What can I expect at our first session?
Before we can begin treatment, I have to first identify what’s wrong. I’ll ask you questions about your symptoms, your activities, the things you want to do that you currently are unable to do, the activities and movements that cause pain and those that ease symptoms, and how the injury occurred. If referred by a doctor, we’ll review your diagnosis and prescription details.
I’ll then ask you to move in a variety of planes to assess what needs to move more efficiently, your muscle strength, and the mechanics at each joint that is vital to your recovery. Be sure to wear loose, comfortable clothing that can be lifted to easily expose the injured area.
My goal is to treat the entire body holistically, not just to isolate specific body parts, as often a pain or lack of mobility in one area of the body is caused by conditions in another area. After the initial evaluation, we’ll review your goals and develop an individual physical therapy plan. I’ll also give you a series of therapeutic exercises to do in the comfort and privacy of your home or office to build on the work of our therapy sessions together.What kind of equipment is used?
Note that you do not need to have access to a gym or elaborate workout machines. Your body is actually the best “machine” in your recovery. I can put together an effective therapy program using simple, light equipment such as:
- BOSU (balance) Ball
- Body Weight & Functional Movement
- Free Weights/Hand Weights
- Foam Rolls
- Pilates Ring
- Resistance Bands
- Stability Balls
Most clients have a massage table and mat.How long will I be in physical therapy?
While no two people heal exactly alike, most clients have a prescription for 8 weeks of physical therapy, although some have completed their physical therapy in as little as 5 visits. A lot depends on your current compensatory patterns, how fit you are, and how quickly you embrace the routine and allow me to guide you through the process. If you consistently do the exercises that I prescribe for you and allow me to seamlessly lead you through the process, your recovery will happen more quickly.
Each physical therapy session is on a individual basis and lasts for a full 60 minutes, unlike the group sessions of many physical therapy clinics that provide less personalized attention and are often led by an aide rather than a physical therapist.
At each visit, we’ll discuss your progress and your ability to resume the athletic and daily activities you did before injury and adjust your program accordingly.Do I need a doctor’s prescription for physical therapy?
No, New York State has “direct access” which allows you to receive physical therapy without a prescription for up to 10 visits or 30 days, whichever comes first. After that, you will need a prescription from your doctor.
Please note that I also see clients who do not need physical therapy or who have progressed past that stage for wellness. These clients do not require a doctor’s prescription but their treatment may not be covered by insurance companies.
Clients often choose to continue to fitness train with Tonic because they know it will be done safely and effectively, with an understanding that cannot be provided by a trainer. They receive challenging workouts specific to their sport of choice and high-level conditioning by someone who understands the anatomy of their previous injury.Do you accept insurance?
Tonic Physical Therapy is an out-of-network provider and accepts direct payment only. You will receive an invoice from Tonic with physical therapy codes, diagnosis, and all the information needed so you can file a claim with your insurance company. Most clients with out-of-network coverage are reimbursed for a significant portion of their cost.
That said, we offer a distinct advantage over physical therapy clinics that do accept insurance in that patient care, not insurance payments, is the primary driver of treatments. With the current reimbursement rates, even the better physical therapy clinics have had to cut costs to stay in business. As a result, they try to see as many people in as little time as possible and often schedule four patients in a group session.
In contrast, Tonic PT provides a highly-trained and experienced physical therapist who works with you one-on-one for a full hour in the comfort and convenience of your home or office. Plus you receive a treatment and follow-up plan that is customized to your individual goals and needs.Are there any forms I have to fill out?
Yes, just a few, but you can easily download and fill out these forms and bring them to your first visit to save time.
We also have an optional Survey Form to let us know how you feel about the treatment you have received—good, bad, suggestions for improvement, kudos for a job well done. It’s totally up to you.Is a physical therapist the same as a personal trainer?
I get asked that question a lot and, having worked in both positions, I can tell you they are NOT the same.
Many people have misconceptions about physical therapists and confuse us with personal trainers and massage therapists. I want to change that misconception by creating a community of physical therapists to educate the public about the many benefits of physical therapy and the range of treatments available.
Physical therapists are licensed medical professionals whose expertise is the evaluation, treatment and prevention of movement impairment, disability, and injury. Physical therapists have 5-7 years of higher education and a degree in physical therapy that includes medical training in evaluating conditions such as stenosis, herniated disk, rotator cuff injury, cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine pathology, neuroscience and more. Physical therapists must also pass rigorous national board exams. A small percentage go on to earn advanced certification for physical therapy with a specialization in manual therapy, as I did.
Often a personal trainer will refer a client to a physical therapist for evaluation and treatment when an injury or pain prevents full participation in their program.
Personal trainers are fitness professionals who focus on strength building or weight loss. They are NOT licensed and are NOT trained in evaluating medical conditions, as are physical therapists. Personal trainers are certified by national associations such as The American Council on Exercise, and some may have degrees in kinesiology and exercise physiology, although this is not required.