general questions

  • What are the educational requirements for becoming a PT?
  • What are the license requirements for becoming a PT?
  • What should I expect on my first visit?
  • What types of interventions may I receive?
  • How is my progress measured?
  • Will I need follow-up or maintenance care?
  • Is it OK to ask my doctor about physical therapy?
All physical therapists must receive a graduate degree from an accredited physical therapist program before taking the national license exam that allows them to practice. Physical therapists have the most specialized education to help people restore and improve motion. Today's physical therapist is required to complete a graduate degree - either a masters or clinical doctorate - from an accredited education program.
After graduation, candidates must pass a state-administered national exam. Other requirements for physical therapy practice vary from state to state according to physical therapy practice acts or state regulations governing physical therapy.
On your first visit, the physical therapist will perform a thorough evaluation lasting approximately 45-60 minutes and includes history, postural assessment, neurological screening, and tests and measures to gain a more specific understanding of your condition. Your physical therapist will use the information obtained from your evaluation to formulate a clinical judgment as to your prognosis and appropriate treatment intervention. A rehabilitation program will be developed based upon the problems identified and the individual patients personal goals.
The interventions you receive will depend on what the physical therapist finds in the evaluation. Most physical therapy plans of care will include therapeutic exercise and functional training in sport, work, or home related tasks. Other interventions might include manual therapy techniques, orthotics, electrical stimulation, ultrasound, low-level laser therapy, bio-mechanical and postural reeducation, and ergonomic analysis.

Our intervention programs include coordination among all people involved in your care (other health care professionals, family, friends, caregivers, and others), communication to ensure a good exchange of information, thorough documentation of the care and services provided, and instruction to you and others involved in your care.
Because your physical therapist will perform a meticulous examination/evaluation, quantifying and qualifying all the deficits and problems you are presented with, evaluation to determine progress are possible. You will be reevaluated every 30 days or just prior to your follow-up consultation with your referring physician. A complete reevaluation will be performed that includes all tests and measures that had been performed upon your initial evaluation. This new data can be directly compared to your baseline measurements to demonstrate both subjective and objective improvements. Continuation of your therapy will be dependent upon the results of your reevaluation, insurance authorization, and physician approval. All reevaluations will be sent to your referring physician prior to your follow-up consultation so that they can review your progress.
The answer depends entirely on the physical therapist's examination/ evaluation to determine your diagnosis and prognosis. All patients upon discharge from their formal Physical Therapy program would benefit from continuation of their program through a maintenance plan. Discuss this plan of action with your Physical Therapist prior to your discharge.
Absolutely. If you have a problem that you think can be helped with physical therapy, feel free to give us a call. After discussing the specific problem, we can give you a better idea if it is something that is manageable with physical therapy. You can also give your doctor a call. If they are not sure, they are welcome to contact us to discuss the possibility. If you feel physical therapy can be helpful to you, you should stress your feelings to the doctor you are seeing.
Physical Therapy, Newark, NJ

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I wear?

In general, be sure to bring loose-fitting comfortable attire (T-shirts, shorts, athletic shoes, etc.) to allow for evaluation and movement. In the event that you forget to wear appropriate attire, cloth gowns are available for patients with shoulder, neck or back injuries. Patients with hip, knee, ankle, or foot injury should wear shorts or loose fitting pants to allow proper exposure. Female patients with shoulder dysfunction should wear a tank top or a loose fitting short sleeved shirt to minimize the necessity for a gown while allowing adequate exposure of the shoulder girdle complex.

What should I bring with me?

For your first visit you will need your insurance card, and any paperwork that was sent to you that needed to be filled out. If you have any operative reports, MRI or X-ray results, and you may bring those as well. Additionally, if you are utilizing any type of brace, splint, or crutches, those should come with you.

Why should I choose physical therapy?

In physical therapy, the goals should be to resolve your problem, not just temporarily relieve it. Although medication and other forms of treatment can be helpful in relieving symptoms, physical therapy produces a long-term result. The physician may opt to utilize medication in conjunction with physical therapy depending on your diagnosis. Additionally, physical therapy unlike some other forms of treatment, is not designed to go on as a maintenance program. Because we look to resolution, maintenance is not generally necessary.

What is my responsibility in physical therapy?

Each patient is ultimately responsible for their success in their rehabilitation program. Your physical therapist cannot do it without you! We can provide you with the tools to recover but we ask that all patients and clients cooperate by following through with their home exercise programs and instructions. Your recovery is greatly dependent upon your compliance with your Physical Therapy program. Please help us to help YOU.

How long will I need therapy and how often will I need to come to P.T.?

That depends on many factors. Many times your doctor will prescribe how often and/or how long you should receive physical therapy. Occasionally, insurance companies dictate this. But mostly your therapist will predict how often and how long you may need P.T. based on the findings at your initial evaluation.

What education requirements/standards do your therapists have/need/possess?

All physical therapists must graduate from an Accredited Physical Therapy Program at the University level. As a graduate Physical therapists must pass a National State Board Licensure Examination and possess an active state license for the state which they will practice in. Therapists are required by the State Board of Professional Regulation to maintain and increase their level of education through continuing education courses each year.

Can my spouse/significant other/caregiver come with me to P.T.?

It would be very appropriate for you to bring with you who ever will be assisting you at home in any way. With a family member, significant other and/or caregiver your therapist will be better able to assist you with a comprehensive home program and/or teach someone else how to better help you at home in your own environment.

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