Physical Therapy FAQ
What can I expect for my first visit?
Your first visit is a chance for your therapist to learn as much about you as possible to begin formulating a treatment plan to help you achieve your goals.
Before you arrive
Hopefully, you will have filled out your health questionnaire before arriving or will arrive a few minutes early to do so. Your therapist will review your health history and perform a thorough physical evaluation which includes checking your posture, mobility, pain level, strength, etc.
Your therapist will make sure there’s time for manual treatment and/or instruction on how to manage your condition. Each session varies a bit depending on individual circumstances.
What should I bring or wear?
- Diagnostic or surgical reports (written): Bring copies of any reports from diagnostic tests/surgeries you may have had or notes from your physician. Written reports and interpretations are much more informative than the actual films
- Wear loose-fitting clothes that you will be able to move in, if you have long hair you may want to bring something to tie your hair back. Ideally, it is preferred that you wear clothing that allows your therapist to see your body alignment and posture without obstruction. (shorts, camisole/tank top or sports bras are great).
- If you wear orthotics, bring them.
- If you are being seen for head/neck/jaw issues, you may want to bring any night guards or mouth appliances.
- Please avoid wearing body lotions and oils.
*Be advised that we treat the whole person, so if you are coming for neck pain, we still want to see and evaluate your lower body.
How long will it take to feel better or achieve results?
The amount of time it takes to find relief really varies from person to person. Most people begin to feel some relief a day or two after a session (once any soreness subsides).
The factors which will influence the speed of recovery have to do with how your body processes manual therapy and how much damage your tissues have to overcome. That being said, other factors can influence outcomes like diet, lifestyle, co-morbidities (other disease processes), stress, and emotional health.
Healing from injuries, traumas, and surgeries takes time. However, if you are vigilant about taking care of yourself outside of therapy, heed our advice, and utilize the strategies, stretches, or exercises assigned, your time in therapy will be greatly reduced. Some folks improve after 1-2 sessions, some require 4-10. Typically folks with complicated histories and lots of scar tissue may require 20-30 hours.
With all things considered, let it be known that we don’t want you to have to attend therapy forever. We give you tools to care for yourself long-term while fostering injury prevention and overall wellness.
Some of our patients enjoy seeing us for help with regular maintenance at varying intervals. They see the value in the relationship with their therapist. Our bodies, minds, and emotions are ever-evolving and we’re here to guide you through that process.
What insurance do you accept?
Align PT is considered an out-of-network provider. While insurance is not processed directly, and payment is due at the time of service, many patients are able to submit claims to their insurance company directly.
Align PT provides superbills using usual and customary PT codes and will make sure clients receive the documentation necessary to receive the maximum reimbursement available. Patients are advised to contact their insurance companies to find out what their benefits are for outpatient out-of-network physical therapy.
Additionally, all physical therapy services can be paid for via Health Savings Account and/or Flexible Spending Accounts.
What are your fees?
We have a variety of pricing options available, including packages for multiple sessions.
Will treatment hurt?
Each treatment intensity differs from patient to patient and the tissues/structures we’re working with. Some techniques can be very light and gentle, while others like scar tissue and fascial release can feel like a deep stretching sensation that feels like a “good hurt”.
Rest assured that you are always in control and if you wish to decrease the pressure, your therapist will honor your request.
Trigger point needling may elicit what is referred to as a “deep ache”, or a twitch response, it is usually very brief and often mimics the pain you feel which brought you to therapy. You may feel sore or achy for a day or two after treatment like you had a workout. Most patients report renewed mobility and no pain after the initial soreness subsides.
Can I exercise right after a session?
It’s best to avoid strenuous exercise right after treatment. It is great however to go out for a 15-20 minute walk to let your body adjust to the changes we make in therapy. Be good to yourself, drink extra water, and avoid too much alcohol and caffeine.
Do you do internal pelvic work?
Yes, we work internally through the vagina, rectum, or inside mouth. It provides us with greater access to tissues and organs that ordinarily would be hard to assess and treat by working externally alone. Of course, this would only be with your permission, you are always in control of your sessions. Not all patients require this kind of work, but most do benefit from it.
Should I come to pelvic therapy if I have my period?
Yes, you can absolutely attend therapy when you have your period. If you still wish to participate in internal therapy, we can accommodate you. However, some people prefer to skip internal work when menstruating and that’s fine too. There are so many other things your therapist can do externally to help progress your treatment plan.
Is it normal to feel a little worse after treatment?
Yes. Especially at the beginning of treatment, while your body is getting used to a new kind of intervention, it’s common for some people to feel a little off in the few days after a session. *It’s not always the case, though, some people just report feeling better.
Manual therapy sometimes brings things that have been stored in the body up to the surface. Because of this, symptoms may intensify a little bit while your body processes. You may feel a little fatigued or emotional as well. Rest assured, this usually subsides in 24-48 hours. Drink plenty of water, take deep breaths, and have patience with your body.
As you continue with more sessions, your body will get used to this type of intervention, and you should start feeling much better.
Do you offer intensive sessions for out of town patients?
Yes, we do! We have patients from other regions, states, and countries who want to benefit from our specialized therapy but aren’t close enough for ongoing treatment.
For those patients who want to receive focused intensive therapy over a shorter amount of time (one to two weeks) and are willing to travel here for treatment, we offer a variety of options. Call our office or request a virtual discovery visit and discuss your needs.