Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some Frequently Asked Questions from our patients.
On your first visit, your physical therapist will perform an evaluation to determine what deficits and/or problems you have that can be addressed in physical therapy. The evaluation involves a thorough history, objective testing and measuring, which your physical therapist will use to form an opinion as to your specific problems. A treatment program will be developed aimed at resolving the problems identified as well as to attain the goals set by the physical therapist in conjunction with you, the patient.
The treatment you receive in physical therapy will depend upon what the physical therapist finds in the evaluation. Our treatment programs are mechanically oriented with a non-dependent therapeutic approach. We emphasize mobilization, self-treatment, and therapeutic exercise to go right to the structure and resolve the problem. Although we do utilize modalities as needed to assist us with anti-inflammatory effects, to decrease pain and promote healing, they are an adjunct and only used if helpful in addressing the underlying problem.
Treatment time will vary according to what the physical therapist finds in the evaluation. There is no specific time limit for physical therapy. Whatever is found to be appropriate during the evaluation will become part of the patient's program and the program will be updated as appropriate as the patient improves. In general, physical therapy treatments last anywhere between a half hour to 1 hour with somewhat longer time being necessary for this first visit because of the evaluation. Some patients may require more extensive care.
Because your physical therapist will perform a meticulous evaluation, quantifying and qualifying all the deficits and problems you are presenting with, re-evaluation and reassessment to determine progress are possible. You will be re-evaluated on a periodic basis the frequency of which will depend upon your diagnosis, the chronicity of the problem and to coincide with any follow up visits you have with your doctor. Therefore, the therapist always needs to be aware of follow-up visits with your physician so a re-evaluation can be performed and your physician can be updated. In general, patients are re-evaluated anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks.
Although physical therapists no longer require a physician's prescription for treatment, the physical therapist will always communicate with your physician, most commonly by written report. The physical therapist will send a complete written report outlining the findings of their initial evaluation as well as their assessment of the problem and an outline of the general treatment and frequency with which they intend to see you.
The physical therapist will continue to update your physician with written reports each time you are re-evaluated and most specifically prior to your return to the physician. This is why it is so important that you let your therapist know if you have an appointment with your physician.
Additionally, the therapist will, as they feel appropriate, contact the physician by phone if they have a specific concern or question. At the time of discharge the physical therapist will send a follow-up report to your physician with updated information on your progress and status in physical therapy. If you have more then one physician following your care, or want your general physician updated, just let us know and we will be happy to send them a copy of our reports.
Our goal at this physical therapy facility is to resolve your problem completely so that you don't require continual follow-up or maintenance care. There are, on occasion, patients who do require follow-up care. If this is the case, your therapist will discuss it with you prior to your discharge from physical therapy.
In general, if you are discharged from physical therapy and feel you need to return, you should contact the physical therapist who treated you. They will review your chart and call back to discuss with you what should be done, depending on the problem you are having.
Initiating physical therapy early will reduce the overall treatment time that you will require by not allowing the problem to become chronic. What type of treatment you receive in physical therapy depends on the clinical stage you are presenting in, not just the diagnosis. Therefore, your care will be modified according to the signs and symptoms during the acute, sub-acute, and chronic phases of your problem.
Absolutely! If you have a problem that you think can be helped with physical therapy, feel free to give us a call. After discussing it with you, we can give you a better idea if it is something that is treatable with physical therapy. By law you do not need a physician's prescription for physical therapy although some insurance companies do require them. Again, just give us a call and we will let you know.
You can also give your doctor a call. If he/she is not sure if physical therapy will help, he/she is welcome to contact us as well. In today's healthcare, if you feel physical therapy can be helpful, you will need to stress your feelings to the doctor you are seeing.
Because of today's health care and the wide variety plans available, although most insurance companies do cover physical therapy, what they cover specifically varies greatly. Please review our billing and insurance participation sections on this website and if you have additional questions regarding your specific insurance give us a call.
Simply call our office for an appointment. Our clinic hours and location are explained on the location and hour's page of this website. Our office staff will get all the necessary information from you and assist you with an appointment.
