FAQs

At Savoy Therapy, our physical therapists are highly educated, licensed health care professionals who are dedicated to helping their patients get results.

  • What is physical therapy?

    Physical therapy is a medical, hands-on approach to relieving pain and restoring function. Physical therapists are medical experts in musculoskeletal and neurological conditions and work closely with physicians. Our physical therapists evaluate your movement patterns, identify the cause of your pain, and work to eliminate it.

    While every patient’s condition and pain is unique, your physical therapist will use a variety of gentle hands-on techniques, exercises, and equipment to relieve pain quickly and restore your function to optimum levels. The overall goal is to restore pain-free mobility and function and to prevent the injury or pain from recurring.

  • What is in-home therapy?

    Our In-Home services are focused on empowering seniors to continue living at home, as safely and independently, as possible. We work with you and your caregiver(s) to identify your needs and implement strategies to improve your safety, alleviate pain, increase strength, balance to enable you to live an active lifestyle.

  • Why is physical therapy a good choice?

    More than half of all Americans are suffering from pain. Whether it is a recent episode or chronic, an ABC News/Stanford study revealed that pain in America is a serious problem. However, many do not even know that physical therapists are well equipped to not only treat pain but also its source.

    Physical therapists are experts in treating movement and neuro-musculoskeletal disorders. Pain often accompanies a movement disorder, and physical therapists can help correct the disorder and relieve the pain.

  • What do physical therapist do?

    You have probably heard of the profession of physical therapy. Maybe you have had a conversation with a friend about how physical therapy helped get rid of his or her back pain, or you might know someone who needed physical therapy after an injury. You might even have been treated by a physical therapist yourself. But have you ever wondered about physical therapists–who they are and what they do? Many people are familiar with physical therapists’ work helping patients with orthopedic problems, such as low back pain or knee surgeries, to reduce pain and regain function. Others may be aware of the treatment that physical therapists provide to assist patients recovering from a stroke (e.g., assisting them with recovering use of their limbs and walking again).

    The ability to maintain an upright posture and to move your arms and legs to perform all sorts of tasks and activities is an important component of your health. Most of us can learn to live with the various medical conditions that we may develop, but only if we are able to continue at our jobs, take care of our families, and enjoy important occasions with family and friends. All of these activities require the ability to move without difficulty or pain.

    Because physical therapists are experts in movement and function, they do not confine their talents to treating people who are ill. A large part of a physical therapist’s program is directed at preventing injury, loss of movement, and even surgery. Physical therapists work as consultants in industrial settings to improve the design of the workplace and reduce the risk of workers overusing certain muscles or developing low back pain. They also provide services to athletes at all levels to screen for potential problems and institute preventive exercise programs. With the boom in the golf and fitness industries, a number of physical therapists are engaged in consulting with recreational golfers and fitness clubs to develop workouts that are safe and effective, especially for people who already know that they have a problem with their joints or their backs.

    The cornerstones of physical therapy treatment are therapeutic exercise and functional training. In addition to “hands-on” care, physical therapists also educate patients to take care of themselves and to perform certain exercises on their own. Depending on the particular needs of a patient, physical therapists may also “mobilize” a joint (that is, perform certain types of movements at the end of your range of motion) or massage a muscle to promote proper movement and function. Physical therapists also use methods such as ultrasound (which uses high frequency waves to produce heat), hot packs, and ice. Although other kinds of practitioners will offer some of these treatments as “physical therapy,” it’s important for you to know that physical therapy can only be provided by qualified physical therapists or by physical therapist assistants, who must complete a 2-year education program and who work only under the direction and supervision of physical therapists.

    Most forms of physical therapy treatment are covered by your insurance, but the coverage will vary with each plan. Most states do not legally require patients to see their physicians before seeing a physical therapist. Most of the time all you have to do is ask your doctor if physical therapy is right for you.

  • Why are people referred to physical therapy?

    You and others may be referred to physical therapy because of a movement dysfunction associated with pain. Your difficulty with moving part(s) of your body (like bending at the low back or difficulty sleeping on your shoulder, etc.) very likely results in limitations with your daily activities (e.g., difficulty getting out of a chair, an inability to play sports, or trouble with walking, etc.). Physical therapists treat these movement dysfunctions and their associated pains and restore your body’s ability to move in a normal manner.

  • What types of treatments will I receive?

