Arch Health Medical Group

Physical Therapy FAQs

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Physical Therapy?

Physical Therapy (PT) is considered to be a conservative rehabilitation that focuses on diagnosis and treatment for healing and prevention of injuries and disabilities. PTs utilize manual techniques, specially designed therapeutic exercise programs and modalities to reduce pain, promote healing and restore movement, strength and function.
Can I go directly to my Physical Therapist?

On January 1, 2014, a California law was enacted which allows patients to have access to any physical therapist and their services in California without having to have a medical diagnosis, and they can have immediate treatment for up to 45 days or 12 visits, whichever comes first. Direct Access is your ability to be evaluated and treated by a licensed Physical Therapist without first seeing your physician for a referral. This news is exciting for the consumer...patients! The old law only allowed for a Physical Therapy evaluation (or initial consultation), fitness and wellness services, and treatment for a condition if there was a medical diagnosis associated with it. Please note: some insurance companies still require a Doctor's prescription for physical therapy that has a diagnosis associated with it in order for treatment to be billed to and paid by insurance. 
If I have a referral to another PT facility, can it be used at Arch Health Medical Group Physical Therapy?

Yes. A referral is for PT services. Your doctor can recommend a facility but, ultimately, as a patient the choice is yours.
Who pays for Physical Therapy?

In most cases, your health insurance will cover your treatment. We are accepted by most PPOs, Medicare, TriCare, Arch Health Medical Group and Worker's Compensation. If you have questions regarding your coverage, please call us and our receptionist will be happy to assist you in obtaining that information.
Can I still receive Physical Therapy even if I don't have insurance?

Yes. In this case, we may see you as a cash patient. Please call our office for more details on rates and payment.
How long is an appointment?

Each visit will generally last 1 hour, including your evaluation and follow-up visits.
How many visits will I need?

The length of treatment is highly variable based on diagnosis, the severity of your impairments, your past medical history, insurance limitations, etc. An initial plan of care with estimated frequency and duration of treatment will be determined by your physical therapist at your initial evaluation. Your progress will be consistently monitored and your plan of care will be adjusted as needed. We also maintain close communication with your physician to optimize your rehabilitation outcomes.
Is Physical Therapy painful?

In most cases, no. However, there are certain conditions which are inherently painful and a return to movement can cause a temporary increase in discomfort. Our goal is to make the rehabilitation process as painless as possible while still maximizing your outcomes. Pain can also be an excellent indicator of what to do and what to avoid. Communication with your therapist is crucial. Please speak up and let your therapist know how you are tolerating your treatment and they will indicate if your discomfort is "normal" or if treatment techniques need to be modified. Remember, we can't optimize your treatment if we don't know how you're feeling.
What can I expect at each visit?

You will receive approximately 30 minutes of one-on-one treatment time with a licensed therapist. You will also perform exercises, either in our gym or therapeutic pool (to be determined by your therapist at the time of evaluation). Most treatments will also include some type of modality.
What is a Modality?

A modality is a therapeutic agent which promotes healing by assisting in the reduction of pain, swelling and inflammation. Examples include ultrasound, light therapy, electrical stimulation, iontophoresis, cold pack, etc.
What should I wear to Physical Therapy?

Please wear loose fitting, comfortable clothes that allow for examination and treatment of the affected area. For example, if we are treating your knee, wear shorts. And if we are treating your shoulder, wear a tank top. Please also wear clothes that are comfortable and appropriate for gym exercise such as shorts, t-shirt and tennis shoes.