What is Physical Therapy really like?
Many people find themselves in need of Physical Therapy. From listening to our past patients describe how they got to our clinic, here’s a few popular scenarios:
- At your yearly physical, you bring up the nagging shoulder pain you’ve been having on and off for a while. After hearing your complaints, your doctor takes out his handy dandy script pad and tells you to see a physical therapist.
- Running after your child (whether for play or to keep them away from that one thing they can’t leave alone..), you twist your knee the wrong way. A quick google search reveals that you would benefit from seeing a physical therapist.
- A friend that used to complain of neck pain and headaches from working from home, raves about the experience she’s had with physical therapy. You’re now searching online to find where you can get relief.
- OR (this is really a patient’s story) you were too busy dancing (and drinking) last weekend and drunkenly tripped and fell. #NoJudgementHere
So you need Physical Therapy!
Physical therapy of yesteryears consisted of boring exercises printed on sheets of paper, stretching joints until you felt like a pretzel, and throwing on an ice pack at the end. The teasing misnomer “pain and torture” was ascribed to stand for PT instead of physical therapy.
Over the last decade, so much time and effort has been put into researching the best ways to prevent, treat, and rehab injuries from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet. Also, every graduate from an accredited physical therapy school is now a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT).
We can’t speak for every physical therapy clinic, but we will describe what physical therapy is really like at our clinic.
1. We want to get to know you.
From the first phone call, you’ll realize that “getting down to business” is more than just your name, address, and insurance information.
What’s your story? How did you get to calling a physical therapy clinic? Most importantly, what are your goals? Do you just need to put dishes away without shoulder pain or are you currently training for a powerlifting meet? Details matter.
2. We are your advocates.
After we get your goals and more details surrounding your call (or email), we get to business working on your behalf. The first way this happens is by insurance benefits verification.
We take the time to personally call your insurance company (which, not exaggerating, can be anywhere from 5-45 minutes!) to step by step verify what they cover, and convert that into a payment estimation. Unfortunately, we are only as accurate as your insurance company, but we make sure to document every small detail and place that in your chart.
Unlike some healthcare companies, we believe in price transparency. Where else do you go and get a service without knowing how much you’re going to pay? That’s lunacy. We provide our best estimate of your cost so you won’t be blindsided down the road.
We wouldn’t want a surprise bill, so we made sure that our patients don’t get one either.
Throughout the course of care, we are standing by, advocating for you against the regulations and hoops that insurance companies sometimes make us jump through. However tedious it may be, it’s worth it to ensure smooth communication lines, and have you focused on getting better, not calling your insurance company.
3. We listen to you.
After you’ve contacted us, received insurance or payment information, and your appointment is here; welcome to our clinic!
As I write this, we are still swimming upstream against COVID-19, so you will be greeted with a smiling, mask-wearing patient care coordinator. We get our temperature checked every day, and we will also get your temperature. Our clinic is sparkling clean, and meticulously sanitized before and after each patient.
There will be some brief paperwork, signatures here and there, and then you are off to your evaluation! We hate waiting in medical offices, so you will never have to wait more than 5-10 minutes.
Here’s how we distinguish ourselves from other medical offices: we listen to you. Every last word. Feel like it’s relevant to why you’re here? Please let us know!
Each detail crafts the individualized treatment program developed to fix your pain, prevent any further injury, and accomplish the unique goals you have.
4. We try to make physical therapy fun!
Let’s be real: if you don’t like doing it, you probably won’t do it. So to ensure the success of your treatment, we try to make your visit fun. Again, we listen to you, and take in account the exercises you like doing.
You’re not a robot, and we make sure to treat you like someone who has a life outside of physical therapy. Your home exercise plan won’t take you an hour to do, but it will be filled with the best exercises for your condition.
5. We reassess at every visit.
Every visit means a chat, an update, exercise tweaks, and a vision for the future. Every visit. We want to see what’s working and not working for you. Is something creating more pain? What movement really helped since the last time we saw you?
If we initially planned for eight visits, but on your fifth visit all of your goals have been met and you feel amazing? Great! It’s been a pleasure working with you, and we wish you the best in your active lifestyle.
Our goal is to fix your pain and prepare you to be able to manage and strengthen for the next time injury strikes.
6. We use science.
If you’ve spent 20 years straight in school, you might have an affinity for research papers and any opportunity to learn! We’re a little nerdy and we don’t care who knows it!
If you ever ask, “why am I doing this exercise?” We will cheerfully give you an answer. We love sharing our nerdy knowledge of exercise with anyone who will listen.
Knowledge is power, and in our case, it’s healing.
7. You might sweat and leave motivated.
Depending on why you’re walking through our doors, you just might sweat while you’re here. Building strength to protect yourself against future injury is hard, but manageable work.
We believe in our name, Active Physical Therapy, and the power that fitness has on our physical and mental health. We believe that a regular fitness routine does our body and mind good, and many of our patients leave our office with that same mindset.
Sometimes injury derails us, and doesn’t allow us to move our bodies the way we want to. Post injury, we’ve seen patients leave our office with renewed inspiration to get back to the gym or even workout regularly for the first time ever!
In conclusion, physical therapy has a lot to do with you, your goals, and kicking pain to the curb. We’re positive and passionate people, passionate about all aspects of your visit–from that first phone call to a final wave once you’re pain free.
Fixing pain is a reason to smile, and we’re here for you in your journey to pain free. Want to know more about our team? Click HERE.
Want to schedule an appointment? Click HERE.
Written by Kat Prater (bio HERE)