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A good physical therapist will respect the wishes of their patients. While a therapist may recommend certain treatments, it is ultimately up to the patient whether or not to follow their advice.
During treatment, a PT should have a strong bedside manner and be available to answer any questions. Saunders Therapy Centers, Inc also takes the time to fully understand each patient’s situation and lifestyle to develop a personalized treatment plan.
Physical Therapy Benefits
Physical therapy is an important part of treating many conditions. It can help patients manage pain, improve balance and flexibility, and return to daily activities. It can even reduce the need for surgery or chronic medications.
Whether you have an injury from sports or a chronic condition like arthritis or fibromyalgia, physical therapy can help. The goal is to reduce pain or remove it completely, so you can move more freely and return to the activities you love.
For example, if you have an injured shoulder from playing tennis or from a back injury from work, a PT can help you develop the proper range of motion in the joint and prevent further damage by guiding you through exercises and other treatments, such as manipulations of soft tissue and joints or electrical stimulation. In addition to reducing pain, physical therapy can also increase your energy levels and help you get back to the activities you enjoy most.
People of all ages can benefit from physical therapy. It helps with conditions that affect muscles and bones, such as back pain or balance problems caused by nerve or heart issues. It can also help infants with developmental disabilities and adults who have had traumatic injuries or surgeries such as severe burns or spinal cord injuries.
Some specialized physical therapists can treat conditions that affect women, such as urinary incontinence, pelvic or vaginal pain, and the recovery from breast cancer surgery or lymphedema (accumulation of fluid in the soft tissues). Some focus on vestibular therapy to address balance problems caused by inner ear disorders.
A major benefit of physical therapy is its role in reducing the need for prescription drugs, such as opioids. Studies have shown that when patients receive early physical therapy, it can significantly decrease the amount of opioids they take. This can help reduce dependence on opioids and other drugs and provide better long-term health outcomes. In addition, a PT can teach patients how to manage their pain with other methods, such as ice, heat or electrical stimulation.
Physical Therapy Treatments
Physical therapy, or PT, is a branch of rehabilitative medicine that helps patients who have abnormal physical functions. It can treat a wide range of conditions and injuries, from children born with musculoskeletal birth defects to elderly people who suffer from strokes. Physical therapists, also called physiotherapists, undergo specific graduate training before they become licensed. They typically work in rehab centers, hospitals, sports and fitness centers, schools and offices.
A primary goal of physical therapy is to improve a patient’s range of motion and mobility. PT treatments include passive therapies like massage and joint mobilization as well as active exercises that a patient can perform at home or in a clinic.
Passive therapies like massage are used to relax muscles, which can ease pain and stiffness. Massage techniques like effleurage and petrissage help relieve knots and tightness. Another common treatment is heat and cold, which can reduce inflammation and improve circulation. A PT will apply hot and/or cold packs on or under the skin to reduce swelling, stiffness, and pain, as well as increase flexibility.
PTs will also prescribe exercises to do at home to prevent or slow the progression of an injury, such as strengthening exercises. Aerobic exercises, such as walking on a treadmill, are often included in the program because they can help lower blood pressure and control diabetes. The therapist may also recommend balance training for aging adults to help them avoid falls.
Other PT treatments include myofascial release therapy and electrotherapeutic techniques. Myofascial release involves a manual therapy technique where the therapist feels around the body for stiff and tight areas known as trigger points. These are painful areas that can restrict movement and lead to additional muscle tightness. The therapist can then manually manipulate these areas to restore the pliability of the fascia and ease pain.
PTs can also use electrical stimulation to decrease pain, and muscle spasms and promote tissue healing. They can also use ultrasound to deliver deep heating, reducing swelling and tenderness of an injured area. These machines emit a sound wave that penetrates the muscles and tissues and can also be used to deliver medications subcutaneously.
Physical Therapy Costs
Whether or not you have insurance, the cost of physical therapy will vary based on your specific needs. However, you can lower your out-of-pocket expenses by paying for your PT sessions in cash. Some clinics offer discounts to patients who pay for their treatment upfront. The amount you save will depend on how much time your therapist spends with you, the type of treatments you receive (such as electrical stimulation or therapeutic exercise), and the coding classification guidelines established.
For patients with health insurance, the average session costs between $20 and $70 per visit. However, keep in mind that your insurance provider will require a minimum annual deductible before coverage kicks in. This deductible can range from $250 to $1250 or more, depending on your insurance plan.
You will also likely have a copay of $10 to $50 for each visit, which again depends on your insurance plan. Additionally, if you are seeing an in-network provider, your insurance may only cover a certain number of visits before your out-of-pocket maximum is reached.
If you have no insurance or a high deductible, it’s worth considering the cost of physical therapy compared to other medical treatments such as medication, imaging scans, and surgery. Depending on your condition, a few weeks of physical therapy could result in lasting pain relief without the cost and hassle of other medical treatments. Furthermore, most people who go through physical therapy find that their injuries have less of an impact on their quality of life, resulting in long-term savings in the form of decreased medication use and reduced need for medical treatments such as surgery. If you’re unsure about how much your treatment will cost, schedule a free consultation with an expert physical therapist to learn more about your injury and how to reduce costs. They will help you determine a personalized care plan that fits within your budget. Contact us today to request an appointment. We look forward to helping you get back on your feet!
Physical Therapy Insurance
You don’t need to have health insurance to see a physical therapist. Some clinics offer care without insurance, and you may pay less per session by paying cash rather than going through your insurance provider. However, if you do have insurance, your physical therapy costs will likely be lower if you visit in-network providers and pay copays or coinsurance.
The best way to find out what you will need to pay for physical therapy is to get a quote from a therapist who accepts your insurer’s network. Then, ask about the deductible and copayment amount for each session. Also, find out if your insurance has an out-of-pocket maximum or a coinsurance rate that’s higher than 20%.
It’s worth noting that some physical therapists choose to be out-of-network with insurers because they don’t think the insurance companies offer fair treatment. They can still accept your insurance, but they will often have higher fees than in-network therapists. Some patients choose to work with out-of-network therapists because they believe the treatment will be more effective.
As a physical therapist, it’s your job to help your patients recover from injuries or illnesses. But the treatments you offer can be complicated, and mistakes can occur. That’s why you need to have medical malpractice insurance. If you do, the insurer will cover your legal fees and any compensation you need to pay if a patient sues over an injury or illness that wasn’t caused by your actions.
If you’re a physical therapist, you can choose to buy a professional liability insurance policy on your own or get a group plan through your employer. If you’re unsure what option is best for you, a legal advisor or an insurance expert can give you advice.