Physical Therapy FAQs

General

What type of education do Performance physical therapists have?

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Physical therapy is a doctoral degree that provides your physical therapist with the necessary education and skills to be the first point of contact in the healthcare continuum. They receive specific education on carrying out differential diagnoses and are able to refer you to other members of the healthcare team if needed.

Will I get a program to do at home as well?

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Yes. Your physical therapist will utilize the information gathered during the evaluation and create an individualized home exercise program. They will explain the program during the evaluation and pictures/videos will be provided. These exercises will be a vital key to reaching your functional goals.

What should I wear?

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It is important to wear comfortable clothes that you can move freely in. If you are seeing a clinician for a specific body part, it is important to wear clothes that allow them to see and evaluate that area. General exercise attire may be required (e.g. athletic sneakers).

Will I work with the same clinician each time?

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We do our best to maintain a specific therapist for the duration of your episode of care. If you will be seen by a different therapist than the individual who performed your evaluation, that clinician will be fully briefed on your case and you will be included in the discussion prior to such scheduling.

Do I need a prescription from my doctor?

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Except for Medicare, all insurances allow for “direct access” to physical therapy. This means that a client can be seen by a physical therapist for an evaluation without a doctor’s referral. Based on the evaluation, your treating clinician may advise you to see a physician and help educate you on your options.

Active Release Therapy

Does the soft tissue mobilization performed during ART cause pain?

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ART is directed at the adhesions, which creates pain and dysfunction. These areas are typically sensitive and with manual tension, so some discomfort may be felt. Pressure is never applied beyond the client’s tolerance.

Who can benefit from ART?

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Anyone who is in pain due to a soft tissue injury can benefit from this form of manual therapy. ART is used in a clinical setting on athletes, office workers, laborers as well as many others. The common finding in all these people is altered movement patterns, but their mechanism or cause is different.

How does ART improve performance?

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Performance of any task such as golfing, throwing, running, walking or typing can be significantly improved with ART. This is accomplished by restoring proper muscle function and movement to allow the body to perform at its most efficient level. Adhesions create stiffness and tension, which requires more energy and effort to accomplish a desired movement or task. By releasing restrictions, body tissues can function at peak levels for your desired activity.

Alter G

What is the unweighting range of the Anti-Gravity Treadmill?

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The unweighting range of Alter G Anti-Gravity Treadmills ranges from 100% to as little as 20% of the user’s body weight.

What is the weight range of the Anti-Gravity Treadmill?

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The weight range of Alter G Anti-Gravity Treadmills is for individuals 85 to 400 pounds.

How fast can the Anti-Gravity Treadmill go?

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0-12 mph for most models.

Why should I use the Alter G?

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The Alter G is useful in limiting the amount of weight and forces through joints. Clients who are rehabbing from an injury and can’t fully bear weight on an extremity find that the Alter G is useful in helping return to proper walking and running form. High performance athletes also use the Alter G when training. For example, runners will work Alter G sessions into their training regimens to allow for longer distance runs without the wear and tear that occurs when running outside or on a regular treadmill.

Annual Exams

Am I appropriate for an annual exam if I don’t have an injury?

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Absolutely. It is recommended that everyone have an annual exam focusing on how they move and how they live.

What are the next steps after my annual exam?

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Based on the findings of your comprehensive exam, we provide you with recommendations to put you on the path to optimal health. It could be as simple as saying keep doing what you’re doing, referring you to an appropriate specialist if the exam reveals an orthopedic injury. Our providers huddle within our team along with other healthcare practitioners to ensure you receive the best care.

Is the annual exam covered by insurance?

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Because the exam is performed by a licensed physical therapist, the annual exam can be billed to your insurance. Our insurance department will verify your benefits to determine your financial responsibility prior to your exam.

Do I have to be a previous patient to schedule an exam?

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No. Whether you are a previous patient or completely new to Performance, you are welcome to experience the annual exam.

Blood Flow Restriction

Is BFR safe?

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Yes. BFR has been performed in thousand of subjects in peer-reviewed literature with little to no side effects. The biggest side effect is irritation to the skin underneath the tourniquet cuff. However, this can easily be avoided through the use of a protective sleeve, which is our standard practice.

How does BFR feel?

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You may experience a burning sensation in the exercising muscle, consistent with lactic acid accumulation in the muscle. The feeling is similar to a very intense work out, without the adverse feeling of pain or pressure within the joint.

