What is physical therapy?

Physical therapy is directed by highly educated, licensed physical therapists and aims at treating clients and patients utilizing non-invasive treatment methods designed to reduce pain, increase strength and range motion, and overall, to restore function. Often, these treatments can eliminate the need for surgical intervention and can help individuals limit prescription drug usage.

What kind of treatments do physical therapists do?

Physical therapy may consist of treatments involving manual “hands-on” techniques such as joint mobilizations, postural corrections, soft tissue work to muscle and fascia, dry needling or cupping, as well as a targeted exercise program to improve motion, strength and mechanics. Modalities, such as ultrasound and electrical stimulation, may be performed for symptom reduction, but are not typically the focus of your treatment.

Do I need a referral?

No. Maine is a direct access state, meaning that you do not need a physician’s referral to see a physical therapist.

What do I need to know about my first appointment?

Your first appointment is an evaluative session and is typically an hour long. Your physical therapist will review your medical history, history of your injury, and assess your function at that time. Once the evaluation process has completed, your therapist will discuss their findings with you, discuss treatment options and anticipated outcome, and often you can receive treatment the same day if time allows.

What time should I arrive?

It is best to try to arrive for your first session about 15 minutes early in order to complete paperwork. All other visits you can arrive right at your scheduled treatment time.

How do I know if I need physical therapy?

Typically, if you have pain that will not subside, balance dysfunction or dizziness that is placing you at risk for injury, a movement restriction that makes daily tasks difficult, or any other limitation affecting your daily function, then it may be time to see a physical therapist. It is important not to wait too long, as that can make your rate of recovery longer.

When my doctor recommends physical therapy do I have a choice in providers?

Yes. You have a choice of where you would like to go to receive physical therapy services. Your doctor may make a recommendation of a clinic, however, you do have freedom of choice.