How can Physical Therapy help me?
Many people wonder how Physical Therapy can help them with their pain, weakness, or other issues that keep them from doing what they love to do. During your Initial Evaluation, your Physical Therapist will identify movement problems, tissue abnormalities and other factors that can be contributing to your current condition. You will see various therapeutic exercises, tools, manual therapies, and training during your therapy that will help you recover.
Many people who complete Physical Therapy are able to avoid unnecessary surgery, avoid or reduce harmful medications and are able to return to the desired daily activities. Therapy is about getting back to your ideal self!
What can I expect during my therapy?
After your Initial Evaluation, A Physical Therapist will prescribe a "Plan of Care" that outlines a course of treatment including how often and how long you should come for therapy.
At your appointments, a combination of Physical Therapists and Physical Therapist Assistants will help guide you through your Plan of Care, update your home exercises, periodically re-evaluate your progress and eventually assist you in discharging from therapy.
During therapy, you will engage in many different types of treatment including but not limited to:
- Manual therapies (where Therapists uses their hand to knead and mobilize muscles and joints.)
- Modalities like heat, ice E-stim (electrical stimulation), cupping or IASTM (Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization)
- Specific drills for your condition and strengthening/conditioning exercises with the intent to reduce your pain, disability and normalize movement patterns
YOUR goals are OUR goals. Please let us know when you are making progress in daily life, as well as what is preventing you from becoming healthiest and happiest.
How important is my Personalized Plan of Care?
The best Evidence Based Practices show that a combination of therapy and home exercises are required to achieve normal vestibular function, decreasing dizziness and improving quality of life. Your Physical Therapist and other doctors have completed extensive screening, testing and measures to expedite your healing process. The best and fastest way to resolve your balance and/or dizziness problem is to adhere to the prescribed frequency of therapy and complete your highly customized FYZICAL home exercise program.
How long will it be until I am back to normal?
This is a very individualized answer. Each person is unique, including their symptoms and cause of their root issue. In addition, many people have one or more additional conditions also occurring along with your primary condition. Every different set of circumstances associated with your symptoms and each case has to be considered on individual basis. However, the average length for a Plan of Care is 10-12 visits over 4-6 weeks. Generally speaking, rehabilitation that requires direct therapy in conjunction with home exercises may take from 1 month to 3 months to complete.
We reassess your progress near your 10th visit. At the time, we will decide if we need to make alterations to your Plan of Care based on your progress, or if you may be ready to discharge. You will likely need to continue your home exercises independently after therapy has ended to maintain the progress you have made throughout your Plan of Care.
In the end, YOU are our primary concern, and OUR goal is to help you reach YOUR goals. Please regularly communicate any changes in your condition, concerns about your Plan of Care or questions regarding your therapy so that you can Love Your Life!
Should it hurt when I do my exercises?
It is very important to understand that "hurt does not equal harm." However, this does not mean that your exercises and various therapies should be excruciatingly uncomfortable. You may experience some discomfort during your sessions and home exercises. This is absolutely normal. It is also important to distinguish the discomfort your muscles experience due to exercising and your body alerting you to potentially dangerous movements.
Your body is a complex network of internal and external signals attempting to get the most attention by your brain. Sometimes, your body may send "error" signals that might suggest pain in a completely healthy tissue or joint. This is a characteristic of Chronic Pain. Many times, if there is damaged tissue and it can be healed, it likely will have healed far before you start therapy.
Do I really need to do Home Exercises?
Your home exercises are a vital part of the therapy and are required to maximize its benefits. Therapy is designed to improve how your body moves, which in turn reduces pain and discomfort and helps you return to normal activity. This cannot occur unless these movement patterns are reinforced many, many times each day. Just like when you were in school trying to memorize a vocabulary list, you probably had to practice over and over again until you could recall from memory. This is the same for your body mechanics. Home exercises are designed to reduce pain, improve movement patterns, and reinforce what is gained in each therapy visit.
If you do not have a copy of your home exercises plan, the exercises do not challenge you appropriately or you are unsure how to complete them, PLEASE let your Physical Therapist know so we can help you get better faster!
My pain is gone, do I need to continue therapy?
We love to be able to reduce or eliminate pain, but pain reduction is not the end of the road. Pain can reinforce poor movement patterns, which may persist and resurface again later on, re-starting the pain cycle all over again. Reducing your pain is necessary to reinforce normal movement patterns and restore optimal function of any joint to tissue. So, if your pain is gone, that is a good sign, but stopping therapy now may prevent a full recovery.
What happens if I miss an appointment or have to cancel an appointment?
We completely understand that on the rare occasion you may have to cancel or reschedule a visit at therapy. If this does occur, we kindly ask that you alert us with at least 24-hour notice. We would like the opportunity to allow another fellow patient the opportunity to get in for the care that they so desperately need.
Do we accept Medicare?
Yes, we are a Medicare provider. Medicare covers 80% of physical and occupational therapy services. The remaining 20% is the patient's responsibility unless you have a supplemental insurance. As a courtesy we bill all secondary insurances. Currently there is a Medicare cap in place for outpatient therapy services.
Which insurances do we accept?
FYZICAL Pittsfield accepts most major insurances - call our office at 413.337.3674 to learn exactly which insurance plans we take!
When will I need to pay for my therapy?
Payment will be due at the time of each service. The front office staff will advise you of your financial responsibility on your first visit, if not before. We accept cash, checks, debit cards, VISA, MASTERCARD, and DISCOVER.
Do I need a prescription or referral from my doctor?
All Medicare patients require a prescription for therapy services. Prescriptions are valid for 30 days following the date of the script. Private insurance companies may or may not require that you obtain a prescription. Some require a direct referral from your primary care physician (PCP). In all cases, it is important to call to verify this information with your insurance prior to starting treatment.