The state of New Jersey does not require a physician’s prescription for physical therapy treatment. However, certain health insurance policy’s will request a prescription, and in those cases, the physical therapist may send a request to your doctor for a prescription after you have been evaluated.
EverFit will call to verify your benefits before your initial appointment. However, we recommend that you do the same by calling the member services or customer service phone number on your card, because the insurance company will occasionally give conflicting information, and the patient is ultimately responsible to know his/her true coverage.
The physical therapist will first sit down with you and take a thorough history of your problem to discuss your goals and what it is that brings you here. This will include reviewing any pertinent medical history and asking you specific questions about when and how the problem began, how it is affecting your ability to function and the characteristics of your symptoms.
The therapist will then perform a thorough examination assessing your ability to move the affecting body parts and develop an objective measurement of various parameters which may include but not be limited to muscle strength, range of motion, balance and quality of movement.
The key to developing an effective treatment plan is in taking the information from the history and integrating it with the physical findings to identify the main problems that need to be addressed.
This is why the initial evaluation is one of the most important sessions to attend.
Although each patient is unique and will be evaluated based on his/her particular condition, the average amount of time for the initial evaluation is about an hour. Each session after can range from 30-45 minutes, although those with an extensive exercise program can last longer.
We recommend that you wear loose comfortable clothing with fairly easy access to your injured body part (although we have gowns available when necessary). Many patients engage in some type of exercise, so it’s important to dress accordingly.
The physical therapist should always be alerted if you are experiencing any increase in pain since your last treatment. The purpose of your appointments is to monitor your reaction to each activity, and progress when appropriate, and they should always be kept if you feel well enough to make to trip. However, if you are experiencing pain in an area unrelated to your current treatment, or simply feel ill, you may be advised to reschedule for another day. Always call first to speak to a member of the physical therapy staff before making this determination.
Firstly, there are similarities. Chiropractic and physical therapy both address spinal problems through a mechanical model using physical, “hands-on” approaches where rest and medication are not effective in resolving pain or loss of mobility.
The first difference is that physical therapists are licensed and trained to evaluate and treat not only the spine but all the joints of the body. They focus on restoring the patient’s functional abilities whether related to movement, balance, pain and or muscle strength. Chiropractors are trained and licensed to treat primary conditions related to the spine.
Physical Therapy approaches the spine using a model of treatment focusing on restoration of pain free range of motion, stabilizing the spine through use of specific strengthening (core stability) exercises, educating the patient on posture and home activities to reduce pain improve mobility and focusing on teaching the patient how to keep their spine healthy through home exercises and comprehensive, patient education.
Physical therapists basically follow a different model of treatment as a whole where therapeutic exercise; massage, patient education and less frequently, manipulation are used as primary treatment tools. Chiropractors typically use more manipulative approaches with their patient care however even among each profession there are different models or approaches of care based on the individual therapist or chiropractor’s background and education.