Experts in bodily movement and function, physical therapists treat people whose mobility has been limited as a result of illness, accident, and surgeries. They can help prevent injuries, too.

If it’s been recommended that you see a physical therapist, you probably have some questions before you find one and start your treatment. Here’s a look at the answers to questions that we are frequently asked.

Is a referral necessary or a prescription?

In the state of New York, a referral is not required. You can seek the services of a physical therapist through direct access, a process that makes it possible for patients to be assessed for an evaluable and receive treatment for a total of 30 days without the need for a prescription. Once the 30 day period is over, however, if additional therapy is needed, a doctor will need to issue a prescription.

Is physical therapy covered by my insurance?

That depends. Most insurance companies offer coverage for direct access and services overall, some may not. Policies vary from insurance provider to provider. To avoid any potential problems, make sure you contact your healthcare provider before you schedule an appointment to verify your coverage.

What happens during the first visit?

During your first visit, you will fill out all necessary paperwork. The physical therapist will also conduct an extensive evaluation with can take up to an hour. During this evaluation, you’ll discuss your injury, your pain level, and your medical history. Your range of mobility will be assessed, a neurological screening will be conducted, and other tests will be performed to get a better understanding of your specific needs.

The physical therapist will use the information obtained during your assessment to determine your prognosis and plan rehabilitation program that is customized to accommodate your needs.

What will treatment involve?

Your treatment will be based on the findings of your evaluation. It will likely include treatment techniques, such as therapeutic exercise, massage, electrical stimulation, low-level laser therapy, ultrasound and postural reeducation. The goal of oakdale physical therapy is to strengthen your muscles and joints, restore mobility, and/or reduce pain.

What type of clothing should be worn?

Clothing and shoes that you would wear for working out is strongly recommended. It should expose the area that will be concentrated on, or provide easy access to the area. For example, if you are having treatments on your knee, wear shorts; if your hip is being treated, loose-fitting clothing that can easily be pushed up to access this part of the body should be worn. Athletic shoes that are comfortable and have sturdy, non-slip bottoms are ideal for footwear.

How long will treatment last?

That depends on your specific situation. The average number of treatment sessions is six, but more may be necessary to gain the full benefits of physical therapy. In regard to the length of time each treatment will take, they can range from 30 minutes to an hour or more. Your physical therapist will let you know how long treatment will last.

Is physical therapy right for me?

Physical therapy is beneficial for anyone who is recovering from a surgery, suffering from an injury to the musculoskeletal system, or has issues with balance, walking or other neurological problems, such as acquired brain injuries and strokes. Those who are recovering from surgeries or illnesses that are not related to orthopedics can also benefit from physical therapy.

To find out how Physical Therapy Long Island can help you, schedule an appointment for an assessment.

How can I find a physical therapist?

Your doctor can recommend physical therapists for you. Your insurance company can also offer you guidance regarding therapists that are in your network. However, the decision is entirely up to you. If you have a specific request, let your health care provider or your insurance carrier know before you choose a therapist. Also, contacting physical therapists to discuss your needs and learn more about their process gain help you make your choice.

Do I have responsibilities?

Ultimately, you are responsible for your success. While your therapist may be the best in the field, if you aren’t willing to put in the effort, your success will be impacted. You will be provided with all of the tools that are necessary to recover, but it’s important to support the therapist’s efforts by following through with the instructions and exercises that you will be provided with.

If you have more questions regarding physical therapy, contact our office today. We would be happy to answer any and all questions that you may have.