Fast Facts About Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is a vital aspect of OrthoUnited’ practice. Each day, our team of licensed physical therapists and physical therapist assistants help patients of all ages work to regain function, alleviate impairments, increase fitness, and improve their quality of life.

Want to know more about physical therapy? Here are some fast facts that you need to know.

Physical Therapists Can Specialize in Unique Fields

Physical therapists receive years of intense medical training – usually about seven. Most specialize in orthopedic care; however, some are trained in cardiovascular, neurologic rehabilitation, or pulmonary rehab. If you have a unique condition or concern, be sure to discuss this with the physical therapist before the doc writes the script.

Most Physical Therapists Take Insurance

Most PT practices take insurance, and it is usually very easy to find one that is near-by and in your plan. If you should go out-of-plan, you most likely will be able to submit a claim for some reimbursement.

PT is a Two-Way Street

With physical therapy (PT), you usually get back what you give. Sure, you may work hard in the therapist’s office, but your physical therapist is expecting you to continue your exercises at home and work. If she gives you a pulley, pull it! If she hands you an exercise band, stretch it! The goal here is to get you to ace your test, not to ditch the homework. The exercises she gives you will stretch tight areas, prevent scar tissue from forming, and increase strength and flexibility. In short, they are for your health, not hers!

Every Plan is Custom-made

No two people are the same, nor are any two physical therapy plans. Based on your referring doctor’s recommendation and diagnosis, your therapist will design a therapy regime tailor-made for you. She will take into account your current abilities, as well as your goals and timeline. Some patients will work much more aggressively to overcome their injuries; others may not have that luxury or are starting from a point where they have to relearn basic functions before they are able to progress further.

PT is Portable!

PT can be done in a gym or doctor’s office. For the infirmed or bed-ridden, PT can be done in the hospital room or home. Some prescribed exercises, such as bike riding or walking, may actually get you outdoors, where you can fill your lungs with fresh, healing air. When you talk to your physical therapist, let her know where you will be and what is available there. The gym in the hotel on your business trip may be the perfect place to do a quick session with light weights. And don’t forget, some therapists may offer Telemed options, or facetime you on your smartphone. Talk about the 21st century house call!

Massage vs. Massage

Physical therapists are trained in massage, but don’t bring out the lavender essential oils or order a mimosa. That’s because the massage you get at that high-end day spa is not the same you would get with your physical therapist. While certainly relaxing and therapeutic, the massage you get during a PT session is used to limit scar tissue, reduce tightness, and increase mobility. Relaxation just happens to be a fringe benefit, until she tells you to do twenty knee lunges!

Most Therapists Offer Flexible Hours

With student-athletes in class all day and then at practice afterwards, and people reluctant to leave their jobs a few days a week for therapy, many therapists are now offering early morning and evening hours. With a few phone calls you can find a therapist who will accommodate your busy schedule.

Full-OrthoUnited Care

While some practices stand alone, others are located in conjunction with an orthopedist’s office, such as with OrthoUnited, where patients are able to arrange their orthopedic care at one convenient location. From full-body MRIs to surgery to physical therapy, OrthoUnited is your partner when it comes to you and your family’s orthopedic health. To request an appointment, call (844) 469-2663 or go online using our appointment request form.