Q. Should I see a doctor before starting physical therapy?
A. Arizona law does not require you to see a doctor first and in most cases insurance doesn’t either. Many patients do opt to visit their primary care physician or a specialist before beginning physical therapy, particularly for acute/unexpected injuries or pain. Arizona Manual Therapy Centers will work with your physician to develop an individualized plan to meet your needs.
For recurring pain, such as tennis elbow, bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, joint aches and others where you have a history, you can come directly to Arizona Manual Therapy Centers if you choose. We will evaluate you and determine the best course of treatment. If it appears a doctor’s care is required we will make that recommendation to you.
Q. What should I expect at my first visit?
A.You should plan on arriving 20 minutes early if you are completing the New Patient Registration paperwork at home. We will need to scan your insurance card and photo ID, as well as have you complete your history information on our tablet. If you are unable to complete the tablet, we have paper forms that may be completed.
If you choose to complete all New Patient Registration paperwork at the office, please arrive 30 minutes early.
The first session will last an hour, including evaluation of your condition and initial treatment to relieve pain and/or improve range of motion. Your personal rehabilitation plan will be developed following the results of that first appointment.
Q. What Should I bring with me?
Q. How long does a physical therapy session last?
A.It depends on the severity of the injury or pain and what you need to do to heal it. Appointments can run anywhere from an hour to three hours. Most, however, run in the two-hour range.
Q. How should I dress?
A. Wear casual, comfortable clothing that allows ease of movement. Loose-fitting shorts, sweatpants, t-shirts, track suits or the like are recommended. Avoid any clothing that is tight or restrictive, or can become so in certain positions. Gym shoes are recommended.
Q. Will it hurt?
A. There could be some discomfort or pain as you push through current limitations to restore strength, flexibility and range of motion. How much depends on where you are in the treatment and your personal pain tolerance. It should not be excruciating, however. Keeping good communications with your physical therapist will help you achieve the full benefits while minimizing pain and discomfort.
Q. How often should I schedule appointments?
A. Ideally, you will come 2-3 times per week for the first few weeks, or as directed by your referring provider. If that is not possible with your schedule, you will need to come at least once per week until significant improvement has been demonstrated. Once you are on the road to recovery, appointments can be schedule less frequently – every other week, or every 4-6 weeks as you finish.
Q. Will there be homework?
A. Most definitely. Muscles, ligaments, tendons, etc. require a regular routine of work followed by rest and recovery in order to build strength and increase flexibility. Following your individualized treatment plan by continuing exercises and stretching at home will speed your recovery and help you get back in the game more quickly. On the other, skipping the homework will prolong the recovery period and keep you in pain longer. It’s really in your best interest to follow the plan as closely as you can.
Q. Does regular physical therapy help prevent injuries?
A. Absolutely. Because it strengthens muscles, ligaments and tendons, athletes can use physical therapy to prepare for the rigors of their sport. In our evaluation we will discuss your needs and goals, and develop a sport-specific plan to help you perform your best.
Non-athletes, especially aging adults, can also benefit greatly from physical therapy if even if there is nothing currently “wrong” with them. Loss of strength and flexibility is a natural part of the aging process. Physical therapy can restore those qualities and better-prepare everyone to manage the twists, turns, bumps and bruises of everyday life.
Q. How is orthopedic manual therapy different than physical therapy?
A. Physical therapy focuses on strength-building, flexibility and range of motion exercises that patients perform themselves under the guidance of a physical therapist. Orthopedic manual therapy involves a more “hands-on” approach where the therapist manipulates, mobilizes and massages soft tissues, aids in stretching (such as pushing on a leg to stretch the hamstring further), manually works joints slowly or rapidly or otherwise uses his or her hands to assist with the therapy.
Q. Does orthopedic manual therapy require specialized training?
A.Yes. While some elements, such as assisted stretching, may be used for both, many of the techniques used by an Orthopedic Manual Therapist require additional, specialized training and should not be performed by therapists who are not certified. Richard Sedillo is certified as an Orthopedic Manual Therapist – one of only five currently practicing in North Scottsdale.
