What is physical therapy?
What is a physical therapist?
Physical therapists (PTs) are highly-educated, licensed health care professionals who can help patients reduce pain and improve or restore mobility - in many cases without expensive surgery and often reducing the need for long-term use of prescription medications and their side effects.
Physical therapists can teach patients how to prevent or manage their condition so that they will achieve long-term health benefits. PTs examine each individual and develop a plan, using treatment techniques to promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability. In addition, PTs work with individuals to prevent the loss of mobility before it occurs by developing fitness- and wellness-oriented programs for healthier and more active lifestyles.
What kind of education do physical therapists receive?
Physical therapists receive 3 years of gradate school education and earn the degree of Master or Doctor of Physical Therapy. Physical therapists are licensed by the state of California.
How do I know if physical therapy is right for me?
If you experience pain, stiffness, weakness, or other challenges that limits your ability to move properly, you may be a candidate for physical therapy! Sometimes, systemic or medical conditions can present as joint or muscle pain. During your evaluation, we will conduct a screening to determine if physical therapy is the appropriate treatment for you. If not, we will refer to you to an appropriate provider.
Do I need a referral or prescription?
In the state of California, you have Direct Access to physical therapy, meaning you do not need a referral or prescription to see a physical therapist. Most PPO insurance allows you to see a physical therapist without a referral or prescription. Some insurance companies do require a referral or prescription in order for your physical therapy visit to be covered. You can contact your insurance company to learn about your coverage benefits. We can also contact them on your behalf. Please give our office a call at 805-876-4176 or email us at office@plexusphysicaltherapy.
Will I see the same physical therapist for all of my visits?
Having the same therapist who is familiar with your condition, history, and progress will be very helpful for your success. You will see the same physical therapist at every appointment. If for some reason your therapist is unavailable, we will, with your permission, have another well prepared therapist assist with your care.
When should I arrive for my first visit?
Arriving 15 minutes early will allow adequate time for first visit paperwork. You can also obtain the forms in electronic forms and fill them out ahead of time. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to request new patient forms.
What should I wear for my first visit?
Please wear comfortable clothing that allows easy examination of affected body parts. For shoulder and arm conditions, short sleeve tees and tank tops are helpful. For leg conditions, shorts would be best.
What should I bring for my first visit?
ID, insurance, prescription and referrals if available. If you have any prior x-ray, MRI, nerve testing results you are welcome to bring those as well.
How long will my visit last?
Visits typically last between 45 minutes to 1 hour. If you have scheduling difficulties please let your therapist know.
How many sessions will I need? Will I have?
We will perform a thorough evaluation and collaborate with you & your doctor to determine a plan of care to help you in the most efficient manner. You will find out the frequency and number of visits on your first visit.
Will insurance cover my visit?
In most cases, your insurance will cover some portion of your physical therapy visit. We accept all major PPO insurance. We will be happy to contact you insurance company to help you learn about the benefits eligible to you. We are in-network providers with:
Optum / United Healthcare
We also work with worker's compensation, personal injury, and automobile accident coverage. Please call us at 805-290-1994 to inquire about these situations.
What form of payment do you accept?
We accept cash, check, debit, and all major credit cards. We are happy to discuss payment plan options as well.
After physical therapy:
Do you have any programs to help me stay healthy once I'm better?
We have several group exercise programs, often involving Taichi and other holistic exercise to help you maintain and further improve your health. Please see our Classes section for details.