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FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

What do Physical Therapists do?
Physical therapists are movement experts who improve quality of life through hands-on care, patient education, prescribed movement. Physical therapists also play a unique role in promoting health, wellness, and fitness. We help people overcome barriers to regular physical activity to benefit physical, mental, and social health. 
Physical Therapists evaluate, diagnose, and manage health conditions and movement problems in people of all ages and abilities. We empower people to take an active role in their care and help prevent or improve many chronic conditions and diseases and provide treatment and strategies to: 
  • Improve and restore movement and function.
  • Manage pain.
  • Lessen the symptoms of many conditions and diseases.
  • Recover from and prevent injury.
What are the benefits of Physical Therapy?
Physical therapist services include evaluation and treatments provided by licensed physical therapists. Physical therapy helps people:
  • Improve and restore movement and function.
  • Manage pain.
  • Reduce the symptoms of many chronic (long-term) conditions and diseases.
  • Recover from and prevent injury.
Can I maximize my movement with Physical Therapy?
Physical therapists identify, diagnose, and treat movement problems. They help people maintain or restore as much function as possible. Physical function and movement are very important to:
  • Health, wellness, and fitness
  • Managing pain
  • Earning a living
  • Independence
Can Physical Therapy help with Pain Management?
Physical therapists help people manage pain without the risks of opioid use. While doctor-prescribed opioids are suitable for some cases, they only mask pain. Opioid risks include depression, substance use disorder, overdose, and withdrawal symptoms when stopping use.
To manage long-term pain, the CDC recommends safer options like physical therapy.
Can Physical Therapy help me avoid surgery?
Physical therapists can help you avoid the need for, and the costs and risks of, surgery. Physical therapists help people manage pain and improve movement problems. Some pain and movement problems can become chronic and lead to surgery. Physical therapy helps to reduce the symptoms of many chronic diseases and conditions. It also can keep many problems from getting worse. 
Research shows that physical therapy is as effective as surgery for some conditions, including:
Before you have surgery, try physical therapy. In some cases, surgery cannot be avoided.
I’m having surgery, should I come to Physical Therapy beforehand?

Physical therapy helps people prepare for and recover after surgery. We often have patients who come in before surgery, as it’s easier to learn how manage recovery when you’re not experiencing post-surgical pain and swelling. Pre-hab will set you up for better surgical outcomes. 

How many patients does each Therapist see at the same time?

We only see one patient at a time, and each session is a full hour of individual attention. This allows us to deliver multiple components in one session: manual (hand-on) therapy, targeted exercise, as well as postural and functional components. We will work through a functional progression that speaks to your specific challenges and goals.

Will I see the same Therapist each time?

Yes, you will see the same therapist every time, every session. The therapist that completes your evaluation will continue working with you to provide treatment. The only time you would switch therapists would be if the other therapist has a more specific expertise but it would be your choice. 

Do I need a doctor’s referral before I schedule an appointment?
You do not need a doctor’s referral for physical therapy services. Direct Access allows you to visit your physical therapist without a referral from a physician. 
The guidelines of the Connecticut Direct Access law are:
You may have physical therapy for 6 visits or 30 days, whichever comes first, at which point you will need a physician’s referral in the event that the person receiving treatment does not demonstrate objective, measureable and functional improvement.
Can my Physical Therapist give me a diagnosis?

Physical Therapists can give you a physical therapy diagnosis, which relates to a specific movement impairment. This is different from a medical diagnosis. Physical therapists are movement experts who improve quality of life through hands-on care, patient education, and prescribed movement. 

Do I need to go to physical therapy in my doctor’s office?

You have the right to choose any physical therapist in your state. Some doctors have a financial interest in physical therapy practices. If they refer you to a physical therapist in their office, you are not required to go there. 

Is there a difference in Physical Therapy at a private practice vs. Physical Therapy at my doctor’s office?

We are a private, physical therapist-owned practice. There are many differences between PT-owned and physician owned physical therapy practices, such as the practice in your doctor’s office. Studies have shown that physical therapy providers in a PT-owned practice spend more time with each patient, and are able to complete an episode of care with fewer treatments. In our practice, 100% of the care is provided by a physical therapist, not by an aide or physical therapy assistant. Bottom line, you are more likely to receive better quality of care from a practice owned by a physical therapist. 

What can I expect during my first Physical Therapy appointment?
Shani and Sarah will perform a detailed examination. Depending on your symptoms and condition, we might evaluate your strength, flexibility, balance, coordination, and posture. We will use our hands to examine or “palpate” the affected area or to perform a detailed examination of the mobility of your joints, muscles, and other tissues.
Please bring any relevant test results. Make a list of any questions that you have, to make the best use of your time. Please make sure you have completed your intake forms in advance, we will send them to you when you schedule your first session. 
How long will my first appointment be?

Your first appointment is one hour, and all follow up sessions are one hour as well. We will review your intake forms, complete a thorough evaluation in order to determine the best plan of care for you, and begin treatment.

How often will I need to attend physical therapy?
We typically only see patients once per week, and our treatment sessions are each one-hour long. The frequency of once weekly is more than sufficient, and is balanced by the home program that you receive in treatment. We are available for questions between sessions, should any questions arise. 
As patients progress in their treatment, we are often able to spread out our sessions to once every other week, once a month, etc.  We also have some patients who find they benefit from “tune-up” sessions every once in a while.  Working within an insurance paradigm often pigeon holes therapists into seeing people two to three times a week for six weeks.  Since we do not participate with insurance, we can truly do what is most beneficial for you, the patient, depending on what we find and what you need.
What should I wear to my appointments?

Please bring or wear comfortable clothing. Tank tops are preferred for anything upper body, elastic/flexible waistband shorts for lower body. You are welcome to bring a change of clothes and change in our office. 

Does my Physical Therapist communicate with my doctor?
Yes, we send a detailed note to your physician after your initial assessment, and then send progress notes on a regular basis. If any specific questions or concerns arise during your course of care, we will be in contact with your doctor as well.
Is my Physical Therapist licensed?

Yes, Shani and Sarah are both licensed to provide physical therapy in Connecticut.

Do you participate in insurance?

We are a boutique physical therapy practice and do not accept insurance. We provide a full hour of treatment in order to provide the quality of care and individual attention, which cannot be done with an insurance model. Payment is due at the time of service, and we provide a superbill on our patient portal that you can submit to your insurance company, with diagnosis and treatment codes included. 

What is cost of the paying out-of-pocket vs. going where my insurance is accepted?
That depends on how much your physical therapy copay is. However, we treat all of our patients once per week, vs. most insurance-based practices treat their patients two to three times per week. The once a week cost at our practice is approximately the equivalent of the three copayments combined at insurance-based practices. The difference in frequency (once per week vs. three times per week) minimizes the difference in cost. 
Additionally, you save on your time: we understand that most people have busy lives, and don’t have the time to go to PT more than once a week. Because our sessions are a full hour, we deliver an effective treatment session on a once-a-week frequency. 
What is the Late Cancellation Policy?
We understand that unanticipated events occasionally happen. Work deadlines, business meetings, transportation issues, snowstorms and illnesses are a few of the reasons why one might consider cancelling an appointment. In order to be effective and fair to ALL of our clients and out of consideration for our therapist’s time we have adopted the following policies:
Please give 24 hours notice for cancellations. If you miss or cancel your appointments without giving us 24 hours notice we reserve the right to charge a late cancellation fee.
What if I arrive late?

Appointment times have been reserved exclusively for you. If you arrive late, you will be responsible for the full bill and your session may have to be shortened in order to accommodate the patients whose appointments directly follow your session.

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