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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is physical therapy?

    Physical therapy is a medical, hands-on approach to relieving pain and restoring function. Physical therapists are medical experts in musculoskeletal and neurological conditions and work closely with physicians. Our physical therapists evaluate your movement patterns, identify the cause of your pain, and work to eliminate it.

    While every patient’s condition and pain is unique, your physical therapist will use a variety of gentle hands-on techniques, exercises, and equipment to relieve pain quickly and restore your function to optimum levels. The overall goal is to restore pain-free mobility and function and to prevent the injury or pain from recurring.

  • What should I expect during physical therapy treatment?

    What can Physical Therapy do for my pain?

    At your first appointment, the physical therapist will:

    • Perform an evaluation to determine a baseline status for the tissues to be treated including range of motion, strength, balance
    • Discuss with you and set appropriate goals that are function based that will guide further treatment sessions.
    • At follow up visits, the physical therapist will use various treatment techniques such as modalities, manual therapy, therapeutic exercise, and patient education to achieve the functional goals that have been determined at the time of the initial evaluation.

     

    How many visits will it take?

    Typically a session of physical therapy is approximately 6-8 visits.

    • During those 6-8 visits your therapy team will have instructed you with various tools to gain a greater understanding of your pain. You will be taught strategies and see opportunities to help yourself and become less dependent on healthcare providers.

     

    What can I do to help myself?

    Are we ever glad you asked! One of our goals in physical therapy is instructing you in how to manage your pain. We will provide you with resources to better understand your pain as well as knowledge and exercises with appropriate progression to improve your current level of function. We are here to support you as you begin this journey in improving your health!

    • There is a lot of research that indicates that people in pain are interested in knowing more about their pain. In studies where patients go through education sessions and gain a deeper understanding of their pain it was found that they have less fear, better attitudes about pain, move easier, have the ability to work more despite slight discomfort, have the ability to exercise more, and have less nerve sensitivity.
  • What should I expect during occupational therapy treatment?

    What can Occupational Therapy do for my pain?

    At your first appointment, the occupational therapist will:

    • Perform an evaluation to determine a baseline status for the tissues to be treated including range of motion, strength, balance
    • Discuss with you and set appropriate goals that are function based that will guide further treatment sessions.
    • At follow up visits, the occupational therapist will use various treatment techniques such as modalities, manual therapy, therapeutic exercise, and patient education to achieve the functional goals that have been determined at the time of the initial evaluation.

     

    How many visits will it take?

    Typically a session of occupational therapy is approximately 6-8 visits.

    • During those 6-8 visits your therapy team will have instructed you with various tools to gain a greater understanding of your pain. You will be taught strategies and see opportunities to help yourself and become less dependent on healthcare providers.

     

    What can I do to help myself?

    Are we ever glad you asked! One of our goals in occupational therapy is instructing you in how to manage your pain. We will provide you with resources to better understand your pain as well as knowledge and exercises with appropriate progression to improve your current level of function. We are here to support you as you begin this journey in improving your health!

    • There is a lot of research that indicates that people in pain are interested in knowing more about their pain. In studies where patients go through education sessions and gain a deeper understanding of their pain it was found that they have less fear, better attitudes about pain, move easier, have the ability to work more despite slight discomfort, have the ability to exercise more, and have less nerve sensitivity.
  • Why do I have pain?

    Pain is described by the International Association for the study of Pain as an “unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage.”

    Pain is a natural occurring phenomenon to protect us from danger. For example, if we place our hand near a burner, the pain we feel urges us to remove our hand from the stimuli before tissue damage can occur. The neuroscience approach to understanding pain hopes to explain why pain persists long after the danger and tissue healing has occurred. The brain is a complex organ that must filter thousands of pieces of information every second. Having a sensitive nervous system and how the brain processes this information directly will affect the levels of pain felt.

    Pain is a normal human experience, living in pain is not.

    Research has demonstrated that the more you know about your pain and the factors that are a part of the pain the better you are at understanding how to deal with the sensitive nervous system. Our role as Physical and Occupational therapists is to bring this understanding to you. This will allow you to ask more questions, learn more about your nervous system and make changes in your life to reduce discomfort and more importantly take back your life from the pain that you have been experiencing.

    The topics discussed may include:

    1. Where do we feel pain?
    2. What is the purpose of pain?
    3. What are the types of pain?
    4. What is the brain’s role in pain?
    5. What is the nervous system’s role in pain?
    6. How your treatment can allow you to take back your life from pain?
  • How do I know if physical therapy will help me?

