FAQ’s for patients
What to expect on your first visit
We're excited that we get to be part of your journey, but we understand that you may have some questions before we can begin. Read below to gain insights on some of the most common questions we receive.
- Does physical therapy hurt?
In almost all cases - No. "No Pain - No Gain" is not true in most cases. Though, you may develop some more muscle soreness from working muscles that you haven't used or that are weak.
- Who chooses which physical therapist I go to?
Often, your physician will give you a recommendation or a listing of physical therapists in your area. Sometimes your insurance company will guide you with regard to who is "in network" for your insurance plan. Ultimately, however, the decision as to where you receive your care is up to you. If you have a specific request, you need to let your physician or insurance company know. If we are not in network for your insurance company most plans have out-of-network benefits that will allow you to choose your physical therapist. We accept most every insurance plan at this time.
- How do I arrange an appointment?
Just call us directly to make your first appointment, since Washington is one of 48 states that has direct access. This means you do not need to see your doctor before beginning physical therapy. Our clinic hours and location are explained on the location and hours page of this website. Our office staff will get all the necessary information from you and assist you with an appointment.
- What is my responsibility in physical therapy?
You are our partner in your recovery. Your physical therapist cannot do it without you! We ask that all patients and clients cooperate by following through with their home exercise programs and instructions, as this is extremely important in expediting your recovery.
- What should I bring with me?
For your first visit you will need your insurance card, and any paperwork that you downloaded from our website or forms that may have been sent to you. If you have any operative reports, MRI or X-ray results, you may bring those as well. Additionally, if you are utilizing any type of brace, splint, or crutches, those should come with you. In addition, please bring in your current medication list.
- Will my insurance cover physical therapy?
Most insurance companies cover physical therapy and occupational therapy services. We will verify your exact coverage for you, however, so you will know your insurance policies guidelines when you begin your therapy sessions. If you have additional questions regarding your specific insurance give us a call.
- What is the co-pay for physical therapy?
Co-pays are determined by your insurance company. However, we will do all of your insurance authorization and re-authorization for you, and will be able to give you all the information about your therapy services coverage, including co-pay amounts on your first visit.
- What should I expect on my first visit?
On your first visit, your physical therapist will perform an evaluation to determine what deficits and/or problems you have that can be addressed in physical therapy. The evaluation involves a thorough history, a systems review, and tests and measures that allow the physical therapist to get a more specific understanding of your condition. Your physical therapist will make a clinical judgment as to your diagnosis and prognosis. A treatment program will be developed aimed at resolving the problems identified as well as to attain the goals you set in conjunction with the physical therapist. Your evaluation will be sent to your doctor within 24 hours so that your physician is always kept up to date with your therapy progression. If any problems or concerns arise, your therapist will contact your doctor directly to work out a plan to handle it quickly for you.
- What types of interventions may I receive?
The interventions you receive will depend on what the physical therapist finds in the evaluation. Our intervention programs include coordination among all people involved in your care (other health care professionals, family, friends, caregivers, and others), communication to ensure a good exchange of information, thorough documentation of the care and services provided, and instruction to you and others involved in your care to promote and optimize our services. Most physical therapy plans of care will include three categories of interventions: manual therapy component, exercise / mobility / flexibility and balance component, and third, functional training, including patient education. Other interventions might include manual therapy techniques; use of equipment such as supports, orthotics; electrotherapeutic modalities; and mechanical modalities.
- How long is a typical treatment session?
Treatment sessions will take approximately 45-75 minutes depending on the diagnosis being treated.
- How long is a course of therapy?
It depends upon the diagnosis, the severity of your injury and how dedicated you are to doing your part outside of treatments. Our goal is to not only get rid of your pain but to get you to the point where the likelihood of the pain coming back is significantly reduced. Oasis Physical Therapy has an average therapy length of 12-15 visits per condition.
- How is my progress measured?
Because your physical therapist will perform a meticulous evaluation, quantifying and qualifying all the deficits and problems you are presenting with, re-examination to determine progress is possible. You will be reexamined based on your diagnosis as well as on the chronicity of the problem. Additionally, the physical therapist always needs to be aware of follow-up visits with your physician, if you were referred by one, as a reexamination may be performed so that the physician can be updated at that time. Re-evaluation/progress notes are performed on all patients at regular intervals, with those reports sent directly to the patients doctors to keep them updated on your progress and on any potential issues.
- What if I have an increase in symptoms?
If you have increased symptoms please call your physical therapist. When you call the office, please be sure you explain to the office staff that you are having an increase in symptoms. The office staff will pull your chart and contact your physical therapist or a covering physical therapist. We will be able to review the information and will give you a call back that same day. After we discuss the case with you, we will be able to give you guidelines as to what would be appropriate to reduce your symptoms, whether you need to come in our office, or if you should contact or follow up with your physician. It is best to call us prior to calling your physician if a change in symptoms has occurred. It is important that we send the physician a report so that he/she can be up-to-date on your care when you see him/her for a follow-up visit.
- I have never had physical therapy before, how do I know that my treatment is of good quality?
Treatment should include manual hands on care, exercise and a balance component and functional training, along with patient education. Although you may be a little sore after therapy, you should feel an improvement in your ability to perform your activities at home, work or leisure with greater ease, increased tolerance, and improved feeling of well being.
- Will I need follow-up or maintenance care?
We offer complimentary consultations for all our patients any time after their completed episode of care. This helps to avoid any problems that may arise from getting worse, and also allows us to help the patient be more independent in their condition. We also offer aquatic exercise classes, for a small fee, that our patients like to participate in, to help them maintain their strength and flexibility.
- What if I need to return to physical therapy?
If you have a recurrent problem after your completed episode of care, how/if you will return to physical therapy will depend on a number of factors. It would depend if it was a re-injury of the same specific problem, how long it has been since you were last in physical therapy, how long it's been since you saw the physician (if a physician referred you), and many other factors. In general, if you are discharged from physical therapy and feel the need to return, you should contact the physical therapist who treated you. He or she will review your chart and call you back to discuss with you what should be done, depending on the problem you are having.
- Is it OK to ask my doctor about physical therapy?
If you have a problem that you think can be helped with physical therapy, feel free to give us a call. After discussing with you the specific problem you present with, we can give you a better idea if it is something that is manageable with physical therapy. You can also give your doctor a call. If he or she is not sure, he or she is welcome to contact us as well. In today's healthcare, if you feel physical therapy can be helpful to you, you will need to stress your feelings to the doctor you are seeing. Remember that it is your choice where you go for physical therapy. Don’t hesitate to voice your desires to your physician. In most cases they will be happy to send you where you prefer and where it is the most convenient for you.
- Are Physical Therapists licensed?
Yes, all physical therapists have to be licensed in the state in that they work. Licenses should be prominently displayed.
- What should I wear to my physical therapy appointments?
In general, wear comfortable clothing to physical therapy. If you are presenting with a problem of your cervical spine, upper back or shoulders, the therapist can provide you with a gown as needed to expose these areas, or you can wear a tank top or halter top of your own. If you are coming for a lower-extremity problem, shorts are important. You can bring your own clothing here to change into if that is more convenient for you.