Frequently Asked Questions of Jackson County Physical Therapy

Who are Physical Therapists and what do they do?

Physical therapists (PTs) are health care professionals who diagnose and treat people with medical problems or other health-related conditions that limit their abilities to move and function in their daily lives. PTs examine people and develop treatment plans to help them move better, reduce their pain, restore their function, or prevent disability. PTs also help prevent loss of mobility by developing fitness and wellness programs for healthier lifestyles.

Why are people referred to physical therapy?

People are referred to physical therapy for the treatment of joint or muscle pain, movement dysfunction, or neurological conditions that affect their daily activities. People who have suffered broken bones, joint replacements, whiplash, overuse injuries, muscle tears, ligament sprains, brain or spinal cord injuries are all candidates for referral. Physical therapy may also be appropriate when you don’t have pain but are interested in improved performance or function.

What types of treatment will I receive?

At your first appointment, you will be evaluated to determine appropriate treatments for your condition. You will be educated about your condition and prognosis, and you will be involved in the treatment plan. Treatments could be active such as; strength, balance, and range of motion exercises; sport conditioning drills; body mechanics training, postural education, and training for functional daily activities. Treatments could also be passive including joint and soft tissue mobilization, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, heat and cold treatments, or traction.

What happens during my first visit?

When you arrive for your physical therapy appointment you will be greeted by our front office. They will walk you through the check in process. Your chart and medical information will be given to your physical therapist to review as we walk you to your treatment room. Your physical therapist will meet with you and talk with you about your medical history, your current injury or condition needing therapy and discuss your goals for returning to your normal functional status. Depending on your injury, post-operative status or pain, your physical therapist will then take you through a series of simple evaluation tests to check your ability to move, and to test your current strength and function. Once your exam is completed, your therapist will discuss with you your goals and develop a treatment plan to help you reach those goals. You may or may not have treatment your first visit. The evaluation is set up so together we can develop a treatment plan and thoroughly evaluate your condition. Your therapist may give you instructions for home to get started. On your second visit, your treatment plan will be implemented and you will begin your rehabilitation program.

What do I need to bring with me to my appointment?

Bring your completed paperwork which includes the medical history form. Include information on your past surgeries or illness/dates, a current medication list, and any diagnostic reports you may have such as x-ray, CT, MRI or surgical reports. With a medical release, we can request these from your doctor if you do not have copies. Current insurance cards and contact information for payment.

Will I see the same therapist every appointment?

You will be scheduled with one physical therapist who will be your therapist throughout your rehab experience. Occasionally your P.T. may have another therapist see you for a second opinion or if your therapist is out of the office.

How should I dress?

Loose, comfortable clothing is always appropriate because the therapist will need to evaluate the area being treated. Bringing a tee shirt and shorts to the clinic is an excellent choice. Sports bras for women are very helpful to assess neck, back and shoulder problems. Any condition involving the hips or legs requires shorts or very loose sweat pants. We have gowns and shorts available. If you are more comfortable in your own shorts or loose clothing you may bring them with you. 

How long will treatment last?

Your first visit will be an evaluation lasting 45-60 minutes. Follow-up appointments are usually 45 minutes. Please talk with your therapist at the beginning of your appointment if you have any time restrictions.

What happens if my problem or pain returns after I have completed physical therapy?

You can call/talk with the physical therapist that worked with you previously to discuss your current problems. Together, you can decide if returning for treatment would be appropriate for your condition. An updated referral will be required from your personal Physician for you to return to physical therapy.

What will I have to do after completing my course of physical therapy?

During the course of your treatment, your physical therapist will help you develop a home management program to help supplement the treatment of your condition. In most cases, this program will be continued at home after the completion of physical therapy per the recommendation of the physical therapist. Your program may consist of, but will not be limited to the following: stretching exercises, strength exercises, a cardiovascular exercise program, posture correction/retraining, activity modification, and a plan to return to desired activities.

How many appointments will I need?

The number of appointments you will need will be determined by your physician, physical therapist and yourself. Many conditions, such as post-operative surgeries may require 2-3 visits per week for many weeks, even a few months to maximize your recovery. Other times you may only need a few sessions over a few weeks. Your specific health condition or injury will determine the amount of physical therapy you will need. You can discuss this with your physical therapist during your care.