You and others may be referred to physical therapy because of a movement dysfunction associated with pain. Your difficulty with moving part(s) of your body (like bending at the low back or difficulty sleeping on your shoulder, etc.) very likely results in limitations with your daily activities (e.g. difficulty getting out of a chair, an inability to play sports, or trouble with walking, etc.). Physical therapists treat these movement dysfunctions and their associated pains and restore your body’s ability to move in a normal manner.
Step 1: Evaluation and Assessment
The key to successful rehabilitation and recovery is a complete evaluation and assessment. The physical therapist’s evaluation will include the following:
Movement and assessment
Assessment of which muscles are lacking strength
Testing of joint biomechanics for dysfunction
Breakdown of your injury or symptoms step by step
Step 2: Hands-On Manual Therapy
A Physical Therapist’s greatest asset is their hands. A Physical Therapist’s hands can mobilize dysfunctional tissue and joints. This will assist you in a speedier, more complete recovery. Through the use of manual therapy, the physical therapist is able to provide pressure and resistance when and where it is needed most. This technique is used throughout the movement for functional strengthening and optimal muscle control.
Step 3: Muscle Re-Education
Once the areas that require the most help have been identified, the therapist will design a personalized, comprehensive exercise regime. The goal of the program is to re-educate and restore the muscles involved. The exercise program will be specific to the muscles which support and protect your injury or dysfunction.
This is not an easy question to answer. You may need one visit or you may need several months of treatment, depending on your condition. Your physical therapist and your doctor will help you decide how long you will be treated.
In most cases, you will be evaluated by one of our staff and he/she will also treat you during subsequent visits. Unlike some clinics where you see someone different each visit, we feel it is very important to develop a one-on-one relationship with you to maintain continuity of care. Since only one physical therapist knows your problems best, he/she is the one that will be working closely with you to speed your recovery.
In most cases, health insurance will cover your treatment. Click on our insurance link for a summary of insurances we accept and make sure you talk to our receptionist so we can help you clarify your insurance coverage.
Washington State does have DIRECT ACCESS, however, even though you may want to, feel you need, and likely will benefit from rehabilitative services, a final decision regarding its use may involve others. Usually, insurance companies require a referral/prescription from a doctor.