1. What is physical therapy ?
Physical Therapy is a health profession that combines the science of healing with the art of caring to treat movement dysfunctions. A physical therapist performs an evaluation of movement, which includes identifying joint dysfunction, tissue limitations, muscular imbalances and structural pathologies. Physical therapists use a variety of methods to create changes in tissue and movement patterns to ultimately restore function. Treatment consists of skilled manual therapy (hands on work) with therapeutic exercise that simulates daily movements to rehabilitate the body, restoring maximal mobility and optimal mechanical motion, as well as provide preventative care.
2. How do I choose the right PT for me ?
Each company and physical therapist has their own philosophy and approach to patient care. It is influenced by their education, experience, environment and personality. Discover who is practicing in your area, and learn about community reputations. Research online. Ask your friends and family members for their recommendations; word of mouth is the best referral. Then ask for a tour of the facility, you should feel comfortable at the clinic and confident that you will receive the best care possible. You will get a sense of your therapist and their style of practice during your initial evaluation.
3. Do I have to see my doctor before I begin physical therapy ?
NO! Massachusetts allows for Direct Access to a licensed physical therapist. Direct Access means that you are able to refer yourself to a physical therapist without having to see any other medical professional first. However, some insurance companies require a prescription to be considered for payment. Kindly call the office and our experienced staff will guide you and answer any questions that you may have.
4. Can I go wherever I want for my PT treatment ?
YES YOU CAN! Massachusetts is a Direct Access state. Direct Access means that you, the patient, has the right to choose your physical therapy provider. Your physician may make recommendations based on the relationships that she or he has with other physical therapy providers, but you have the right to request any provider that you wish. If you would like to use HDPT as your physical therapy provider, you may bring your physician prescription to us, and we will be happy to discuss your choice with your physician if appropriate. We work as part of your medical team and have strong relationships with the top physicians and specialists in the area. We proudly serve our surrounding communities of Wakefield, Reading, Lynnfield, Melrose, Saugus, Stoneham, Woburn, Peabody, Burlington, Wilmington, Winchester, Lexington, Bedford, Billerica, as well as the North Shore, Middlesex & Essex counties and the Greater Boston metropolitan area.
5. What do I need to bring to my first appointment ?
- All of your insurance information, including your insurance card.
- Any X-Ray or MRI reports. Although we can request these from your doctor or lab facility, it is better if you provide them for us during your first visit so that we can perform a more complete and accurate evaluation.
- Your prescription for physical therapy, if applicable.
- Completed intake forms downloaded from our website. Otherwise, please arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment to fill out the required paperwork.
- Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing and footwear. Every treatment course begins with a comprehensive evaluation.
- If you are a minor, please bring a parent or guardian.
- Your calendar to schedule your future appointments.
- Your co-payment. We accept cash, check, Visa, MasterCard and AMEX.
6. How long will each treatment last ?
The first visit, the initial evaluation, will last approximately one hour. Each follow-up visit will take between 45 and 60 minutes depending on your condition.
7. How many visits will I need ?
This is highly variable. You may need one visit or you may need months of care. It depends on your diagnosis, the severity of your impairments, your past medical history, etc. You will be re-evaluated regularly, and we will communicate with your doctor on our recommendations.
8. If I am not injured, can physical therapy help keep me healthy ?
Prevention, wellness, and disease management has moved into the forefront of health over the past decade as research continues to show the significant benefits of lifestyle changes on health. Lifestyle changes, including increased physical activity, can lead to health benefits in those with chronic disease, prevent or manage a number of noncommunicable diseases, and lead to an increased quality of life. With Direct Access in Massachusetts (which means a person can visit a physical therapist directly to seek a personalized health evaluation), more and more people are using physical therapy for preventative care to help them stay healthy. Physical therapists can identify a problem in advance, which often helps patients avoid downtime, expensive surgery, additional health issues, etc.
Some of the benefits of seeing a physical therapist for preventative care include:
• Prevention of injury – It is easier to prevent a problem than to cure one. Seeing a physical therapist can catch anything non-optimal and fix it before it becomes an injury.
• Maintaining good health – Just like it is easier to prevent a problem than to cure one, it is easier to maintain good health than to fix it. Seeing your physical therapist regularly can go a long way in staying healthy.
9. Do you treat patients with Motor Vehicle or Work-Related Injuries ?
Yes we do! At HDPT, we will work directly with your attorney and your insurance company to accelerate your care for the least out-of-pocket expense. Our staff is experienced with these special cases; we can help you complete all of the necessary paperwork and coordinate your treatment plan allowing you to focus on your treatment.
10. Will I get a massage during my physical therapy treatment ?
Massage is the manual working of superficial and deep layers of muscle and connective tissue to enhance function and aid in the healing process. It helps prevent scar tissue and decreases muscle spams allowing for more stretching and strengthening with less pain. Massage is therefore one of many tools that physical therapists use in treatment programs. However, it is unlike massage treatments commonly offered at spa facilities.