What can I expect from my first visit?
First, you will complete the necessary personal and insurance information. It is really beneficial to you if you fill this out online prior to your first visit. Each insurance company has their own requirements, so this will enable us to send appropriate invoices to your insurance company for payment of your services. Additionally, there will be necessary personal information about your condition and general information. Paperwork is more work for us all; we apologize for the inconvenience.
We will perform an evaluation and begin to design your specific program. You and your therapist will discuss your concerns and condition and then you will be examined to determine your functional limitations and contributing factors. You will receive information regarding your condition, instructions for an initial independent program and for changing your contributing behaviors.
What should I wear?
1. Please dress appropriately for all appointments as you will be receiving treatment and moving.
2. If we are treating an area from the waist up, please wear a tank top and exercise bottoms.
3. If we are treating an area from the waist down, wear shorts or loose pants that can be rolled up and a T-shirt.
4. Please wear or bring athletic shoes.
What if I am sore after my initial evaluation?
Our goal is to relieve your symptoms. It is possible however, that you will experience soreness after your initial evaluation. Our evaluation determines what activities change your symptoms, either reduce or aggravate them. It is not unusual to have some soreness for a short time following your evaluation. Report your response to your therapist at your next visit as this will help guide your therapy program.
Initially visits will focus on pain modulation and/or anti-inflammatory techniques and to instruct you in an independent care program to improve your functional capacity and comfort. Each visit will focus on the specific treatment of your condition. The goals will be re-assessed as you progress
What is the difference between my doctor’s diagnosis and my Physical Therapist’s diagnosis?
Physicians base their diagnosis on structural issues, like a sprained ligament or a muscle strain or a disease, like the flu. Our assessments focus on what your limitations are as a result of the structural issue. For instance you may be unable to walk due to a fractured ankle. We work to restore all of the factors necessary for you to walk again as your body heals the fracture. The surgeon may repair damaged tissue, but we do not. Your body heals itself as we restore your ability to move again. Our body works as a mechanism and each part contributes to the whole, thus we may include other areas in the treatment to ensure that you are able to explore the world once again.
My MD told me to come twice a week for three weeks. What happens after that?
Your physician will suggest a time and duration for your care. Your therapist uses this as a guideline and then creates an initial Plan of Care, and sends this back to your doctor. Toward the end of your prescription for physical therapy, together, we will discuss your progress, and decide if continuation of physical therapy is appropriate.
I’m finished with physical therapy, but I want to come back. What should I do?
Your symptoms may recur occasionally, or a different issue may appear as you return to your desired level of function or activity. At this point, we encourage you to call our office to discuss what would be the next appropriate step to take. You may need to return to your doctor if it is a new issue.
Do physical therapists at OPTM specialize in certain areas?
Our therapists do not specialize in any one joint or area. In order to restore your capacity to function, we must know how all aspects of your body function together. We restore your ability to move more normally and more comfortably. Our expertise lies in human movement. Therefore, we are human movement specialists. We have certified Complete Decongestive Therapists on staff who specialize in fibrosis management following plastic surgery, lymphedema from cancer-related surgeries and venous insufficiency.
What is the definition of the term “function”?
PT’s use to the term “function” to refer to how your body performs a desired task. Whether it’s standing from sitting, walking, lifting, running or throwing, achieving your desired level of function by improving your ability to move properly is the goal of therapy.
What is the education of the trainers?
The trainers at OPTM have an undergraduate science or kinesiology degree and are typically completing prerequisite education prior to going to physical therapy school. OPTM has a directed training program to educate the trainers in therapeutic exercise instruction and safety procedures as well as the proper use of therapeutic modalities.
Physical Therapy Education
The physical therapy profession has transformed several times over the past 30 years. Some therapists have a Master’s degree in physical therapy, but now most of the therapists have Doctoral (DPT) degrees and have passed a National Board Exam. Physical Therapy education is 26-36 months of intense training in in anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, neurology, cardiology, pathology and therapeutic interventions. We are specialist in human movement and work to restore your ability to live life as fully as possible.
What do all of the letters behind the therapists’ name indicate?
Therapists can expand their knowledge in various specialties. This additional education may result in the following specializations:
OCS: Orthopaedic Certified Specialist
This is the board certification in orthopedics.These therapists have practiced for several years and passed a national board exam in orthopedics.
ATC: Athletic Trainer Certified
This certification for athletic training. These people have advanced training in the biomechanics and injuries associated with participating in sports. They typically have a degree in kinesiology with an emphasis on sports medicine and they must pass a national certification exam. They are trained in the prevention and treatment of athletic-related injuries.
FAAOMPT: Fellow in the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy
Fellows are highly trained therapists who have completed a residency program and passed a specialization exam in manipulation therapy.
Certified Pilates Practitioner
This describes an individual who has passed a competency-based national exam for Pilates training. Pilates is a system of exercises, which may or may not utilize a special apparatus, and focuses on body and mental awareness to increase body control and awareness.
CertMDT: Certification for Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy
This credential is put forth by the McKenzie institute, which honors mechanical diagnosis and therapy. This entails a rigorous four-part exam after a period of self-study, and allows the individual to appreciate the complicated mechanics of our joints.
MTC: Manual Therapy Certification
This individual earned recognition for manual therapy taught by the University of St. Augustine. It involves six months of independent study followed by a certification exam in the performance of manual therapy.
CSCS: Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
This is a certification in the area of exercise training for sports.
CDT: Complete Decongestive Therapy
This is a certification in the management of edema and wound healing.