    Working with you and your doctor, we can discuss your options and help determine if physical therapy will be the right choice for you. Contact us today to discuss your current condition and even set up a free consultation if you choose.

  • Can I go to any physical therapy I choose?

    As a patient you have the right to receive physical therapy at any place you choose. At St. Francis Rehab and Sports Medicine, you will receive the highest quality care while achieving the results you need. We pride ourselves on providing a positive, encouraging environment with well-trained, friendly staff. We are confident in our ability to help you reach your goals and live a pain-free life.

  • How do I schedule an appointment?

    Our scheduling is easy and we offer 4 convenient locations and appointment times for you. We have morning and evening appointments available to meet the demands of your busy schedule. Call us today at 952-428-2001.

  • What should I bring to my first appointment?

    Please have your prescription and insurance card available when you call. This will allow us to verify your insurance benefits and provide you with an estimate of coverage.

    To bring on your first visit:

    • A prescription (if needed) for physical therapy from your referring physician, ARNP, or PA.
    • Insurance information (we will make a copy of your card).
    • Photo ID.
    • Print out the patient forms, fill them out, and bring them with you.
    • In case of an automobile accident or worker’s compensation claim, also bring any case manager or insurance adjuster contact names, phone numbers, and claim number.
    • Please arrive 15 minutes early to complete any remaining paperwork, so you can maximize your time in your evaluation.
    • Please wear comfortable clothing that allows easy access to your problem areas.
  • Will it hurt?

    Physical therapy is not meant to hurt, but to relieve pain. However, as you restore your mobility, pain levels, at times can fluctuate. You might experience some temporary soreness from using muscles that are weakened or recovering. This is a normal response to therapy treatment. Good communication with your therapist will help minimize any discomfort. We want you on your way to quick pain relief and back to normal activities.

  • Does insurance cover my treatment?

    Yes, in most cases it does. We always encourage you to check with your insurance provider for specific answers. We will be happy to assist you if you are unsure about the process.

  • What if I don’t have insurance?

    St. Francis regional Medical Center employs 2 financial counselors in the Emergency Department. It is their job to help patients find a government program or other payment options to help them meet their medical costs in light of difficult financial situations.

     

    Any patient who has been or is going to be a patient at St. Francis can call for information, applications and assistance with these programs. If an interpreter is needed, that can be easily arranged.

     

    There are several types of medical assistance. The best option for eligible uninsured patients is government-funded medical assistance. If a patient is not eligible for these programs, St. Francis offers its own Community Care Program. The Community Care Program assists patients who do not qualify for medical assistance (Medicaid) and whose annual incomes are at or below 275 percent of the federal poverty level. The Community Care Program may also be beneficial to patients who have health insurance but are not able to afford what their insurance does not cover.

     

    Providing convenient access to necessary medical care regardless of the patient’s ability to pay is important to St. Francis and its mission.

     

    Contact Us

    • For billing questions: 612.262.9000
    • For self-pay and qualifying for assistance: 952.428.2569
  • What type of payment do you accept?

    We accept cash, check, debit card, and credit card. It is our policy that payment is made at the time of service. Your insurance benefits will be determined before your second visit, and you will be informed of what, if any, payment is necessary on that date.

  • What do I wear?

    Dress comfortably with clothes that allow easy access for the therapist to examine your problem areas. For treatments, loose fitting clothes that are comfortable for gentle exercises and supportive sneakers are often good choices to wear.

  • How long will my therapy sessions last?

    Typically, the first session is scheduled for 1 hour. Each session after that may be 30-60 minutes. The amount of time will be based on your specific needs, and your therapist will discuss this with you.

  • How many sessions will I have?

    Each patient’s diagnosis is different, so together with your referring physician, your therapist will develop a plan of care that is right for you. Your plan of care and number of visits will be determined during your first visit and explained to you by your physical therapist.

  • What types of education/training do your therapists have?

    Physical therapists have years of university level training in anatomy, physiology, kinesiology (study of joint movement), neurology, and many of the other medical sciences. Our physical therapists have graduated from accredited physical therapy programs and are state licensed. Depending on the university, the physical therapy program is either a masters or doctorate level degree. Rest assured, your therapist is well trained to evaluate and treat your condition.

  • Do you offer programs for me once I’m better?

    Yes, once you have completed your therapy sessions, your therapist will review your continuing home program. We offer several wellness programs to fit your needs. See the program offering listed below.

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