Frequently Asked Questions
Your First Appointment
What does a physical therapist do?
Physical therapists are experts trained in the evaluation and treatment of muscle, joint, and nerve dysfunction. We are trained specifically to improve movement and function, relieve pain, and expand movement potential. Physical therapy is often the treatment of choice in situations where pain impairs function, in recovering from an injury or surgery, and in recovering from a disease process or illness. Physical therapists also teach adaptive and physical coping skills in dealing with impaired function from a disease, injury or illness.
What should I expect on my first visit?
On your first visit, your therapist will perform a thorough examination of the problem. The examination involves a history, tests and measurements, postural and movement analysis, and palpation to determine muscular and joint involvement. Following the evaluation, these findings will be discussed with you and a physical therapy plan of care will be developed by you and your therapist. Treatment is rendered on the first visit as appropriate.
What type of treatment will I receive?
Treatment is based on the initial examination findings along with ongoing reassessment and evaluation. Treatment may consist of a variety of hands-on joint and soft tissue treatment techniques, exercise techniques, pain reducing modalities, and education in self-management skills. Treatments are designed to increase motion and strength, reduce pain, and most importantly, restore function. Patients are typically involved in an active exercise program at home and are educated in ways to speed recovery and prevent recurrence of the problem.
When should I arrive and what should I bring for my initial evaluation appointment?
You should arrive 15 minutes early for your scheduled appointment so that you can fill out any necessary registration forms. If you would like to fill out your new patient forms ahead of time, you can download from the website. You will need to bring your insurance card, your photo ID, and your physician's referral script (if applicable).
How long will each visit last?
Physical therapy appointments are typically between 30-45 minutes. Wellness sessions are 30 minutes.
When is the best time to start physical therapy?
Typically, treatment should begin as early as possible. Treating a problem early helps to prevent it from becoming chronic and in the prevention of future problems. This decreases the length of time you may require treatment and reduces healthcare costs.
Should I ask my doctor to refer me if I think I may need physical therapy?
Definitely. When you have a problem you think may be helped by physical therapy ask your doctor or give us a call and we will help you to determine if this is a problem that may be helped by physical therapy. Due to direct access laws, in Maryland, you may not need a referral. Call your insurance company to determine if a referral is needed. Let us know if you need additional assistance.
Can I choose what physical therapist I go to?
Absolutely! The decision of where you go to receive treatment is yours. If you have a specific therapist or practice you would like to go to, you should let your doctor or insurance company know this. Not all physical therapists or practices are the same and the choice of your provider is yours. Sometimes your physician will recommend a specific therapist or practice to you, sometimes your insurance company will require you to go to specific therapists or practices. You always have the right to ask for a specific provider. If we are not “in network” with your specific insurance company, many have out of network options that still provide coverage and your physical therapist will work with you to assure the best outcome in the most affordable manner.
Will my insurance cover physical therapy?
Most insurance companies do cover physical therapy services. The amount and type of coverage varies. It is always best to check with your insurance company regarding specific coverage guidelines. Our office staff will also verify your specific coverage guidelines at your first visit.
What should I wear to my physical therapy appointments?
You should wear loose comfort clothes or athletic apparral that you can easily move in. If we are seeing you for your knees, please bring or wear shorts.
I'm more of a private person; do I have to work out in the gym?
Please communicate your needs with your therapist! We will always try to accommodate you to provide the best experience with us. However, using some gym equipment may be appropriate to achieve your best outcome. Please be sure to discuss your concerns with your therapist!
How do I pay an outstanding bill?
Every effort is made to collect your out-of-pocket expenses at the time of your visit. Occasionally, it may be necessary to send you an account statement for payment. You may visit the office to make payment in person or you may forward your personal check, money order, cashier's check or credit card payment via mail to GymFIT Physical Therapy, Attn: Billing, 150 Post Office Road, #2351, Waldorf, Maryland, 20604.