Frequently Asked Questions
- How can I get rid of pain in my neck and shoulders?
We analyze the cause of the pain and prepare a customized treatment plan for you to follow that will reduce or eliminate the pain, along with recommendation to help you avoid activities that might cause you to incur the pain again.
- What should I bring to my first visit?
Please arrive 15 minutes early to your first visit to fill out any necessary paperwork and change into appropriate clothing. Remember to bring your referral / prescription for physical therapy, your insurance card or Worker's Comp/ No-Fault information, a photo ID, and some comfortable and loose clothing that will allow you to easily expose the area being treated, as well as perform exercises. Sneakers or tennis shoes are suggested.
- How long will my treatment sessions be?
For your initial appointment, plan on being at North Stuart Physical Therapy for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Subsequent treatment sessions generally last around 45 minutes.
- Will I receive sufficient one-on-one time with my therapist?
Yes. You will spend a full 30 minutes one-on-one with a fully licensed and trained physical therapist or PTA only. Each therapist only sees one patient at a time during each 30-minute session.
- My physician is referring me for physical therapy. Can I choose where to go?
Yes. Your physician will provide you with a prescription and may direct you where to go for physical therapy. However, you have the right to choose a physical therapy clinic that is most convenient for you based on proximity to home or work, ease of transportation, a physical therapist's experience in working with your specific condition, or any other reason. Be assured we will always work closely with your physician in order to provide you with the highest quality of physical therapy care.
- What will happen at my physical therapy treatment sessions?
At your initial appointment, one of our fully licensed physical therapists will work with you one-on-one to evaluate your specific condition and set your individual goals based on your needs and your physician's recommendations. At subsequent visits to North Stuart Physical Therapy, your therapist may work with you to improve your function, range of motion, strength, and flexibility using weights and resistance equipment, as well as incorporating different balance and coordination training activities. In addition to physical exercises, your therapist may use any of our various treatment modalities available. These modalities include: manual therapy, neuromuscular electrical stimulation, ultrasound, phonophoresis, iontophoresis, cryotherapy, moist heat, low level laser therapy, traction, and paraffin wax treatment, among others.
- What is physical therapy?
PT combines passive modalities with therapeutic exercise to rehabilitate the spine and other parts of the body. Passive modalities include heat/cold therapy, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, massage, and joint mobilization. These modalities are not the sole treatment, but supplement therapeutic exercise. Active therapy, or therapeutic exercise includes stretching, strengthening, and postural modification to rehabilitate the spine and prevent re-injury.
- What is the purpose of PT?
The purpose of physical therapy is to help the patient return to active life as quickly as possible. Therapy strives to reduce pain, increase flexibility, range of motion, and function, build strength, and correct posture.
Physical therapy is often prescribed for patients following spine surgery, to treat soft tissue trauma, nerve inflammation/injury, muscle spasms, fractures, arthritis, and many other problems.
Patient education is an important component in physical therapy. Patients learn about how their spine works, proper body mechanics, common disorders and their causes, benefits of good posture, importance of physical fitness and its relationship to injury and disease prevention.
- Who are physical therapists?
Physical therapists are licensed healthcare professionals. Prior to practicing, they must obtain either a bachelor's or master's degree in physical therapy and pass an examination to be licensed. Their didactic and clinical training includes (but is not limited to) anatomy, kinesiology (study of movement), study of disease and injury, healing and recovery, and a myriad of therapeutic treatment techniques. Therapists practice in hospitals, outpatient clinics, rehab centers, home healthcare agencies (serving homebound patients), as well as in private practice.
- What does the physical therapist do?
The physical therapist talks to the patient and evaluates their condition by testing joint motion, muscle strength, cardiovascular function, reflexes, and functional skills. If a physician referred the patient, the therapist will review the prescription along with the patient's records. After necessary information has been gathered, the physical therapist designs a treatment plan to fit the patient's needs and goals. The therapist and patient will work together as a team toward wellness.
- Is physical therapy painful?
Sometimes PT is uncomfortable or painful. However, the therapist has treatments available that can help minimize pain. As muscles are stretched and exercised, it is only natural to experience some soreness. As therapy progresses, range of motion increases, strength and soreness diminishes. In general, patients feel better following therapy and look forward to the next session.