Q. What is joint mobilization?
A.Joint Mobilization is a technique designed to help stimulate a joints natural function by passively working through its natural range of motion and resistance by a qualified professional. Our therapists here are qualified to perform joint mobilization by using correct positioning and movement at the joints. This technique provides an improvement in the range of motion at the joint, pain relief, muscle tension and tightness release, and improved flexibility.
Q. Does my insurance cover physical therapy?
A. Most policies have some allowance for physical therapy. Some place limitations on the number of sessions they will pay for while others do not. We highly recommend that you check with your benefits plan administrator (if you obtain your health insurance through your work), or your insurance company’s customer service department. Policies can vary in what they cover, however, even within a particular carrier. Specifically, you will want to confirm the number of visits you are allowed per year, if you need a referral to be seen, and whether you need prior authorization for physical therapy. You may want to check your policy, or have us do it for you, to ensure you understand what is covered prior to beginning physical therapy.
Q. How do I know if you will accept my insurance?
A.You may contact the office of the customer service number on your card.
Q. What if my insurance says you are not in their network? Can I still use you?
A. Being “out of network” doesn’t necessarily mean that insurance will not cover your visits to Arizona Manual Therapy Centers. You may, however, be required to pay a larger portion of the cost than you would for using an “in-network” physical therapist. Speak with your benefits administrator, broker or insurance company’s customer service department, or ask us to check, to determine your specific coverage.
Q. Do I need to receive authorization or pre-approval from my insurance company before beginning physical therapy?
A.That depends on the carrier and your policy, but if yours does require prior authorization, you will need to obtain authorization before we can begin treatment. That is for your protection as well as ours. Our office can help you work through the process of securing authorization.
Q.What if I am told by my insurance company that I need to have a referral or prescription? Where do I get that?
A. Generally a requirement for a referral means you need to see your primary care physician before beginning physical therapy. The physician will then refer you for treatment. Failure to obtain this referral before beginning treatment will result in the insurance company not paying for your physical therapy. It is best to understand your policy, and what is required, before beginning treatment. You will want to check with your benefits administrator, broker or insurance company’s customer service department before beginning treatment. We can also check for you if you choose.
Arizona law does not require Medicare patients to have a referral to begin physical therapy, BUT a medical professional must sign of on the treatment plan (called the Plan of Care) for Medicare to pay for services. For this reason, we prefer that a patient have a referral from a treating medical professional.
If you are currently receiving Home Health Care, you must notify Arizona Manual Therapy Centers before you can start care with us.
If you have received Physical Therapy for the same condition, the previous therapist must have discharged you from care to receive benefits at Arizona Manual Therapy Centers.
Q. What is dry needling?
A. Dry needling, aka medical acupuncture, is a treatment modality where acupuncture needles are used to treat various types of myofascial pain. The needles are inserted into the skin, fascia and muscles to help the muscles relax, increase microcirculation and promote the body’s natural anti-inflammatory response. It can be used to treat painful trigger points, muscle spasms, acute myofascial pain, repetitive stress injuries, trauma and post-surgical pain. Benefits range from immediate pain relief to greater range of motion.
Q. How long does dry needling take?
A.The first visit includes medical history and physical examination so it will likely take 30 minutes. Most treatments are 20 minutes, but if more body areas are treated the visit can be longer.
Q. What is an aesthetician?
A. An aesthetician provides a variety of skin and beauty treatments around the face, hands, feet and body. Typical treatments include massages, facials, chemical peels, exfoliation, hair removal, sculpting eyelashes, treating acne and reducing signs of aging. As you begin to feel better inside, you may want to consider working with Patty Wolverton to ensure your appearance reflects that healthier approach.
Q. Can I schedule an aesthetician visit or a dry needling session before or after my physical therapy?
Q. Do I have to tie my aesthetician or dry needle session to my physical therapy appointment?
A.No. You may schedule it whenever it is convenient for you.
Q. Do I have to be a physical therapy patient to use the aesthetician or dry needling service?
A. No. You may use her services whether you are a patient of Arizona Manual Therapy Centers or not.