Frequently Asked Questions at New Heights
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How much will physical therapy cost?
The cost of therapy depends on the nature of your injury, the results of our initial evaluation, and what you want to accomplish. We can give you an estimate of the cost and length of treatment after you have come in for your initial evaluation.
2. Will my physical therapy be covered by insurance?
Yes, probably. A large number of insurance plans cover physical therapy treatment. Check with your insurance plan administrator or call our clinic – (503) 236.3108 – to find out if physical therapy is covered by your insurance.
3. How long will it take for me to get better?
How quickly you recover is determined by many factors unique to you. These factors include the extent of damaged tissue, how long you have had the injury, your nutritional habits, your emotional state, the state of your immune and endocrine systems, your genetic predisposition and other factors. We will review these factors with you when you come in for your evaluation. If appropriate, we can refer you to a physician or other practitioner who can address specific needs. Your body’s response to exercises and manual techniques will also help us to estimate how long it could take for you to regain function.
4. How many times will I need to come in?
After your evaluation, you and your therapist will determine the number of times you will need to be seen. The extent and seriousness of your injury will be a primary consideration for determining the amount of treatment you will need. On average, we see clients 1-2 times a week for 4-8 weeks.
5. Why should I receive physical therapy for my injury?
Physical therapy assists your body to make a complete recovery and restore you to full function. This is accomplished by designing a very specific treatment program for the injured area. A physical injury damages your muscles, nerves, ligaments, cartilage, tendons, and blood vessels. It is a big challenge for your body to restore everything back to normal. In fact, the repair process may not be fully completed. Even if the pain is gone, you may develop scar tissue, adhesions, or a weak tissue structure that is susceptible to re-injury.
You should get physical therapy for an injury for the same reason that you would see an orthopedist for a broken leg. Your broken leg could heal completely by itself without professional assistance – but not as quickly – and the healed leg may end up deformed and not very functional. Physical therapy shortens your healing process and helps you recover more completely. You shouldn’t postpone getting physical therapy for the same reason you wouldn’t postpone seeing a doctor for your broken leg. Putting off therapy leads to continued inflammation and pain, unnecessary scar tissue, and increased risk of re-injury.
6. How long will I need to do specific exercises?
The length of any specific exercise program depends on the stage of your injury and the overall health of your connective tissue. Generally, you will have reduced pain within 1-2 weeks on an exercise program. However, it is important to remember that connective tissue cellular repair takes up to one year. Most of our clients progress to an independent home exercise program that they continue to do 1-2 times per week after finishing therapy in the clinic. Remember that being out of pain is only the first step to your complete recovery.
7. Can I continue my regular exercises?
A skilled and experienced physical therapist will carefully evaluate the extent and nature of your injury, as well as your ability and desire to exercise. We will probably prescribe a specific rehabilitation exercise program for you until you have recovered from your injury. However, if we think continuing your regular exercise program would be beneficial, we will encourage you to continue.
8. Is “no pain, no gain” true for physical therapy?
No pain, no gain” is a misconception. Physical therapy for injuries is not the same as physical training for competitive sports. Pain causes muscle contraction and guarding, inflammation, and restricted range of motion. This leads to continuation of the pain cycle and inappropriate movement patterns that can lead to further injury. In addition, chronic inflammation weakens connective tissue and leads to scar tissue formation. This is why our physical therapy programs are designed to avoid pain.
9. How much activity is “too much”?
After an injury, your activity level may initially need to be modified. This is to allow optimal healing and prevention of re-injury. You will know you are doing too much if you experience pain. The pain response may occur immediately, or could be delayed for as long as 24-48 hours. A good rule of thumb is to increase your activity level gradually under the supervision of your therapist. Ultimately, the goal of your physical therapy is to allow you to return to your prior activities without pain.
10. Can my pain be controlled without pain medication?
With connective tissue injury, pain starts because your tissue is structurally stressed or inflamed. We can help you reduce inflammation by prescribing circulation exercises to flush inflammatory substances out of the injured area. This in itself will diminish your pain. Then, by rebuilding the tissues and eliminating poor joint biomechanics, we can further diminish your pain or even eliminate it.
11. What is pain?
Pain is a response that travels to your brain by way of your nervous system. Your nerves are like little sensors all over your body. Once they become stimulated, an electrical signal travels to your brain to let you know something is wrong. This is “pain”.
Your nerve sensors are stimulated by a variety of things. One is the deformation of tissue beyond its normal limit. All of your tissues have a normal range to which they are accustomed. Beyond that limit your sensors will send a pain signal to your brain. If you have inflamed, swollen tissue, you have a lot of undesirable biochemicals residing in the injured area. These chemicals will also activate your pain sensors. Your sensors can also be activated by a temperature of 109 degrees (Fahrenheit) or higher in your body. Therefore, a fever will activate the sensors, causing pain and an achy feeling.
