Time to read: 5 minutes
Did you know that if you’re dealing with lower back pain, knee pain, a sprained ankle, or shoulder pain, there are more options than just going to see your Medical Doctor? In North Carolina, you can come to Physical Therapy without any sort of referral. As Doctors of Physical Therapy we are at heart – movement experts. When you’re dealing with pain or have an injury, we have the skills to thoroughly assess and help manage pain while facilitating healing to get you back to a pain free lifestyle.
If you’ve ever been to a traditional PT clinic before, you probably were a little underwhelmed with your experience. But hey, compared to the normal doctors office, at least you didn’t have to wait 45 minutes just to see the Doc for maybe 10 minutes. At the initial evaluation they will listen to your story, watch you move around, and send you home with a whole list of exercises to start doing. These exercises are likely the same ones given to each other person who comes in for pain in the same area. It’s not uncommon for you to leave the clinic confused about what’s going on in your body, how the therapist or exercises will help your pain, or even worse, unsure of how they will help you meet your goals.
Unfortunately for you as well, the PT would request that you come back 2-3x per week for 6 weeks because this is what the insurance will pay for. Since this clinic is being run by insurance, PT’s are required to see multiple patients in an hour, and your follow up care will be passed on to a student or aide.
So, you’re taking the time out of your day (multiple times in a week) to go to physical therapy only to work with someone who isn’t a physical therapist and continually do the majority of the same exercises you could be doing at home. It’s at this point in your care that the system has ultimately failed you…. even if you start to feel better. Oftentimes, at the end of your care (potentially over 18 visits in 2 months!!!) you may not be having pain in your daily life, but have yet to even get close to lifting heavy, throwing a ball, or running any sort of mileage! Then 9 times out of 10 you start to get back to your sport and realize that the pain never truly went away… womp womp.
So, what does working with us look like?
Let’s start at the first visit- the initial evaluation. This is a 60 minute 1-on-1 visit with your Doctor of Physical Therapy. During this, you have our undivided attention as you tell us your story. We use this hour to get to know you as a whole person, not just an injury. This includes things like learning about your workout habits, sleep, nutrition, and even mental health. As part of the evaluation we need to find the root cause of your pain, and begin treatment there. This includes manual therapy and exercises that are geared specifically for you and your current injury that are to be done at home.
Each following visit, you will work with the same Doctor of Physical Therapy. We usually start visits at 1x per week and will spread them out even further as appropriate. Strength takes time to build, so spreading out our visits values your time while also ensuring long term health and wellness. By remaining with the same therapist, we can progress your plan of care every single visit which will reduce the total amount of visits you will ultimately need!
For most people, you’re obviously working with us to get out of pain. Our plan of care is geared toward goals that you set based on what you want to do when pain is gone. This can be anything such as: Hike the Appalachian Trail, run a marathon, PR a lift, throw a ball 90 miles per hour, or anything in between big or small. Because we are not bound to the goals set by your insurance, we get to use our expertise and decision making to get you to exactly where you want you want to be.
Remember, this is just the athlete’s experience at the clinic. We’ll talk more about the smoke and mirrors of billing practices in the traditional physical therapy setting compared to our complete cost transparency in a future blog!
We are truly a practice committed to you. We’ve held jobs in the traditional PT clinic, and know that you deserve more. If you’re on the fence about if we are the right people for you, inquire through our site for a free phone call to not only hear your backstory but give you more information on us and how we can help!
Thanks for Reading!