Why should I choose a Doctor of physical therapy?
We believe that using a DPT, Doctor of Physical Therapy, can provide you with the highest quality of care available and do it in a cost-effective manner using EB-PT, Evidence-Based Physical Therapy practices. You will work closely with your Physical Therapist through integration of relevant high quality clinical research, patients' preferences and physiotherapists' practice knowledge using EB-PT. (EB-PT) has been defined as "Physiotherapy informed by relevant high quality clinical research" (Herbert, Jamtvedt, Mead & Hagen, 2005, p. 1). Our goals at Universal Physical Therapy are:
- To better plan and evaluate your service delivery
- To better analyze research studies and direct those findings to better care
- To take better measurement and do interpretation of outcomes to provide you the best care possible
- To provide you with better information
How do I choose a physical therapy clinic?
When choosing a physical therapy clinic it is always best to gather the following information:
- Do they have a service that can address your problem?
- Does the physical therapy clinic take your insurance or are they willing to work with you if they are not a preferred provider?
- They should be conveniently located. Since sitting and driving often aggravate orthopedic problems, there should be a very good reason for you to drive a long distance for rehabilitation.
- What are the hours of operation?
- Can they provide satisfaction survey results?
- The therapist should provide the treatment.
- Can you briefly interview the physical therapist before the first visit?
- Ask your family and friends who they would recommend.
Why is physical therapy a good choice?
More than half of all Americans are suffering from pain. Whether it is a recent episode or chronic, an ABC News/Stanford study revealed that pain in America is a serious problem. However, many do not even know that physical therapists are well equipped to not only treat pain but also its source. Physical therapists are experts at treating movement and neuro-musculoskeletal disorders. Pain often accompanies a movement disorder, and physical therapists can help correct the disorder and relieve the pain.
What do physical therapists do?
You have probably heard of the profession of physical therapy. Maybe you have had a conversation with a friend about how physical therapy helped get rid of his or her back pain, or you might know someone who needed physical therapy after an injury. You might even have been treated by a physical therapist yourself. But have you ever wondered about physical therapists, who they are and what they do? Many people are familiar with physical therapists' work helping patients with orthopedic problems, such as low back pain or knee surgeries, to reduce pain and regain function. Others may be aware of the treatment that physical therapists provide to assist patients recovering from a stroke (e.g., assisting them with recovering use of their limbs and walking again). The ability to maintain an upright posture and to move your arms and legs to perform all sorts of tasks and activities is an important component of your health. Most of us can learn to live with the various medical conditions that we may develop, but only if we are able to continue at our jobs, take care of our families, and enjoy important occasions with family and friends. All of these activities require the ability to move without difficulty or pain. Because physical therapists are experts in movement and function, they do not confine their talents to treating people who are ill. A large part of a physical therapist's program is directed at preventing injury, loss of movement, and even surgery. Physical therapists work as consultants in industrial settings to improve the design of the workplace and reduce the risk of workers overusing certain muscles or developing low back pain. They also provide services to athletes at all levels to screen for potential problems and institute preventive exercise programs. With the boom in the golf and fitness industries, a number of physical therapists are engaged in consulting with recreational golfers and fitness clubs to develop workouts that are safe and effective, especially for people who already know that they have a problem with their joints or their backs. The cornerstones of physical therapy treatment are therapeutic exercise and functional training. In addition to "hands-on" care, physical therapists also educate patients to take care of themselves and to perform certain exercises on their own. Depending on the particular needs of a patient, physical therapists may also "mobilize" a joint (that is, perform certain types of movements at the end of your range of motion) or massage a muscle to promote proper movement and function. Physical therapists also use methods such as ultrasound (which uses high frequency waves to produce heat), hot packs, and ice. Although other kinds of practitioners will offer some of these treatments as "physical therapy," it's important for you to know that physical therapy can only be provided by qualified physical therapists or by physical therapist assistants, who must complete a 2-year education program and who work only under the direction and supervision of physical therapists. Most forms of physical therapy treatment are covered by your insurance, but the coverage will vary with each plan. Most states do not legally require patients to see their physicians before seeing a physical therapist. Most of the time all you have to do is ask your doctor if physical therapy is right for you.
Why are people referred to physical therapy?
You and others may be referred to Universal Physical Therapy because of a movement dysfunction associated with pain. Your difficulty with moving part(s) of your body (like bending at the low back or difficulty sleeping on your shoulder, etc.) very likely results in limitations with your daily activities (e.g. difficulty getting out of a chair, an inability to play sports, or trouble with walking, etc.). Physical therapists treat movement dysfunction and their associated pains to restore your body's ability to move in a normal manner.
Is my therapist licensed?
Physical therapists (PT's) are licensed by the state.
What happens during my first visit?
During your first visit you can expect the following:
- Arrive at your appointment with your paperwork completed (you can download it from our web site - click here to see our FORMS area)
- You will provide us with your prescription for physical therapy.
- We will copy your insurance card.
- You will be seen for the initial evaluation by the therapist.
- The therapist will discuss the following:
- Your medical history.
- Your current problems/complaints.
- Pain intensity, what aggravates and eases the problem.
- How this is impacting your daily activities or your functional limitations.
- Your goals with physical therapy.
- Medications, tests, and procedures related to your health.
- The therapist will then perform the objective Physical Therapy evaluation.
- The therapist will then formulate a list of problems you are having, and how to treat those problems.
