Physical Therapy (PT) helps you recover lost function in your body after an injury, accident, or surgery. The goal of PT is to help you return to your prior level of function restoring your quality of life. A Physical Therapist evaluates your mobility, flexibility, strength, balance, and quality of movement. From your evaluation, your Physical Therapist finds a list of impairments that they will address through therapeutic corrective exercise, stretching, gait training, movement retraining, and balance exercises. Your program will progress both in the clinic and at home.
No, we treat knees and the joints above (hips) and below (ankles). The joints of the lower extremity (the leg) are all part of the kinetic/locomotion chain and have an effect on one another during movement.
No, in the state of California Physical Therapists operate under Direct Access Advocacy. This allows us to see you for ten visits or forty-five days (whichever comes first) without a referral or prescription. We can evaluate, treat you, and if something warrants the need to follow up with your Physician, we may suggest that. If not, we can get started on a plan of care and a personalized program to address your impairments.
Maybe, we are in-network with most major insurance companies. It is difficult to give a specific answer as there are many variables in each medical insurance plan. It is in your best interest to contact your insurance company to see what your (the patient’s) responsibility will be for a PT evaluation and follow up treatments. Key questions to ask your insurance are:
- How much is your deductible and is it met?
- Is PT subject to the deductible?
- If your deductible is not met and PT is subject to the deductible are you responsible for the contracted rate until your deductible is met?
- Do you have a copay (set amount) or a co-insurance (a percentage of the cost)?
- How many PT visits do you get per calendar year, per diagnosis, or per encounter?
- What is your out-of-pocket max and is it met?
We will do our best to check your benefit before you arrive for your session.
Start your PT sooner rather than later. Typically after surgery you begin PT within one week of surgery unless you are receiving at home PT. If you have not had surgery and have had a nagging pain that has not improved in two to three weeks by RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation), then you should give us a call. Addressing pain and impairments earlier leads to less complications, compensation, and other aches and pains.
The 3 E’s. Evaluation: we are always assessing changes in your subjective measures (pain levels, function, sleep, etc) and objective measures (range of motion, strength, flexibility, and quality of movement). Exercise: PT always involves a progressive exercise program, from a low-level stretch all the way to a loaded squat. Education: there is always an element of patient education to help you discover what you are doing on a daily basis that could be contributing to your problem. Your PT may need to re-educate you on how to get in/out of a chair correctly and move pain free.
After, you may receive modalities which are rehabilitation technologies, for example electrical stimulation to improve muscle activation or vasopneumatic (Game Ready) compression ice machine to reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation.
Yes, your Physical Therapist may push you beyond your current limits or comfort zone a little bit, encouraging you to go beyond what you think they can do. This may lead to Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), meaning you will be sore the day after your PT session. If you perform your exercise and movements as directed your tissues will adapt and get used to the load/demand you are placing on them and your soreness will decrease. If you only perform your exercises while at your PT session, you will likely continue to feel soreness and not meet your PT goals.
Forever, because once you have an injured or weakened muscle, tendon, ligament, cartilage, or joint it will need maintenance. Your physical therapist will review and recommend maintenance exercises before you graduate from PT.
It depends. There are many variables that come into play that determine how quickly you’ll see improvements. Your healing time may be affected by your overall level of health, predisposed health complication (diabetes, dementia, cancer, etc), your age, your fitness level when you started PT, the length you have been impaired prior to starting PT, and how often you do your prescribed home exercise program. You may feel some improvements in strength by week three due to improved muscle activation, but typically true strength improvements take six to eight weeks. Note, it can take up to two years for tissues to fully heal, get rid of muscle atrophy and recover full strength.
Typically if you have not had surgery, we can get you well on your way in 6 to 8 sessions. We may space the sessions out over a 2-3 month period to allow for progression and independence with your home exercise program. If you have had surgery, you may need to come for 12-20 sessions to get back to your previous level of function. If you had a major surgery we typically like to keep our eyes on you for 9-12 months, so we will spread the visits out over that period of time.
Physical therapy tends to be more heavily loaded on the front end with 1-2 visits a week. You may also improve quicker, so a check-in once a month to assess progress would be best. In between sessions, you can communicate with your Physical Therapist through the Keet Health app in your patient portal. This is the same program you will use for your home exercise program.