What is a physical therapist?
Physical therapists, sometimes called PTs, are experts in the musculoskeletal system, meaning we know your muscles, bones, joints, tendons, ligaments and how they operate as well as anyone. We play a critical role in the recovery and rehabilitation of the injured, hurting, or those suffering chronic conditions. Becoming a Doctor of Physical Therapy (the only type of PTs we hire at Rise), requires over seven years of education.
Does PT require a doctor's referral?
No referral is needed - you can come straight in to see us without having to go to your doctor. Years ago a referral was required, but studies like this showed it was dramatically more effective and cheaper for patients to be sent to PTs first. The state of Arkansas has not required them for over 20 years (since 1997).
Is PT covered by insurance?
Almost all insurance plans give you an annual allowance of PT visits. For our current patients, that has typically meant a copay of around $15-$30/visit. Sometimes it's lower, or even completely covered by insurance. Depending on your plan you might pay a bit more, such as when your plan has a higher deductible. If you are unsure, give us a call and our insurance experts can help you figure it out. You can reach us at (479) 442-7473.
Does physical therapy work?
The only question that matters. Here's what a recent large study found: "In the year following their initial complaint to primary providers, the sample of people in the study who went to physical therapy directly spent an average of $1,871, compared to $6,664 for those who were first sent for an MRI. The patients who received physical therapy first were less likely to receive surgery and injections, and they made fewer specialists and emergency department visits within a year of primary consultation." [link] So not only does it work, it saves you money over the long run.
How much am I looking at paying?
We actually went ahead and ran the numbers on this one. If you include all of our past patients, the average payment after insurance was $19.25. So anywhere from $15 - $30 is a fairly accurate estimate of how much you'd be looking at paying per visit. That said, some patients actually get PT completely covered by insurance so you may end up paying $0.
What is the difference between a PT and a chiropractor?
There are quite a few, but the biggest difference is in the way the professions approach the practice of medicine. Physical therapists strictly use evidence-based (scientific) treatments that are focused on healing the patient permanently rather than temporarily dulling pain. At Rise, we are all about educating you on how to treat and address your issues on your own with stretches and exercises. On the other hand, Chiropractors tend to focus on pain relief techniques like spinal manipulation (adjustment) that are performed on an ongoing basis. It just comes down to what you desire in a treatment.
This can vary quite a bit between patients. You might need one visit or you might need months of care depending on your condition. Know this though - our focus is to get you back to full health in as few visits as possible. In fact, we actually average around four visits less than the industry. Providing ethical, patient-focused care is of incredible importance to us. You have our word on that.
In short, because it results in a much higher standard of care for our patients. It makes our clinic less profitable, but according to this government study, it's worth every penny to the patient. Key takeaway from the study (emphasis ours): "clinics that were lower utilizers of physical therapist assistants were 6.6 times more likely to be classified into the high effectiveness group compared with the low effectiveness group". No amount of money is worth a lower standard of care for our patients.
You should wear loose fitting clothing so you can expose the area that we will be evaluating and treating. For example, if you have a knee problem, it is best to wear shorts. For a shoulder problem, a tank top is a good choice, and for lower back problems, wear a loose fitting shirt and pants, so we can perform a thorough examination.
Our goal is that you walk out the door feeling better each visit. The amount of pain you are experiencing should progressively lessen or we are not doing our jobs well. If your pain increases, then we will make changes and adaptations. We will never continue to do the same thing if it is doing more harm than good. We're in the business of healing people, not hurting them. Our patients should look forward to the healing that results from physical therapy, not dread going.
Some patients will need to continue with home exercises. Some may choose to continue with a gym exercise program. Others will complete their rehabilitation and return to normal daily activities. It is important that you communicate your goals to your therapist, so he/she can develop a custom program for you.
Ask us a question
We know there is a lot of confusion around physical therapy. So if we missed anything here and you still have questions, please don't hesitate to message us here or give us a call at (479) 442-7473. If you decide to message us below, it will be sent directly to our staff and they will get back to you as soon as possible.