Physical therapy FAQ
When bending down, keep your feet shoulders width apart, bend from your hips and do not round your spine. This avoids back strain.

To help prevent aggravating symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome while on the computer, be sure shoulders rest comfortably at your side, elbows are bent to 90 degrees keeping forearms parallel to the floor and wrists are in a neutral or straight position.

Pain is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong. Respect what your body is telling you and modify your activity or stop if you are hurting.

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frequently asked questions



What happens during my first visit?

You will receive an in-depth evaluation from a licensed Physical Therapist. This will include a physical exam, asking for your medical history, establishing treatment goals and initiating treatment.


What do I need to bring with me to my first visit?

Your prescription from your doctor if you have one, your insurance card, a form of payment: cash, check, Visa or Mastercard (we do not take American Express) and your completed forms.


How should I dress?

Wear comfortable clothes appropriate for exercise, shorts if you have a lower extremity problem, tank tops if you have a shoulder problem.


How long will each treatment last?

The initial evaluation will last one hour.  Follow up visits are between 45-60 min.


How many visits will I need?

Your doctor will likely recommend a certain amount of visits for your course of physical therapy. Your therapist will take this into consideration in determining what is right for you based on their exam and your diagnosis. A common prescription is 2 or 3 times per week for 4 weeks. Our goal at RPT is to help you reach your goals in a safe and efficient manner.  Check with your insurance provider prior to beginning treatment to understand how many visits will be covered under your policy.


Why is physical therapy a good choice?

Physical Therapy can often resolve orthopedic problems in an efficient natural and non-invasive way without the use of medication or surgical intervention. Trained physical therapists are experts in how your body moves and how to detect problems with those biomechanics. Once your therapist completes a comprehensive evaluation and understands the nature of your problem he/she can suggest simple changes in posture or activities, as well as prescribe specific exercises that help to ease pain and improve function


Who pays for the treatment?

Insurance companies cover the majority of the treatment cost. Often times the patient is responsible for paying a co-pay or co-insurance for paying each visit. Our front office representatives will take your insurance information and verify your benefits before your initial treatment. We submit to your insurance company for payment on your behalf. Co-pays/co-insurance fees are collected at the time of service.

 


Who will see me?

You will be treated by a licensed Physical Therapist. You will see the same therapist each visit to ensure continuity of care.


Are there physical therapy specialists?

All of our therapists are licensed by the state of Connecticut, which requires that they meet clinical education requirements each year in order to maintain a current license.  Moreover, physical therapists can often specialize in certain areas. At Ridgefield Physical Therapy all of our therapists treat all parts of the body. We currently have one Orthopedic Certified Specialists recognized by the American Physical Therapy Association. We also have a Certified Hand Therapist focusing on severe as well as moderate injuries to the hand. For more details pertaining to our specialties please refer to the Physicians section.


How do I coordinate my PT program with my doctor?

We take care of that for you.  Your therapist will communicate and coordinate your care with your physician through written letters, emails and phone conversations. At a minimum your doctor will receive a written update on your progress every thirty days.


Is physical therapy painful?

At Ridgefield Physical Therapy our motto is: ”Stretch and Strain not Pain.”  This means that during the course of your treatment you should feel slight discomfort resulting from stretching and working your muscles, and feel fatigue. Pain, however, is a signal that something is wrong and it should be respected. Your therapist will work closely with you to make sure you are working at the right intensity and comfort level.


Can I go directly to a physical therapist without a doctor’s referral?

Yes. Physical Therapists can treat you without a physician’s referral. Some insurance companies, however, still require a doctor’s referral for reimbursement for your therapy visit. Our front office will advise you if that is the case, based on your particular insurance company and plan.


Can my therapist provide me with a diagnosis?

Yes.  Upon evaluation, your physical therapist will define and diagnose your problem in conjunction with your physician.


What do physical therapists do?

Physical therapists treat patients with a wide range of diagnoses in many different settings, ranging from hospitals working with spinal cord injury and stroke patients, to nursing homes treating elderly patients with arthritis, to treating infants in the neonatal intensive care units.  Ridgefield Physical Therapy is an outpatient orthopedic clinic specializing in treating patients with joint problems, back and neck pain, sprains and strains as well as patients who have undergone orthopedic surgery (such as total joint replacements, ligament and tendon repairs and fracture fixation).  Our physical therapists work in conjunction with physicians to assess physical problems, define functional deficits and set appropriate goals specific to each patient. Treatment tools such as heat, cold, electrical stimulation and ultrasound, used in conjunction with exercise and hands-on techniques, enhance movement and promote greater function and/or range of motion.


What types of treatments will I receive?

The following may be implemented during your session, at the discretion of your therapist: exercise, range of motion, stretching, hot packs, cold Packs, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, massage, mobilization and manipulation.


Will I get a massage at physical therapy?

Your therapist may use massage in conjunction with other treatment modalities, but this should not be confused with a full body "spa "massage. If massage is used during your treatment it will focus on the specific tissues involved in your particular pathology. We do have a licensed massage therapist on staff to perform full body massage. Massage therapy can be scheduled independent of physical therapy sessions and no prescription is required.


What will I have to do after physical therapy?

Your therapist will provide you with detailed instructions and a home exercise program that should be performed in conjunction with your treatment and continued after you have been discharged. What you do and don’t do on your own is the key to the long-term success of your recovery.


Why are people referred to physical therapists?

Physical therapists help patients gain range of motion, build strength, decrease pain and regain function after injury or surgery. Physical therapists also help to determine a diagnosis through an extensive evaluation process.


Why should I choose a private practice physical therapist?

In choosing a private practice physical therapy clinic you are helping to ensure the highest level of care possible. A private practitioner’s sole concern is the patient that enters his or her facility. If patients are not happy with the level of care they receive, the practice will not succeed. The private practice owner is truly invested in the positive outcome of the patient and quality of care.  The private practitioner’s concept of “patients first care” is in contrast to physician-owned or corporate-owned entities that tend to view clinics as additional product lines or ways to diversify income. There may also be a conflict of interest in these clinics since physicians refer patients to their own clinics to drive profits. Private practitioners go the extra mile to ensure quality of care since there is no guarantee of referrals from physicians as in a physician-owned practice.


What happens if my problem or pain returns?

If your pain returns, (with the exception of an acute medical episode) you should call your therapist to discuss the appropriate course of action. He or she may recommend a change in your exercise regimen or suggest coming in for an evaluation.  They may also advise you to see your doctor.


Can I go to any physical therapy clinic?

Yes. You have the choice of which physical therapy clinic you wish to attend. Your physician may have a recommendation for you, however the decision remains your own.


How do I choose a PT clinic?

You should seek a physical therapist-owned clinic with licensed physical therapists. The therapists should have clinical specialties and at least three years of clinical experience and be active members of the American Physical Therapy Association. Make sure that initial evaluations are one hour long and that you will see the same therapists each visit.


What is your privacy policy?

We comply with federal HIPPAA regulations. Your medical information will not be shared without your written consent.