Why was I referred to physical therapy?
According to the Texas Sate Practice Act, physical therapy is “a form of health care that prevents, identifies, corrects, or alleviates acute or prolonged movement dysfunction or pain of anatomic or physiologic origin.” Physical therapy will not only restore movement and enable improved quality of life, but can prevent one from having injuries as well. For example, pain radiating into the leg after bending to tie a shoe, or inability to sleep on your shoulder are mechanical disorders. A physical therapist is licensed to treat that movement disorder and restore normal function. By working with the muscles, ligaments, tendons, bones and nerves, a physical therapist can help you bend over or raise your arm without pain. Only professionals licensed by the state board can practice physical therapy.
What can I expect during my first visit?
Upon being greeted and escorted to a treatment room, you will be met by an expert, licensed physical therapist. The two of you will discuss your history and concerns, including the reason for your visit and factors related to your present condition. The therapist will perform a comprehensive evaluation enabling the therapist to provide a diagnosis. The therapist will thoroughly explain their findings as well as provide you with a thorough treatment plan. This will include what to expect throughout your course of treatment, what you’ll experience during your visits, and how many visits we feel you will need to reach your goals! Additionally, you will be provided a home program to assist you in reaching those goals. A new patient should plan to be with the therapist for about an hour.
How should I dress?
Please wear comfortable clothes that allow for movement. If arriving from another activity, feel free to bring a change of clothes.
What do I need to bring with me?
Please bring your driver’s license or form of picture identification, your insurance card if you plan to utilize insurance benefits, and your prescription from a healthcare provider. If you have reports from other providers in reference to your case, please bring them. They are helpful but not mandatory!
Is physical therapy painful?
Our goal is to help alleviate your pain. We do not believe that efforts to reduce pain need to inflict more first. When your muscles and joints learn how to move properly, therapy actually makes you feel better! In some circumstances, the physical therapist may have to use techniques to help you restore movement to a stiff or even contracted joint. We will work closely, always communicating to provide the best experience. We want you to be relaxed and we will do all we can to ease the pain during the process.
Do I need a referral from a physician for an initial evaluation?
No, in the states of Texas, one may be evaluated for physical therapy services without a prior referral. However, at this time, if further treatment is deemed necessary, a patient must receive a prescription. Physicians, dentists, chiropractors, podiatrists, physician assistants, and advanced nurse practitioners of all types (midwives, clinical specialists, FNPs) can prescribe physical therapy.