What is Physical Therapy?

Physical therapists are highly educated, licensed health care professionals who help patients improve or restore mobility, and in many cases helping patients reduce pain, and avoid the need for surgery and the long-term use of prescription medications and their side effects. Physical therapists examine, evaluate, and treat patients whose conditions limit their ability to move and function in daily life. Your physical therapist’s overall goal is to maintain, restore, or improve your mobility and help reduce your pain. Whether this is your first visit or you’ve been treated by a physical therapist in the past, there are things you can do to make your visit as successful as possible.

When Should I Arrive?

Please arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment time in order to complete all necessary paperwork. To save time, please complete the new patient forms and bring them with you the first visit.  This will get you started even faster.

What to Expect During Your First Visit

Your Impact physical therapist will begin by asking you questions about your health and about the specific condition for which you are seeing the physical therapist. Detailed information about you and your condition will help the physical therapist determine whether you are likely to benefit from physical therapy and which treatments are most likely to help you.

  • Make a note of any important personal information, including any recent stressful events, injuries, incidents, or environmental factors that you believe might have contributed to your condition.
  • Make a list of any medical conditions of your parents or siblings.
  • Make sure you can see and hear as well as possible. If you wear glasses, take them with you. If you use a hearing aid, make certain that it is working well, and wear it. Tell your Impact physical therapist and clinic staff if you have a hard time seeing or hearing.
  • If available, bring any lab, diagnostic, or medical reports from other health care professionals that may be related to your medical history or who have treated you for your current condition.
  • Bring a list of the names of your physician and other health care professionals that you would like your Impact physical therapist to contact regarding your evaluation and your progress.
  • We will review your insurance coverage with you, including:
    • Applicable deductibles and copayments will be requested prior to or upon completion of each appointment. It is important to pay the proper amounts at the time of service. This will help you to better manage your health care costs and avoid a large bill at the end of care.
    • If the frequency of visits needs to be adjusted for financial reasons, discuss this directly with your Impact physical therapist. In partnership with your therapist, you can explore alternatives and develop a workable plan.
  • Your Impact physical therapist will perform a detailed examination. Depending on your symptoms and condition, the physical therapist might evaluate your strength, flexibility, balance, coordination, posture, blood pressure, and heart and respiration rates.
  • Your Impact physical therapist might use his or her hands to examine or “palpate” the affected area or to perform a detailed examination of the mobility of your joints, muscles, and other tissues.
  • Your Impact physical therapist might ask you specific questions about your home or work environment, your health habits and activity level, and your leisure and recreational interests so that the therapist can help you become as active and independent as possible.
  • Your Impact physical therapist will work with you to determine your goals for physical therapy and will begin to develop a plan for your treatment. The physical therapist will make a diagnosis and begin treatment immediately.
  • Your Impact physical therapist might teach you special exercises to do at home. You might learn new and different ways to perform your activities at work and home. These new techniques can help minimize pain, lessen strain, avoid re-injury, and speed your recovery.
  • Your Impact physical therapist will communicate the important information from your examination to your physician and to other health care professionals at your request.

Scheduling Additional Visits

Your Impact physical therapist will review with you recommendations for the frequency and duration of treatment and schedule you for your full duration of care the first day.