Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why should I consider physical therapy?
Physical therapy is a natural and conservative effort to eliminate physical problems. It works to uncover the underlying cause of pain and limitation. Treating the cause (along with extensive patient education, training of proper habits, posture, and home exercise) results in full healing and a decreased likelihood of reoccurrence. This is usually an excellent option before giving up on physical activity, taking long-term painkillers, or undergoing surgery.
2. What does physical therapy do?
The primary purpose of physical therapy is to restore function, and this occurs on two levels. On a general level, physical therapy works to return the patient to his/her specific work, recreation, or other activities. This could be running a marathon, lifting a child, or restoring the ability to climb stairs. Accomplishing these goals requires locating and correcting specific dysfunctions (i.e. muscle strains, ligament damage, joint immobility, muscle imbalances, posture/habits, etc.).
3. Why Kentwood Physical Therapy?
Kentwood Physical Therapy is owned and operated by physical therapists who have designed a system centered, first and foremost, on success of the patient and therapist. Initial evaluations are scheduled up to 1.5 hours and subsequent visits are up to 45 minutes—all with a licensed and trained physical therapist. All physical therapy is performed in a one-on-one manner. There is no delegation to assistants nor aides. The physical therapists at KPT are trained in a unique form of hands-on therapy, which uses a scientific method to determine the best approach to recovery. Patients are reevaluated several times per session to verify results and ascertain when and how much to progress the treatment. Also, KPT has excellent hours, including early mornings and evenings.
4. What do you have to do to begin physical therapy?
Currently, in Michigan, a physician diagnosis is required to receive any physical therapy services: The first step is to call your doctor’s office and schedule an appointment. Any time during your appointment, you may ask about the possibility of obtaining a prescription for physical therapy. The physician may want to order further testing and/or refer you to a specialist before writing a prescription, which may be helpful in our treatment approach. Once the prescription has been written, you are free to take the prescription to any physical therapy clinic of your choice. To schedule an appointment you may either call us at (616) 455-3535 or stop into our location on the northwest corner of Kalamazoo and 60th Street in Kentwood.
5. Is physical therapy covered by insurance?
Most of the time, physical therapy is a covered benefit, and we do participate with most insurance companies. We do verify your benefits as a courtesy. However, as a general rule, it is a good idea to double check your benefits on your own. What your insurance company covers and what you are responsible for is a contract between you and your insurance company. Usually, you will have some sort of co-pay or co-insurance that will be collected each visit.
6. How long will I receive physical therapy?
After we evaluate your condition on the first appointment, we will have a better idea of your expected duration. We usually get best results when we see you consistently at 2-3 times per week and when you comply with your home exercise program. Adherence to these factors will help get you better as quickly as possible.
7. How long will each appointment last?
We schedule up to 1.5 hours on the initial evaluation and will use it if we need it, but often your evaluation and first treatment will be completed in around an hour. Subsequent visits usually average between 35-40 minutes, depending on your needs.
8. What are your hours of operation?
Our typical business hours are as follows:
M & W: 7:00 a.m. - 6:15 p.m.
T & TH: 6:15am – 6:15 p.m.
Fri: 7:00am – 5:30 p.m.
9. What should I wear to my appointment?
Loose fitting, comfortable clothes are recommended. Shorts are helpful for working on knees and ankles, and sleeveless shirts for shoulders. We do have a locker room for changing.
10. What should I bring on my initial visit?
Please bring your doctor’s orders, insurance card, any applicable insurance referrals or billing numbers, and any other appropriate billing information.
11. On my first visit, what should I expect?
To initiate physical therapy, the physical therapist will fully examine the patient. This includes obtaining a patient history and performing a full physical evaluation to the relevant body parts. Usually, the first treatment will be administered immediately following the evaluation.
12. What will my treatments consist of?
Your treatment will be specifically tailored to your individual dysfunctions as well as your goals. It will likely include some or all of the following:
- Manual therapy techniques, including joint and soft tissue mobilization
- Therapeutic exercise involving stretching, strengthening, and endurance training
- Biomechanical and postural retraining
- Gait evaluation and training for walking or running
- Neuromuscular re-education and balance re-training
- Return to work or sport training
- Physical agents, mechanical, electrotherapeutic, and/or thermal modalities
- Home exercise program