox Physical Therapy and you physician can develop a plan of care that is right for you. Your plan of care and number of visits will be determined during your first visit.