New patient FAQs
Physical therapy is the process of examining, assessing, and prescribing exercises or movements to reduce pain, increase strength, and restore function. This is provided via individualized, one-on-one care in order to increase your independence and quality of life.
Your first day of physical therapy is considered an initial evaluation. You can expect to tell your story about what brings you in and to undergo a series of physical tests, such as flexibility, strength, and various movement patterns. Based on your complaint, history, and reported deficits, we’ll likely have a good working diagnosis. The following tests are then specific to your case and designed to rule other similar diagnoses in or out. Through this process, we’ll find areas of opportunity to begin our exercise programming, such as areas of muscle tightness or weakness that are contributing to your chief complaint. After the first session, we will send you home with a few exercises to get started on to see how you respond. Subsequent visits will focus on exercise and symptom reduction programming, teaching you how to move more effectively with the ultimate goal of decreasing your pain and increasing your function.
Something you can move in! Ninety percent of the time, we’re going to have you up and working on exercises, balance, gait training, etc. as appropriate to your case. You can, of course, tailor this to the body part in question – for example, pants that can roll up above the knee or a tank top or undershirt to more readily access the shoulder. Regardless of why you are coming into physical therapy, tennis shoes are recommended. If you have a specific pair of shoes or equipment you use for your activity (sport, work, etc.) in question, training with those items will be helpful.
Most likely, no. As of 2014, Michigan has provisions for direct access to physical therapy. In plain language, that means you are allotted 10 visits or 21 days of therapy before a prescription is required in consultation with a physician. To find out more about how direct access works, check out our Direct Access page.
YES! As a proven conservative approach to symptom resolution and management, physical therapy should be your first stop in your health management journey. The sooner you get in to start addressing an injury (whether acute or chronic), the better you can start feeling, moving, and living. Studies have consistently shown that early intervention can reduce costs in terms of healthcare utilization, limiting the number of doctor visits, medication prescription, high-cost imaging, and even surgery.
Current Patient FAQs
Most likely. It’s important to differentiate between pain (recreating your complaint, limiting your ability to tolerate continued activity, or increasing numbness/tingling/shooting pain into extremities) and soreness (the expected, “comfortably, uncomfortable” feeling from working weak muscles as you would experience with any exercise program, regardless of injury). If you can say that you are truly experiencing pain, discontinue the exercise and be sure to review with your therapist at your next session. There is likely an alternative way to perform the exercise within your pain threshold. If you are experiencing soreness, carry on! As you get stronger, more flexible, etc., this feeling will improve.
Yes! Once you get into the management phase, the frequency will change. You may need to only perform certain stretches or exercises within your program a few times a week as opposed to daily. However, the goal is that you’ve developed an understanding of your condition and learned some tools to independently manage it. That way, when situations do arise and you’re experiencing a flare-up of your complaint, you’ll know what to do to head it off.
Most likely, yes! At Active Recovery, we believe there are many ways to get to the same result (feeling better and moving better) and some methods may work better for some people. If those services are ones you value and regularly attend, let us know. There is a way we can work together for your maximum benefit. There are also times when we’ll recommend such services to you based on your needs and our expertise. For more information on local community health partners, check out our Provider and Partner Info page.
Specifically, at Active Recovery, we are working to increase accessibility to community resources, such as partnerships with TBC Wellness Center, the East Jordan Community Pool, and the Senior Center. Depending on your individual needs and interests, we are working to offer community classes and have other services available, such as movement or balance assessments. Don’t forget that graduates of our physical therapy program are welcome to stay on with our STAY ACTIVE membership pass. Click here to learn more about our full list of services.