What is Physical Therapy?

Even though exercise and massage can be part of a physical therapy treatment, those are just subparts of a typical physical therapy session. A doctor of physical therapist performs an evaluation of the injured body part and any other pertinent measures after obtaining a past medical history and mechanism of injury. Manual therapy techniques including but not limited to myofascial trigger point therapy, massage, joint mobilizations, mobilization with movement, taping to inhibit or activate correct movement patterns need to be performed in order to correct the dysfunction. Modalities, ultrasound, electric stimulation, cold laser, hot and cold packs are used to decrease inflammation and pain. A proper exercise program is prescribed based on the nature of the condition for neuromuscular re-education, stretching and strengthening of the involved body part in order to decrease dysfunction and optimize movement pattern.

Do I need a prescription for Physical Therapy?

Under Chapter 18 of the 2003 Public Laws of New Jersey, you are no longer required to get a referral from a physician prior to seeking the services of a physical therapist, in most circumstances. A physical therapist must refer the patient if s/he fails to demonstrate reasonable progress within 30 days of initial treatment of functional limitation or pain, consult with the individual’s licensed health care professional as to the appropriateness of the treatment, or if there is no licensed professional of record, recommend that the patient consult with one.

Under the legislation, a referral is still required if the patient seeking physical therapy wants the services to qualify for reimbursement as medical expense benefits under the personal injury protection coverage of an automobile insurance policy or workers compensation claim.

Is “no pain, no gain” true for physical therapy?
“No pain, no gain” is a misconception. Physical therapy for injuries is not the same as physical training for competitive sports. Pain is one way that our body communicates with our conscious self that “something is not functioning right and needs to be fixed.” Pain causes muscle contraction and guarding, inflammation, and a restricted range of motion. This leads to the continuation of the pain cycle and inappropriate movement patterns that can lead to further injury.

Can I begin physical therapy if I’m seeing a chiropractor or other provider?
Yes, physical therapy is effective in conjunction with treatment provided by other providers. We believe in communicating and working closely with your other providers to optimize your recovery.

What should I wear to my appointment?
Wear loose, comfortable clothing. If you have a low back or knee injury, bring a pair of shorts or sweatpants. Sneakers or flats are also preferred footwear.

How much will physical therapy cost?
Each medical plan has different coverage for physcial therapy. We accept insurance and will verify your benefits prior to your first session. The total cost of therapy depends on the nature and the extend of your injury, as well as the results of our initial evaluation.

How long will it take for me to get better?
How quickly you recover is determined by many factors unique to you. These factors include the extent of damaged tissue, how long you have had the injury, your nutritional habits, your emotional state, the state of your immune and endocrine systems, your genetic predisposition and other factors. We will review these factors with you when you come in for your evaluation. If appropriate, we can refer you to a physician or other practitioner who can address specific needs. Your body’s response to exercises and manual techniques will also help us to estimate how long it would take for you to regain function. You will see an improvement in pain level or function within the first two weeks