Part of our therapy is geared to “turning off” your sensors and thus reducing pain.
12. Do you treat chronic pain, myofascial pain, fibromyalgia, or chronic fatigue syndrome?
Yes. Chronic pain is a complex syndrome involving your connective tissue, circulatory and nervous systems, endocrine system, nutritional status, immune system, and your emotional state. It may be caused by physical trauma, emotional trauma, toxicity, chemical sensitivity, or endocrine or digestive disorders. The New Heights staff is trained to understand chronic pain syndromes and has developed therapies to promote healing and reduce pain. We are experienced in treating chronic pain, myofascial pain, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Physical therapy can lower your pain threshold by reducing your nervous system sensitivity. It can also promote circulation to enhance oxygenation of your tissues. This reduces pain-causing biochemicals and muscle spasms. Research has shown that gentle prescribed exercises can help reduce your pain levels. We are also careful not to increase your pain while undergoing physical therapy. Trying to do too much too soon could increase your tension, stiffness and inflammation. Because chronic pain can have a number of causes, we often work as a team with medical doctors, naturopathic physicians, or chiropractic physicians to better assist you with pain management.
13. Can I begin physical therapy if I’m seeing a chiropractor or other provider?
Yes, physical therapy is effective in conjunction with treatment provided by other providers. We believe in communicating and working closely with your other providers to optimize your recovery.
14. Who can refer to a physical therpist?
Medical doctors, chiropractors, naturopathic physicians, nurse practitioners, acupuncturists and osteopathic doctors can refer you for physical therapy. Due to our special training you can also refer yourself without a doctor’s prescription.
15. What should I wear to my appointment?
Wear loose, comfortable clothing. If you have a low back or knee injury, bring a pair of shorts or sweatpants.
16. Do you use ultrasound or hot packs?
Ultrasound and hot packs are thermal agents that increase inflammation. While they may temporarily decrease pain they can ultimately weaken connective tissue, which increases risk of re-injury. We use microcurrent and S.T.E.P. exercises to increase circulation and decrease pain.[/wpspoiler]
18. Is there parking by the clinic?
At our Portland location, street parking is available directly outside our clinic and in the surrounding neighborhood. It is not metered. At our Vancouver location, there is also street parking available directly outside our clinic and in the surrounding area. However, some parking is metered.
19. What does “MOMT” mean?
“MOMT” listed after your therapist’s name indicates that your therapist has earned a Masters degree in Orthopedic Manual Therapy from the Ola Grimsby Institute. This means that your therapist has advanced training only achieved by 2% of all physical therapists in the country.
20. Is there a list of definitions for other abbreviations?
Yes. Here is a list of common abbreviations and their definitions:
- AAOMT: American Association of Manual Physical Therapy
- APTA: American Physical Therapy Association
- COMT: Certification in Orthopedic Manual Therapy
- DPT: Doctor of Physical Therapy
- FAAOMT: Fellow of the American Association of Manual Therapy
- FCAMT: Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Manipulative Therapy
- LMT: Licensed Massage Therapist
- MOMT: Master’s Degree Orthopedic Manual Therapy
- MPT: Master of Physical Therapy
- MSPT: Master of Science in Physical Therapy
- NAIOMT: North American Institute of Orthopedic Manual Therapy
- OCS: Orthopedic Clinical Specialist
- OGI: Ola Grimsby Institute
- PT: Physical Therapist
- PTA: Physical Therapy Assistant
- STEP: Scientific Therapeutic Exercise Progressions
21. How do I get to the clinic?
New Heights Physical Therapy Plus is proud to offer three locations for your physical therapy needs.
5736 NE Glisan St.
New Heights Physical Therapy Plus Portland is located on the south side of NE Glisan between NE 57th and NE 58th. For a map and directions, click here. For alternative Transportation, click here. Please note that by clicking on these links, you will leave the New Heights web site and enter a privately owned web site.
1700 Broadway St., Suite 101
New Heights Physical Therapy Plus Vancouver is located on the west side of Broadway St. between 17th and 18th. For a map and directions, click here. For alternative Transportation, click here. Please note that by clicking on these links, you will leave the New Heights web site and enter a privately owned web site.
22. How do I schedule an appointment?
For our Portland location call 503.236.3108 or for Vancouver call 360.737.3346 to schedule a one hour evaluation or a free consultation.
To find out more about what to expect from our clinic, click here.