How do I choose a physical therapy clinic?
There are several ways to go about selecting a physical therapy clinic. Look for a clinic that does or has the following:
- Hires therapists who are licensed in the state.
- Offers a variety of treatment techniques, including hands-on, soft tissue work, therapeutic
exercises and heat, cold, electrical stimulation and ultrasound.
- Hours that fit with your schedule.
- Accepts your insurance or will work with you to establish a payment schedule if they are
not a preferred/network provider.
- Conveniently located so you can access the facility.
Also, ask your friends and family members whom they recommend.
We hope you’ll ultimately choose us to create a physical therapy treatment program that is customized for your individual needs!
How can I prepare for my first visit?
Speed up the check-in process of your initial visit by filling out all the paperwork ahead of time. Download the Patient Forms by clicking here.
Please remember to bring your prescription and insurance card. You should have the prescription for physical therapy from your doctor. We will make a copy of the insurance card to keep in your file.
If your visit is covered by Workers’ Compensation, bring your claim number with you, as well as your case manager’s contact information. If your visit will be covered by auto insurance or an attorney lien, please bring details for us to keep in your medical record.
- Insurance card/Workers’ Comp claim number/Auto insurance
What will my first visit be like?
During your first visit, you will be seen for an initial evaluation by one of our physical therapists. This meeting is a critical first step to discovering what you’re experiencing and why so we can develop the course of treatment to best meet your needs.
You and your physical therapist will talk about your medical history; current pain and health concerns; intensity of the pain, what makes it better/worse; how your situation is impacting your daily activities, or limitations; medications, tests and procedures related to your health; and your goals with physical therapy.
Following your discussion, the therapist will preform an evaluation that may include the following:
- Palpation – feeling, through touch, the area of the pain/problem to check for the presence of tenderness, swelling, soft tissue integrity, tissue temperature, inflammation, etc.
- Range of Motion (ROM) – moving the joint(s) to check for the quality of movement
and any restrictions.
- Muscle Testing – checking for strength and the quality of the muscle contraction, taking note of pain and/or weakness present. (This is also part of a neurological screening.)
- Neurological Screening – testing how the nerves are communicating with the muscles, sensing touch, pain, vibration or temperature. Reflexes may be assessed as well.
- Special Tests – performing other screening measures to confirm/rule out the presence of additional problems.
- Posture Assessment – assessing the positions of joints relative to each other.
The physical therapist will formulate a list of problems you have to know how to best target those problems. Then, you and your therapist – along with input from your doctor – will create a treatment plan including details on how many physical therapy visits is best for you, the number of visits per week, what to do at home, short- and long-term goals and what to expect after you are discharged from therapy.
What should I wear?
Wear loose-fitting clothes, also known as lounge wear, for your physical therapy visits. We want you to be as comfortable as possible, while your therapist accesses the problem area for evaluation and treatment. If you have a knee problem, wear shorts or lounge pants that easily roll up. If you have shoulder pain, wearing a tank top is a good idea.
How long will my appointment last?
Typically, treatment sessions last between 60 and 90 minutes, but how long you spend here with us will depend on your diagnosis and treatment needs.
How many visits will I need?
Everyone is different. The number of visits will depend on your diagnosis, severity of the impairment, past medical history and physical therapy goals. We want to do as much as possible to help you achieve your goals. Your progress will be evaluated on a monthly basis. Then, we will send a report to your doctor with our recommendations on next steps when you go in for a check-up with him.
Why am I being referred to physical therapy?
There are several reasons patients are referred to physical therapy. Maybe you are experiencing pain simply by walking, standing up or playing sports in places you didn’t have pain before.
Pain is often a result of a dysfunction in movement. By identifying and treating the source of the pain, we can help directly address its cause. Our goal, as physical therapists, is to restore your body’s ability to move in a normal manner – free of pain – allowing you to have a better quality of life.
Also, if you are looking for a solution to your pain, you can ask your primary care physician to refer you to physical therapy.
Why is physical therapy a good choice?
From recent episodes to chronic pain, an ABC News/Stanford student revealed that pain is a serious problem for Americans. The study found more than half of the population suffers from some level of pain. Of those, many people don’t know that physical therapists are highly equipped to treat the source of the pain.
As experts in treating movement and neuro-musculoskeletal disorders, physical therapists work to help correct the issue and relieve the pain.
Think of us as your first line of defense. By trying therapy first – as soon as you experience pain – you may be able to save on healthcare costs and save paid time off for vacation.
What do physical therapists do?
Physical therapists are experts in movement and function. A large part of a physical therapist’s program is directed at preventing injury, loss of movement and surgery. Physical therapists work as consultants in industrial settings to improve the design of the workplace and reduce the risk of workers overusing certain muscles or developing low back pain. They also provide services to athletes at all levels to screen for potential problems and institute preventive exercise programs.
