FAQ

Who uses Physical Therapy? When/why should I go to Physical Therapy?
Physical Therapy can be useful for folks with conditions like back/neck pain, burns, wounds, upcoming surgery, recent surgery, osteoporosis, developmental disabilities, carpal tunnel syndrome, and so many other conditions that limit your ability to move freely and without pain. Check out our SERVICES page to learn more about what treatment options we offer! And check out this great article to learn more about Physical Therapy!

Do I need a physician’s referral for therapy?
Yes and no… it depends on your insurance company. Physical therapists in Maryland are legally allowed to treat patients without a referral so we can provide treatment if you do not have a referral. However, some insurance companies (including Medicare and some Blue Cross Blue Shield plans) require a referral in order for them to cover treatment. We recommend calling your insurance company to inquire if a referral is needed for physical therapy coverage!

What should I bring with me to my first appointment?
Great question! Please bring the following with you to your first appointment:
New Patient Paperwork/Intake Forms
Physician’s Referral
Insurance Card(s)
Photo ID/Drivers License
X-Rays, MRI reports, etc.
Comfortable workout clothing and sneakers/tennis shoes

What paperwork do I need to bring with me? Do I need anything besides my physician’s referral?
Yes! You can download our New Patient Paperwork/Intake forms HERE to print, fill out, and bring with you. Thank you in advance! *If you are unable to print and complete these forms before your first visit, please arrive 15-20 minutes prior to the start of your appointment to complete them in the office (we have copies). This will ensure that you maximize your time with the therapist and minimize the time spent on paperwork during your appointment.

What should I wear to therapy?
In physical therapy you will need to be able to move freely so we recommend comfortable, loose fitting workout clothes. Be mindful of which part of your body we will be working with. For example, if it is your knee/ankle/calf/foot, please bring shorts that will allow us to look at it.

How long is each session?
Your initial session will take every bit of a full hour, we frequently asked patients to come in 10 to 15 minutes early to complete some paperwork. Follow-up sessions will usually be 60 minutes +/- 15 minutes.

Will I be sore afterwards?
Maybe! There is the possibility of delayed onset muscle soreness after a session or after doing your home program . At the initial evaluation we are assessing movement, strength , gait and pain which may provoke some soreness. Our goal is to ultimately make you less sore and make movement less painful… but sometimes along the way you do get sore. We sometimes like to use the phrase “one step backwards, 2 steps forward.”

What should I expect after my first visit?
After your first visit we will work with your schedule and the therapist recommendations to schedule your next session(s). The second visit is when we really start to address the pain and dysfunction that was identified at your initial evaluation. It usually incorporates manual therapy, exercise, muscle and movement re-education.

Will you keep in touch with my physician?
Yes! After our first visit together we send the referring physician the precise measurements from the initiation, and our specific recommendations and treatment plans. We are in communication throughout your therapy with updates/progress notes prior to your follow-up visit with your physician.

How long will I need physical therapy?
As you can imagine the answer to this question varies from one condition to another as well as from one patient to the next. We like to try to get our patients better within 10 to 12 visits on a 2-3 visits per week basis. The average length of treatment is 5 to 8 weeks of therapy.

Will I see the same physical therapist every time?
Once your initial evaluation has been scheduled with a specific physical therapist (PT), that therapist will always be in charge of your care. Each PT works very closely with a physical therapy assistant (PTA) and, as a team, the two of them are able to effectively manage your care and allow you the greatest freedom of convenient time slots on the schedule book. This team will see you for the duration of your visit.

Will my insurance cover my physical therapy?  
Patterson physical therapy is “in network” with the following insurance companies:

  • Medicare
  • Johns Hopkins EHP
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield: BCBS has many different plans. Each plan typically has a deductible which must be met before the insurance company starts paying. Different plans have different amounts that must be met before paying. Once the deductible has been met the insurance company will start paying. We recommend calling them to see what your deductible is so that we can plan accordingly.

Will I have to exercise and do stuff on my own or can you all wave your magic wand and make everything better? Boy do we do wish we were magic! Unfortunately we are all muggles here. Getting better will require a true commitment to yourself and your treatment. This means being diligent with your Home Exercise Plan, challenging yourself, being honest with us and yourself, living a healthy lifestyle, and doing your best in each appointment. “Nothing will work unless you do.” Let’s get to work!