    There are dozens of different types of treatment interventions. Here is a list of treatment interventions:

    Active Range of Motion (AROM) – the patient lifts or moves a body part through range of motion against gravity. AROM is usually one of the first modalities prescribed for arthritis.

    Active Assistive Range of Motion (AAROM) – therapist-assisted active range of motion. This is usually prescribed for gentle stretching or strengthening for a very weak body part.

    Stationary Bicycle – with or without resistance. This is usually prescribed for improving the strength and/or range of motion of the back or lower extremities as well as cardiovascular endurance.

    Gait or Walking Training – the analysis of walking problems by visually examining the interaction of the low back and the joints of the thighs, legs, and feet during the various stages of walking, including initial contact, loading response, mid stance, terminal stance, pre swing, mid swing, and terminal swing. Many back, thigh, leg, ankle, and foot problems may be caused by or manifest themselves in subtle gait abnormalities.

    Isometrics – muscle contraction without joint movement. This is usually prescribed for strengthening without stressing or damaging the joint (e.g., arthritis, or exercises to be performed in a cast, or right after surgery if recommended by the therapist/doctor).

    Isotonics– muscle(s) contracting through the ROM with resistance. This is usually prescribed for strengthening.

    Soft Tissue Mobilization – therapeutic massage of body tissue performed with the hands. Soft tissue mobilization may be used for muscle relaxation, to decrease swelling, to decrease scar tissue adhesions, and for pain relief.

    Mobilization – hands-on therapeutic procedures intended to increase soft tissue or joint mobility. Mobilization is usually prescribed to increase mobility, delaying progressive stiffness, and to relieve pain. There are many types of mobilization techniques including Maitland, Kaltenborn, Isometric Mobilizations, etc.

    Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) – a system of manually resisted exercises performed in diagonal patterns that mimic functional movements. PNF was initially used in developmentally and neurologically impaired patients but now is used in almost every aspect of neuromuscular retraining from athletes in sports facilities to the very weak in hospitals and nursing homes.

    Posture Training – instruction in the correct biomechanical alignment of the body to reduce undue strain on muscles, joints, ligaments, discs, and other soft tissues. There is an ideal posture, but most people do not have ideal posture. Therapists educate patients about the importance of improving posture with daily activities. Stretching and strengthening exercises may be prescribed to facilitate postural improvement and to prevent further disability and future recurrences of problems.

    Progressive Resistive Exercises (PRE) – exercises that gradually increase in resistance (weights) and in repetitions. PRE is usually prescribed for reeducation of muscles and strengthening. Weights, rubber bands, and body weight can be used as resistance.

    Passive Range of Motion (PROM) – the patient or therapist moves the body part through a range of motion without the use of the muscles that “actively” move the joint(s).

    Stretching/Flexibility Exercise – exercise designed to lengthen muscle(s) or soft tissue. Stretching exercises are usually prescribed to improve the flexibility of muscles that have tightened due to disuse or in compensation to pain, spasm or immobilization.

    Cryotherapy or Cold Therapy – used to cause vasoconstriction (the blood vessels constrict or decrease their diameter) to reduce the amount of fluid that leaks out of the capillaries into the tissue spaces (swelling) in response to injury of tissue. Ice or cold is used most frequently in acute injuries, but also an effective pain reliever for even the most chronic pain.

    Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES) – the application of electrical stimulation to aid in improving strength (e.g., the quadriceps muscle after knee surgery or injury). NMES is also used to decrease pain and swelling and to relieve muscle spasm.

    Neck Traction – a gentle longitudinal/axial pull on the neck, either manual or mechanical, intermittent or continuous for relief of neck pain, to decrease muscle spasm and facilitate unloading of the spine.

    Heat – heat is recommended to decrease chronic pain, relax muscles, and for pain relief. It should not be used with an acute or “new” injury.

    Iontophoresis – medications are propelled through the skin by an electrical charge. This modality works on the physical concept that like charges repel each other, therefore, a positively charged medication will be repelled through the skin to the underlying tissues by the positively charged pad of an iontophoresis machine. Iontophoresis is usually prescribed for injuries such as shoulder or elbow bursitis.

    Pelvic Traction – the longitudinal/axial pull on the lumbar spine, either manual or mechanical, intermittent or continuous. Pelvic traction may be helpful for the relief of low back pain and muscle spasm.

    Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) – a relatively low voltage applied over painful areas through small self-adhesive electrodes. The electrical stimulation “disguises” or “overrides” the sensation of pain. It is a small, portable unit, used in intervals, to control pain and reduce dependence on drugs. It is usually prescribed for relief of pain.

    Ultrasound – ultrasound uses a high frequency sound wave emitted from the sound head when electricity is passed through a quartz crystal. The sound waves cause the vibration of water molecules deep within tissue causing a heating effect. When the sound waves are pulsed, they cause a vibration of the tissue rather than heating. The stream of sound waves helps with nutrition exchange at the cellular level and healing. Studies have shown that ultrasound is helpful for ligament healing and clinically, for carpal tunnel syndrome, and muscle spasm.

    Whirlpool – immersion of a body part into water with small “agitators” to provide a gentle massaging motion. A warm whirlpool provides relief from pain and muscle spasm and is often preparatory to stretching or exercise. Cold whirlpool is used to decrease inflammation and swelling.

  • How do I know if physical therapy will help me?

    Working with you and your doctor, we can discuss your options and help determine if physical therapy will be the right choice for you. Contact us today to discuss your current condition and even set up a free consultation if you choose.

  • Can I go to any physical therapy I choose?

    As a patient you have the right to receive physical therapy at any place you choose. At Savoy Therapy, you will receive the highest quality care in the comfort of your home, while achieving the results you need.  We pride ourselves on providing a well-trained, friendly staff.  We are confident in our ability to help you reach your goals and live a pain-free life.

  • What should I bring to my first appointment?

    Please have your prescription and insurance card available when you call. This will allow us to verify your insurance benefits and provide you with an estimate of coverage.

    To bring on your first visit:

    • A prescription (if needed) for physical therapy from your referring physician, ARNP, or PA.
    • Insurance information (we will make a copy of your card).
    • Print out the patient forms, fill them out, and bring them with you.
    • In case of an automobile accident or worker’s compensation claim, also bring any case manager or insurance adjuster contact names, phone numbers, and claim number.
    • Please arrive 15 minutes early to complete any remaining paperwork, so you can maximize your time in your evaluation.
    • Please wear comfortable clothing that allows easy access to your problem areas.
  • Will it hurt?

    Physical therapy is not meant to hurt, but to relieve pain. However, as you restore your mobility, pain levels, at times can fluctuate. You might experience some temporary soreness from using muscles that are weakened or recovering. This is a normal response to therapy treatment. Good communication with your therapist will help minimize any discomfort. We want you on your way to quick pain relief and back to normal activities.

  • Does insurance cover my treatment?

    Yes, in most cases it does. Our office will be happy to assist in contacting your insurance company and determining your coverage based on your individual policy. For more information, visit our insurance plan page and please do not hesitate to contact our office. We do offer different payment options for your convenience.

  • What if I don’t have insurance?

    For patients who do not have insurance, we offer a discounted fee, due at the time of service.

  • What type of payment do you accept?

    We accept cash, check, debit card, and credit card. We are happy to discuss payment plan options as well. It is our policy that payment is made at the time of service. Your insurance benefits will be determined before your second visit, and you will be informed of what, if any, payment is necessary on that date.

  • What do I wear?

    Dress comfortably with clothes that allow easy access for the therapist to examine your problem areas. For treatments, loose fitting clothes that are comfortable for gentle exercises and supportive sneakers are often good choices to wear.

  • How long will my therapy sessions last?

    Typically, the first session lasts for 1 hour 15 minutes. Each session after that may be 45-60 minutes. The amount of time will be based on your specific needs, and your therapist will discuss this with you.

  • How many sessions will I have?

    Each patient’s diagnosis is different, so together with your referring physician, your therapist will develop a plan of care that is right for you. Your plan of care and number of visits will be determined during your first visit and explained to you by your physical therapist.

  • What types of education/training do your therapists have?

    Physical therapists have years of university level training in anatomy, physiology, kinesiology (study of joint movement), neurology, and many of the other medical sciences. Our physical therapists have graduated from accredited physical therapy programs and are state licensed. Depending on the university, the physical therapy program is either a masters or doctorate level degree. Rest assured, your therapist is well trained to evaluate and treat your condition.

  • Do you offer programs for me once I’m better?

    Yes, once you have completed your therapy sessions, your therapist will review your continuing home program.  We can make arrangements to meet you at your gym to work with you on determining what equipment may be beneficial, and what exercises would be helpful in your continued recovery.