Is there evidence to support BFR?

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Yes. There are over 820 articles relating to BFR that substantiate both its safety and effectiveness. A recent meta-analysis concluded that BFR increases muscle size, strength, and endurance while exercising at 20-30% of the load typically required to achieve such effects.

What BFR device do you use at Performance?

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We use the Personalized Tourniquet System for Personalized Blood Flow Restriction Rehabilitation manufactured by Delfi Medical Innovations, a world leader in tourniquet technology and safety. The PTS for PBFR device is specifically designed to safely regulate and precisely control tourniquet pressure to allow for the most safe and effective treatment for each client.

Dry Needling

How does dry needling work?

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The goal of dry needling is to decrease in pain, improve flexibility and decrease overall muscle tension. Licensed therapists do this by releasing trigger points and areas in the muscle, connective tissue, and myofascial tissue. Dry needling is a great adjunct to other interventions that our physical therapists administer.

What is the difference between dry needling and acupuncture?

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Both dry needling and acupuncture involve the insertion of thin needles into certain parts of the body. Dry needling, however, is based on western neuroanatomy and modern scientific study of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems. It is necessary to have a medical diagnosis for one to undergo the therapy. The process involves performing a thorough examination and the needle insertion is based on the physical exam, objective data, and the patient’s subjective complaints. Acupuncture is based upon insertion of thin needles into specific, “ashi” points along meridians. These are derived from ancient Chinese Medicine based on the idea of balance and restoring proper flow of energy throughout the body.

Does dry needling hurt?

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People often do not feel the needles going in, but they may feel an ache or cramp as the technique is administered.

Is dry needling safe?

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Dry needling is safe but cannot be performed without risk. Our physical therapists who utilize dry needling are trained in performing the technique. The needles are never reused, and the likelihood of bleeding or bruising is extremely low.

Schroth

Will the Schroth method straighten my spine?

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The goal of the Schroth method is the prevent the progression of the curvature in the spine and to corrective posture and the active component of the curvature. There is a likelihood in the appropriate patient that the curve angle can reduce, but the main goal is to prevent progression of any further curvature.

Do I Need an X-Ray to start therapy?

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It is encouraged to have a radiograph of your back taken at some point, although we can most definitely begin therapy without one. We will communicate with your doctor to see if one is needed.

How long does the Schroth method take?

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After about six to eight sessions of physical therapy, patients will have a good understanding of the steps and concept and will be able to confidently perform a series of home exercises going through the whole method on their own. From that point on, the length of care will be dependent on a few other factors including chronicity, pain level, etc.

Is there anything else I can do to help with my posture/ pain?

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The concepts of the Schroth method couples very well with the concepts of Pilates. It first teaches you how to get into a better posture, and then gain strength to control movement patterns in that position.

Vestibular Therapy

Why do I have dizziness?

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Dizziness can have many different causes. The vestibular system of the inner ear signals the brain about movement and head position. Your brain interprets these signals with those received from your eyes, muscles, and joints. When any part of the vestibular system malfunctions, dizziness can occur.

How do I find treatment for dizziness and what can be done to treat it?

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Diagnosis and treatment of dizziness is not always clear and is not always a vestibular disorder. Vestibular disorders and symptoms can affect a person in many ways and are often unpredictable varying from person to person. If you have dizziness, imbalance, or vision changes, you may have a vestibular disorder. A physician or appropriate health care professional can provide the appropriate screening and diagnostic testing to direct you for treatment.

What is Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT)?

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Vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT) is a type of physical therapy that helps train the central nervous system to compensate for vestibular dysfunction. Studies examining the effect of VRT strongly demonstrate its effectiveness in decreasing symptoms of dizziness and imbalance.

Are there exercises I can do to help my dizziness?

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Vestibular exercises should only be done after proper diagnosis and performed as prescribed by a physical therapist. Vestibular disorders are not the same, and not all exercises may be appropriate for care.

What medications are prescribed to reduce dizziness?

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Medication can be short-term strategy to treat dizziness to help dampen symptoms, but medication can also make it more difficult for the brain to learn to compensate for vestibular dysfunction. For the acute stage of dizziness, medication is sometimes prescribed by a physician to reduce severe symptoms. Speak to your physician about recommended medications based on your symptoms.

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