In general, wear comfortable clothing to physical therapy. If you are coming in for a problem of your cervical spine, upper back or shoulders, the therapist can provide you with a gown as needed to expose these areas for treatment if needed. If you are coming for a lower extremity problem, shorts or pants that roll up easily and sneakers are important. You can bring whatever you like to wear with you and change here if needed.
For your first visit you will need your insurance card, and any paperwork that was sent to you that needed to be filled out. If you like, you can print our patient information forms off this website and fill them out in advance. Please go to the patient forms section on this we site to view our forms section.
If you have any operative reports, MRI or X-ray results, you should bring those as well, but they are not necessary. Additionally, if you are utilizing any type of brace, splint, or crutches, those should come with you.
If you have increased symptoms please call your physical therapist. When you call the office, please be sure you explain to the office staff that you are having an increase in symptoms. The office staff will pull your chart and contact your therapist or a covering physical therapist. They will come to the phone if possible and if not they will give you a call back that same day. After we discuss the case with you, we will be able to give you guidelines as to what would be appropriate to reduce your symptoms. We will advise you as to whether you need to come in our office, or if you should contact or follow-up with your physician. It is best to call us prior to calling your physician as if a change in symptoms has occurred, we may need to call or fax your physician a report so that he/she is up to date on your care.
Oftentimes, your physician will give you a recommendation or a listing of physical therapists in your area. Sometimes your insurance company will guide you with regard to who is "in network" for your insurance plan. Ultimately, however, the decision as to where you receive your care is up to you except in workers' compensation cases. Picking the right physical therapist can save you time, pain and expense!
If you have a specific request, make it known to your physician if you have one, or your insurance company if applicable. If we are not in network for your insurance company most plans have out of network benefits which will allow you your choice in physical therapy. Please see our billing section for more specific information.
In physical therapy, the goal is to resolve your problem, not just temporarily relieve it. Although medication and other forms of treatment can be helpful in relieving symptoms, appropriate physical therapy produces a long term result. The physician may opt to utilize medication in conjunction with physical therapy depending on your diagnosis. Additionally, because we look to resolution of the problem, unlike some other forms of treatment, maintenance is not generally necessary and recurrence is prevented.
We ask that our patients:
- Give 24 hours notice when possible for cancellations; the answering machine is on 24 hours a day.
- Call if you have a question or a concern or if you will be late. We will do our best to fit you in but need to know in advance in consideration of other patients.
- Be on time. All patients are taken at their scheduled time.
- Notify your physical therapist at least one week prior to returning to your physician. The therapist must have the date and time of your follow-up visits to properly schedule a re-evaluation for you and to update your physician on your progress.
- Schedule appointments in advance and have the proper number of visits scheduled. If you don't schedule your appointments in advance it will be more difficult to give you the times that you desire.
You are our partner in your recovery. Your physical therapist cannot do it without you! We ask that all patients cooperate by following through with their home exercise programs and instructions as this is extremely important in expediting your recovery.
By law you do not need a prescription for physical therapy in the state of NJ. Therefore if you feel you need physical therapy or someone suggests it/refers you to physical therapy just call to set up an appointment. The physical therapist will perform an evaluation and be able to tell you whether physical therapy would be helpful. If the therapist feels alternate or additional medical care or workup are needed they will let you know that as well. If you have a physician that follows your care, whether it be a general practitioner or specialist, even if they did not suggest therapy we will be happy to send a report and keep them updated on your care in physical therapy.
Although by law you do not need a prescription for physical therapy, unfortunately some insurance companies are not up to date and do request a prescription for reimbursement. Our office staff will check this for you prior to your first visit and assist you in obtaining any paperwork needed.
As a result of our expertise, Wayne Physical Therapy & Spine Center is widely regarded as a leading expert in physical therapy. Physicians regularly send their own office staff and family members to our facility. Wayne Physical Therapy & Spine Center is dedicated to resolving your problems in an environment that is welcoming and relaxed. Patients receive personalized care, not an assembly line atmosphere. If you are still not sure, feel free to give us a call and stop in to speak to one of our therapists.