Frequently Asked Questions
Below you will find some of our most frequently asked questions and answers. Please feel free to contact us if you still have any unanswered questions regarding our services, facilities, or your treatment with us.
What is a physical therapist?
Physical therapists are licensed health care professionals who are experts in musculoskeletal dysfunctions. Therapists are trained to analyze movement and identify abnormal mechanics. From this assessment, a physical therapist will treat a dysfunction with manual – or hands-on — skills. Comber Physical Therapy is well-known for its excellence in utilizing manual therapy, which accelerates the recovery process.
What is a physical therapy assistant?
Physical therapy assistants, or PTAs, are skilled health care providers who work under the supervision of physical therapists. Duties of the PTA include assisting the physical therapist in implementing treatment programs, training patients in exercises and activities of daily living, conducting treatments and reporting to the physical therapist on the patients’ responses.
Who will be directing my care during each appointment?
Your treatment will always be directed by your physical therapist. Your treatment may be carried out by a combination of physical therapists, physical therapy assistants and technicians.
How quickly can I begin physical therapy?
Simply call us, and we’ll schedule your first appointment with us within 24 hours. We do not believe in waitlists. If you need treatment or your physician wants you to begin physical therapy care, then we believe you should not have to wait to begin healing.
How long will my course of therapy last?
Frequency and duration of treatment will be determined by your physical therapist, in conjunction with your physician, at your initial evaluation. The typical frequency is 2-3 times per week.
How long will each appointment last?
Appointments last 45-60 minutes on average.
What can I expect on my first visit?
Plan to arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment time so you can complete paperwork. Be sure to bring your prescription or referral from your physician if the physician’s office has not already sent it directly to us. Have your insurance card and a photo I.D. ready for our front desk team. After the paperwork process, you will have an initial evaluation with one of our physical therapists. The evaluation includes learning about your health history, the condition that’s bringing you to us and what your health goals are for your recovery. An in-depth, hands-on examination will be performed. You’ll be given a clear plan for your rehabilitation with us. Treatment will also begin on the first visit. And, of course, we’ll gladly answer all of your questions. After your evaluation, you’ll schedule your future appointments with our front desk.
What should I wear?
Dress comfortably. You’ll want to be sure to wear clothes that allow you to move freely and that will allow your therapist to easily access the area of your body that needs to be evaluated and treated. Wear comfortable shoes, such as tennis shoes or walking shoes – definitely no dress shoes or heels.
Do I need a referral from a physician?
A referral from your physician is required for physical therapy. We do not require a prescription or referral for chiropractic treatment, or any of our additional services, such a massage, yoga, orthotics fittings, etc.
What if I need to reschedule an appointment?
We ask for at least 24 hours’ notice if you cannot make your scheduled appointment. Due to the highly-personalized, one-on-one care we offer, giving us at least 24 hours’ notice allows us to open up that appointment time and contact another patient who might be waiting to see us.
What if I don’t come to one of my scheduled appointments?
There is a $25 no-show fee for every missed appointment.
What can I do to help my progress while I’m at home?
The greatest thing you can do for your recovery is be a compliant patient both at our location as well as at home. Your therapy program will include a home exercise program to be carried out independently. Our therapists use patient-related instruction to educate you, and if necessary, your family or other caregivers about your current condition, treatment plan and future transition to home, work, or community roles.
How do I know what my insurance will cover?
Just like understanding what your insurance will and won’t cover for any other health care appointment or procedure, such as a routine physical, or a dental screening, etc., it’s important to understand that you are fully responsible for knowing your particular health insurance’s coverage of physical therapy. The easiest ways to do this are to call your insurance provider’s member services number and ask, or go to its website for details. We do verify benefits as a courtesy to our patients, and we will be glad to help answer any questions.
When I do make my copays?
Copayments must be made at every visit. Due to our billing system and the need to post payments on the day of your services, copays are required at each visit.
Do I need a referral from my MD for chiropractic care?
No. In Virginia, doctors of chiropractic are primary care physicians. Just like going to a medical doctor, you do not need a referral.
What does an average treatment cost?
The range of treatment costs varies, depending on the procedures administered.
Do I have to have an exam with the doctor prior to getting treated?
Yes, prior to obtaining treatment, all patients must have an exam by the doctor. The exam ensures that the treatment is safe and effective for you. If you would like to get a massage with our highly-trained massage therapists without becoming a patient, that is possible. If you choose to do so, it is important to note that you will not have a diagnosis, and therefore the massage will not be considered a treatment and will not be billed to insurance.
What will happen at my first visit?
You’ll meet the doctor after filling out some brief paperwork describing you, your health history and your health goals. We offer this initial consultation so we can both get to know one another. If you’re a good candidate for chiropractic care, and we think we can help, an examination follows. We’ll study the way you turn and bend. We may test your reflexes. These and other physical, orthopedic and chiropractic tests help us locate areas of your spine that could be the cause of your problem.
We’ll study the results and give you a complete report of our findings. We’ll show you what we found and the conclusions we’ve reached. If we find that you’d benefit from consulting a different practitioner, we’ll make the proper referral. Otherwise, we’ll recommend a program of specific chiropractic adjustments. With a plan in place to fulfill your health goals, future visits will take just minutes. The purpose of these frequent visits will be to locate and reduce your vertebral subluxations and monitor the healing process.
If I start a treatment, will I have to come forever?
No, but most patients find that they indeed do benefit from Wellness Care after their Active Care treatment plan is complete. Usually, this entails treatments once per month or less. Long-term care is not mandatory, but promotes long-term corrections and can help to prevent or minimize the return of symptoms.