- Subsequently a plan is developed with the patient's input. This includes how many times you should see the therapist per week, how many weeks you will need therapy, home programs, patient education, short-term/long-term goals, and what is expected after discharge from therapy. This plan is created from input from you, your therapist, and your doctor.
Who will see me?
You will be evaluated by A Doctor of physical therapy and likely to be treated by one of our licensed and highly trained physical therapists and he/she will also treat you during subsequent visits. Unlike some clinics where you see someone different each visit, we feel it is very important to develop a one-on-one relationship with you to maintain continuity of care. Since only one physical therapist knows your problems best, he/she is the one that will be working closely with you to speed your recovery.
What do I need to bring with me?
Make sure you bring your physical therapy prescription (provided to you by your doctor) and your payment information. If your insurance is covering the cost of physical therapy, bring your insurance card. If you are covered by Workers' Compensation, bring your claim number and your case manager's contact information. If you are being covered by auto insurance or an attorney lien, make sure you bring this information.
How should I dress?
You should wear loose fitting clothing so you can expose the area that we will be evaluating and treating. For example, if you have a knee problem, it is best to wear shorts. For a shoulder problem, a tank top is a good choice, and for low back problems, wear a loose fitting shirt and pants, again so we can perform a thorough examination.
What happens if my problem or pain returns?
Flare ups are not uncommon. If you have a flare up (exacerbation), give us a call. We may suggest you come back to see us, return to your doctor, or simply modify your daily activities or exercise routine.
What will I have to do after physical therapy?
Some patients will need to continue with home exercises. Some may choose to continue with a gym exercise program. Others will complete their rehabilitation and return to normal daily activities. It is important that you communicate your goals to your therapist, so he/she can develop a custom program for you. Rehabilitation does not occur solely at the Clinic! You should carry the concepts of rehabilitation home with you. Once you have graduated from physical therapy it is very important to continue exercising and build upon the principals which you have learned at Universal Physical Therapy. If you chose to continue with our maintenance program, there is a $40 monthly fee payable in advance, for continues use of facility. This fee includes one hour of exercise 2 days per week.
Can I go directly to my physical therapist?
Forty-three states have some form of direct access. Some state physical therapy practice acts require a diagnosis before a patient can see a therapist (this is the case in Michigan). Other states allow patients to go directly to physical therapists. In most cases, if you are not making significant improvement within 30 days, the therapist will refer you to/back to your physician.
What types of treatments will I receive?
There are many different types of treatment interventions.
Will I get a massage at physical therapy?
Massage may be part of your treatment. Rehabilitation specialists are trained in a variety of techniques that may help with your recovery. Deep tissue techniques may be part of the rehabilitative process. Massage is used for three reasons typically - to facilitate venous return from a swollen area, to relax a tight muscle, or to relieve pain.
Is physical therapy painful?
For many patients, one of the primary objectives is pain relief. This is frequently accomplished with hands-on techniques, modalities such as ultrasound, electrical stimulation, and/or heat or cold therapy. Movement often provides pain relief as well. Your physical therapist will provide you with the appropriate exercises not only for pain relief but to recover range of motion, strength, and endurance. In some cases, physical therapy techniques can be painful. For example, recovering knee range of motion after total knee replacement or shoulder range of motion after shoulder surgery may be painful. Your physical therapist will utilize a variety of techniques to help maximize your treatment goals. It is important that you communicate the intensity, frequency, and duration of pain to your therapist. Without this information, it is difficult for the therapist to adjust your treatment plan.
Can my therapist provide me with a diagnosis?
In most states, physical therapists can make a mechanical and musculoskeletal diagnosis, but can not make a medical diagnosis. This is something that your medical doctor will provide for you. Physical therapists are important members of your medical team. At this point in time, physicians are typically the health care providers that will provide you with a medical diagnosis.
How does the billing process work?
Billing for physical therapy services in Michigan is similar to what happens at your doctor's office. When you are seen for treatment the following occurs:
- The physical therapist bills your insurance company, Worker's Comp, or charges you based on CPT (Common Procedure Terminology) codes.
- Those codes are transferred to a billing form that is either mailed or electronically communicated to the payer.
- The payer processes this information and makes payments according to an agreed upon fee schedule.
- An EOB (Explanation of Benefits) is generated and sent to the patient and the physical therapy clinic with a check for payment and a balance due by the patient.
- The patient is expected to make the payment on the balance if any.
- It is important to understand that there are many small steps (beyond the outline provided above) within the process. Exceptions are common to the above example as well. At any time along the way, information may be missing, mis-communicated, or misunderstood. This can delay the payment process. While it is common for the payment process to be completed in 60 days or less, it is not uncommon for the physical therapy clinic to receive payment as long as 6 months after the treatment date.
Who pays for the treatment?
In most cases, health insurance will cover your treatment. Please visit our INSURANCE area, for a summary of insurances we accept and make sure you talk to our receptionist so we can help you clarify your insurance coverage.
How many visits will I need?
This is highly variable. You may need one visit or you may several visits depending on the diagnosis, condition and prognosis. It also depends on the severity of your impairments, your past medical history, etc.
How long will each treatment last?
Treatment sessions typically last 60 minutes.
Can I go to any physical therapy clinic?
You have the right to choose any physical therapy clinic. Our practice is a provider for many different insurance plans. The best thing to do is give us a call and we will attempt to answer all of your questions.