The basics of physical therapy treatment are therapeutic exercise and functional training. In addition to “hands-on” care, physical therapists also educate patients to take care of themselves and to perform certain exercises on their own. Depending on the particular needs of a patient, physical therapists may also “mobilize” a joint (that is, perform certain types of movements at the end of your range of motion) or massage a muscle to promote proper movement and function. Physical therapists also use methods such as ultrasound (which uses high frequency waves to produce heat), hot packs and ice.
Physical therapy can only be provided by qualified physical therapists or by physical therapist assistants, who must complete an intensive education program and work only under the direction and supervision of physical therapists.
The ability to maintain an upright posture and to move your arms and legs to perform all sorts of tasks and activities is an important component of your health. Most of us can learn to live with the various medical conditions that we may develop, but only if we are able to continue at our jobs, take care of our families, and enjoy important occasions with family and friends. All of these activities require the ability to move without difficulty or pain.
Who will see me?
We believe you deserve skilled therapy care. You will be evaluated and treated by a licensed, highly trained physical therapist. All of our physical therapists are licensed in the state of Arkansas.
Will I get a massage at physical therapy?
Some treatment plans do involve massage as part of your overall healthcare. Deep tissue massage techniques are occasionally used to relax a tight muscle, to relieve pain and to facilitate venous return from a swollen area.
Is physical therapy painful?
While we certainly don’t want any patient to experience pain, there may be times you feel some discomfort. It’s important for you to communicate the intensity, frequency and duration of pain you feel at any point during your treatment. That information will allow your therapist to modify your treatment plan.
On occasion, physical therapy can produce some short-term pain; however, it’s important to remember the end goals: to be pain free and to move better. Our hands-on approach in defining the best exercises for your individual treatment plan are ultimately to help relieve pain, improve range of motion and increase strength. Your physical therapist will use a variety of techniques to help you meet, and even exceed, your goals.
What happens if my problem or pain returns?
If you experience a flare up, please call us so we can discuss your concern. We may suggest modifications for your daily activities or exercise routine, or it may be that we suggest you come back in to see us or visit your doctor, depending on your circumstances.
Can I go directly to my physical therapist?
Arkansas is known as a direct access state in that you can call us directly to make an appointment. Some insurance companies allow you to go the direct-access route and cover the services. Other insurance carriers require a prescription from your primary care physician. For those, simply bring the prescription with you to your first appointment, and we will add it to your medical record. Even after your treatment plan is complete, you’re always welcome to call our office if you have questions or concerns.
Can my therapist provide me with a diagnosis?
In Arkansas, your primary care physician will make a medical diagnosis, while physical therapists are important members of your overall healthcare team. As part of your care team, we can offer recommendations or provide your primary care physician additional information about your condition if needed.
What will I have to do after physical therapy?
Like with many questions, what you will need to do after physical therapy depends on your individual circumstance. Ideally, we like to see patients complete their physical therapy program and return to normal daily activities. Sometimes we recommend patients continue to do exercises at home, or at a gym. It is important to talk to your physical therapist about your goals so we can customize a program for you.
Who pays for the treatment?
In most cases, health insurance will cover your physical therapy treatment. We have contracts with a variety of insurance companies. Click here to see the full list of carriers.
Depending on your situation, Workers’ Compensation or an auto insurer may cover your treatment.
Talk to Jo, Heidi, Jennifer or Janice with any questions about your insurance coverage.
How does the billing process work?
Searcy PT bills for physical therapy services much like your doctor’s office does. Our office bills your insurance company, Workers’ Comp or charges you based on Common Procedure Technology (CPT) codes.
The codes are transferred to a billing form that is mailed or sent electronically to the payer. The payer processes the information and makes payments according to an agreed upon fee schedule. Also, an Explanation of Benefits is generated and sent to the patient and the physical therapy clinic with a check and balance due from the patient. Then, our office will bill you, the patient, for any remaining balance, if necessary.
Please note, this is a simplified version of the overall process and there are many small steps along the way outside what is specifically listed above. Occasionally, information may be missing, misunderstood or miscommunicated between any of the parties involved, which may delay the entire process.
You will be evaluated and treated by a licensed, highly trained physical therapist. We believe you deserve skilled therapy care.
Treatment sessions last 60-90 minutes depending on your diagnosis and treatment.
Our mission is to have a positive impact on everyone we serve by creating a healing environment through relationship and skilled care.
Every year, American workers suffering from untreated BACK PAIN lose nearly 150 million workdays and $100 million in wages.
– Statistics from the World Health Organization