First Time Visit Questions

Information About First Time Visits

The first step is always the hardest. To make that step a little easier below you'll find information regarding what you may need to bring, what you can expect, and what you should know about your first visit with us. If you would like to make an appointment for the first time you can begin by registering and filling out our patient information packet. If you are ready to begin by clicking on the appointment button on the top main menu or on the side menu panel. We look forward to seeing you and thank you for visiting our web site.

Click on any of the questions below to reveal it's answer

FAQs - First Time Questions

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. Contrary to common thought, massage does not increase circulation

How many visits will I need?

This is highly variable. You may need one visit or you may need months of care. It depends on your diagnosis, the severity of your impairments, your past medical history, etc. You will be re-evaluated on a monthly basis and when you see your doctor, we will provide you with a progress report with our recommendations

How long will each treatment last?

Treatment sessions typically last 30 to 60 minutes per visit.

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 do I need to bring with me?

Make sure you bring your physical therapy referral (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 covered by auto insurance or an attorney lien, make sure you bring this information. You can download a patient packet by creating an account and registering online. Click on the Log in button at the top menu, click on the icon to create an account.

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 website - see the paperwork or forms link).
  • 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:
    1. Your medical history.
    2. Your current problems/complaints.
    3. Pain intensity, what aggravates and eases the problem.
    4. How this is impacting your daily activities or your functional limitations.
    5. Your goals with physical therapy.
    6. Medications, tests, and procedures related to your health.
  • The therapist will then perform the objective evaluation which may include some of the following:
    1. Palpation - touching around the area of the pain/problem. This is done to check for the presence of tenderness, swelling, soft tissue integrity, tissue temperature, inflammation, etc.
    2. Range of Motion (ROM) - the therapist will move the joint(s) to check for the quality of movement and any restrictions.
    3. Muscle Testing - the therapist may check for strength and the quality of the muscle contraction. Pain and weakness may be noted. Often the muscle strength is graded. This is also part of a neurological screening.
    4. Neurological Screening - the therapist may check to see how the nerves are communicating with the muscles, sensing touch, pain, vibration, or temperature. Reflexes may be assessed as well.
    5. Special Tests - the therapist may perform special tests to confirm/rule out the presence of additional problems.
    6. Posture Assessment - the positions of joints relative to ideal and each other may be assessed.

The therapist will then formulate a list of problems you are having, and how to treat those problems. A plan is subsequently 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 with input from you, your therapist, and your doctor.