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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Click the questions below to read the answers.

What should I expect on my first visit?

After providing the necessary information to the reception staff, you will be asked to change into comfortable clothing in order to facilitate your evaluation. Your physical therapist or occupational therapist will perform an evaluation to determine what deficits and/or problems you have that can be addressed in therapy. The evaluation involves a thorough history, a systems review, and tests and measures that allow the physical or occupational therapist to get a more specific understanding of your condition. A treatment program will be developed aimed at resolving the problems identified as well as to attain the goals you set in conjunction with the therapist. You will begin treatment on the same day as your evaluation unless your insurance company requires an evaluation and review prior to authorizing treatment.

When should I arrive and how long will my first therapy appointment take?

Plan on arriving 20 minutes before your first appointment, so you can complete any required forms. If you have completed the online registration forms, you should arrive 10 minutes before your scheduled appointment. Your initial visit will take approximately one hour, depending on your diagnosis.

What types of treatment should I expect to receive?

The treatment you receive will depend on what the therapist finds in the evaluation. Our intervention programs include coordination among all people involved in your care (other health care professionals, family, and others), thorough documentation of the care and services provided, and instruction to you and others involved in your care to promote and optimize our services. Most physical therapy and occupational therapy plans of care will include three categories of treatments: therapeutic exercise, functional training in self-care and home management, and functional training in work or school, community, and leisure environments. Other treatments might include manual therapy techniques; use of equipment such as supports, orthotics, or prosthetics; skin repair and protection techniques; electrotherapeutic modalities and mechanical modalities.

How is my progress measured?

Your therapist will perform an evaluation, quantifying and qualifying all the deficits and problems you are presenting with on your initial visit. You will be re-evaluated based your diagnosis as well as the chronicity of the problem. Additionally, the therapist always needs to be aware of follow-up visits with your physician as a re-evaluation will be performed so that the physician can be updated at that time.

How long will I need therapy?

This is not an easy question to answer. You may need one visit or you may need several months of treatment depending on your condition. Your therapist and doctor will help decide how long you will be treated.

Do I need a referral?

In Illinois, you do not need a referral to be evaluated by a physical therapist, although your insurance company will most likely deny the charges. In order for therapy to be initiated, you need a referral from a physician, dentist, podiatrist, chiropractor, or nurse practitioner.

Is it ok to ask my doctor about physical therapy or occupational therapy?

If you have a problem that you think can be helped with physical therapy or occupational therapy, feel free to call one of the PTSIR offices and ask for a therapist to call you. After discussing your problem in more specifics, the therapist can give you a better idea if it is something that is manageable with physical therapy or occupational therapy. You can also give your doctor a call. If he or she is not sure, he or she is welcome to contact us as well. In today's healthcare, if you feel physical therapy or occupational therapy can be helpful to you, you will need to stress your feelings to the doctor you are seeing.

Who chooses which therapist I go to?

You choose what therapist you want to see unless you have an HMO insurance plan. Oftentimes, your physician will give you a recommendation or a listing of physical therapists in your area. Sometimes your insurance company will guide you with regard to who is "in network" for your insurance plan. Ultimately, however, the decision as to where you receive your care is up to you. If you have a specific request, you need to let your physician or insurance company know. If PTSIR is not in network for your insurance company, most plans have out-of-network benefits that will allow you your choice in physical therapy.

Why should I choose PTSIR?

PTSIR has been in business since 1976 and has an outstanding reputation for outpatient rehabilitation. PTSIR contracts with most insurance companies and is conveniently located for our patient needs. PTSIR is also 100% owned by therapists, therefore your treatment is based upon your specific needs without any financial connections.

Will my insurance cover physical therapy?

Although most insurance companies cover physical therapy, what portion of therapy a specific insurance covers varies greatly. Please review our billing and insurance section on this website, and if you have additional questions regarding your specific insurance you can call your insurance company or call one of our offices.

What should I wear?

In general, wear comfortable clothing to physical therapy. If you are presenting with a problem of your cervical spine, upper back or shoulders, the therapist can provide you with a gown as needed to expose these areas. If you are coming for a lower-extremity problem, shorts are important. You can bring clothing with you if you need to change here.

What else should I bring to my first visit?

Please remember to bring your insurance card and, if you have already seen the doctor, bring a copy of your prescription for physical therapy.

What if I have an increase in symptoms?

If you have increased symptoms please call your therapist. When you call the office where you were seen, please be sure you explain to the office staff that you are having an increase in symptoms. If the office is not open, there will be an answering service or a pager to contract your therapist. After we discuss the case with you, we will be able to give you guidelines as to what would be appropriate to reduce your symptoms, whether you need to come in our office, or if you should contact or follow up with your physician. It is best to call us prior to calling your physician if a change in symptoms has occurred. It is important that we fax your physician a report so that he or she can be up to date on your care when you have a follow-up visit.

What is my responsibility in therapy?

You are our partner in your recovery. Your therapist cannot do it without you! We ask that all patients and clients cooperate by following through with their home exercise programs and instructions, as this is extremely important in expediting your recovery.