What kind of training does a DC have? How does it compare to that of an MD?
Chiropractors are among the most stringent of any of the health care professions. The typical applicant at a chiropractic college has already acquired nearly four years of pre-medical undergraduate college education, including courses in biology, inorganic and organic chemistry, physics, psychology and related lab work. Once accepted into an accredited chiropractic college, the requirements become even more demanding — four to five academic years of professional study are the standard. Because of the hands-on nature of chiropractic, and the intricate adjusting techniques, a significant portion of time is spent in clinical training.
Like other primary health care doctors, chiropractic students spend a significant portion of their curriculum studying clinical subjects related to evaluating and caring for patients. Typically, as part of their professional training, they must complete a minimum of a one-year clinically-based program dealing with actual patient care. In total, the curriculum includes a minimum of 4,200 hours of classroom, laboratory and clinical experience.
Before they are allowed to practice, chiropractors must pass national board examinations and become state-licensed.This extensive education prepares doctors of chiropractic to diagnose health care problems, treat the problems when they are within their scope of practice and refer patients to other health care practitioners when appropriate. (Source: http://www.acatoday.org)
Is chiropractic safe and effective?
Yes, chiropractic treatments are safe and effective. While any form of health treatment contains a degree of inherent risk, there is little danger in chiropractic care when administered by a properly trained and qualified practitioner. To assure competency, all states require that DCs be board-qualified, licensed and regulated according to stringent criteria. Statistics show that patient risk is substantially lower for chiropractic and acupuncture care because prescription drugs and surgery are not used.
Does chiropractic care hurt?
In an acute case, the patient may feel some discomfort during a treatment, and some soreness afterwards. Usually patients enjoy their chiropractic adjustments and find the experience quite pleasant!
What is that popping sound when a joint is adjusted?
Adjustment of a joint may result in release of a gas bubble between the joints that makes a popping sound – it’s exactly the same as when you “crack” your knuckles. The noise is caused by the change of pressure within the joint that results in gas bubbles being released. There is no pain involved.
Is chiropractic safe for kids?
Yes, children can benefit from chiropractic care. Children are very physically active and experience many types of falls and blows from daily activities, as well as from participating in sports. Their injuries may cause many symptoms, including back and neck pain, stiffness, soreness or discomfort. Chiropractic care is always adapted to the individual patient. It is a highly-skilled treatment, and in the case of children, very gentle.
Can pregnant women safely receive treatments?
Yes, in our office we are trained to treat pregnant women through every stage of their development. These treatments are not only safe, but highly effective for the ailments that can accompany pregnancy.
Can patients with osteoporosis get chiropractic care?
Of course. Regardless of your age, size or condition, chiropractic care can be helpful. The specific needs of each patient are considered. If yours is not a chiropractic case, we’ll refer you to the appropriate specialist.
Can I get chiropractic care if I’ve had back surgery?
Yes. Your chiropractor will avoid areas of your spine surgically modified. However, surgery may produce compensation reactions either about or below the involved level. If necessary, these other areas will be the focus of your chiropractic care.
Will I have to get X-rays?
X-rays and other types of images can be helpful. Pictures of your spine, especially after trauma, can confirm our other findings and make your care more precise. We can tell if we need them after completing our other examinations.
Will I receive any medication for my pain?
No. Chiropractors don’t dispense drugs. Because we rely on natural methods, ask for directions on how to use ice to control any painful symptoms. Ice, when properly applied, can have an analgesic effect without the side effects associated with pain medications.
How long until I feel better?
Some patients experience almost instant relief. Others discover that the healing process can take months, sometimes even years. Every patient recovers at his or her own pace. Factors which can affect the healing process include your age, your overall health condition, muscle tone, diet and even your attitude.
When will I get my first adjustment?
It depends upon your complaint and how long it may take to study your examination findings. This is a clinical decision and varies from patient to patient.
What Do I Wear?
Wear comfortable, breathable clothes that allow you to move freely. Most of our members wear sweatpants or shorts and t-shirts. Gym shoes are preferred.
What Should I Buy?
For hygienic reasons, we recommend that you purchase your own boxing gloves, wraps, and jump rope for class. We do, however, offer a limited number of “community” wraps and gloves. RSB offers all boxing gear at a discounted rate for purchase to RSB members.
What Do I Need to Bring?
We stress the importance of staying properly hydrated, so make sure to bring plenty of water. (Water bottles with straws are easier to use with boxing gloves on!) Don’t forget your gloves and wraps!
What Should I Expect?
The class assigned to you after your initial assessment was chosen to meet your specific level of Parkinson’s. You can expect to be greeted warmly by the staff and your fellow boxers on your first day, and you can expect to meet lots of people who share the same challenges brought by PD. Classes are 60 minutes long, which include stretching, warm-ups, the workout and a cool-down.
What If I Can’t Keep Up?
It is important that at any time, if you feel you cannot keep up or become frustrated at not being able to perform at the level of the people around you, that you communicate that to your Coaches. They can offer modifications and suggestions on alternative training methods to help you focus on specific symptoms or challenges. Do not do any exercises that you are uncomfortable doing – talk to your Coaches first if you are unsure of a specific exercise. Rock Steady offers an encouraging, nonjudgmental environment that will hopefully allow you to share your specific concerns when necessary.
How Often Should I Come to Class?
How many times per week a person should attend is determined on an individual basis. It is generally recommended that a person attend a minimum of two times per week in order to see positive results.
Is There a “Buddy System”?
In the first few weeks of class, our coaches will pair you with another boxer who will help you learn the fundamentals, including w here to go, what to do, how to put on your boxing gloves, etc.