Frequently Asked Questions
Is my therapist licensed?
Yes. Physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, occupational therapists, occupational therapist assistants, speech and language pathologists and athletic trainers are licensed by their respective states. You can verify Georgia professional licenses online.
Can I start physical therapy without seeing a doctor first?
Georgia state law allows the patient to receive a physical therapy evaluation without a referral from a doctor. If we determine that physical therapy is necessary, we will request a referral from your doctor before beginning treatment.
How should I dress?
You should wear comfortable exercise attire and supportive footwear. Please keep in mind the area that we will be evaluating and treating. For example, if you have a knee problem, it is best to wear shorts. For a shoulder problem, a tank top is a good choice.
Often times, people change into more comfortable clothing upon arriving at our office. So, if need be, bring a change of clothes and you can get changed in our locker rooms before your appointment. Showers are also available if you plan to return to work following treatment.
What do I need to bring with me?
Make sure you bring your therapy referral (provided to you by your doctor), your driver's license or other photo ID, and your payment information.
If your insurance is covering the cost of therapy, bring your insurance card(s). If you are covered by Workers' Compensation, bring your claim number and your case manager's contact information.
What happens during my first visit?
When you arrive at our office, we will need to get your chart ready. You will have to fill out some paperwork and provide us with your prescription. We will copy your insurance card and photo ID.
The therapist will see you for an initial evaluation. The therapist will discuss the following:
- medical history
- current problems or complaints
- pain intensity and what aggravates or eases the problem
- how the problem impacts your daily activities or limits your function
- your goals for physical therapy
The therapist will then perform the objective evaluation, which may include some of the following:
- Palpation: touching around the area of the pain/problem to check for the presence of tenderness, swelling, soft tissue integrity, tissue temperature, inflammation, etc.
- Range of Motion (ROM): moving the joint(s) to check for the quality of movement and any restrictions.
- Muscle Testing: checking for strength and the quality of the muscle contraction, making note of any pain and weakness. Often the muscle strength is graded.
- Neurological Screening: checking to see how the nerves are communicating with the muscles, sensing touch, pain, vibration or temperature.
- Special Tests: confirm/rule out the presence of additional problems.
- Posture Assessment: checking the positions of joints relative to each other and ideal biomechanics.
Based on the evaluation, the therapist will tailor a treatment program to address your problem(s). This includes how many times you should see the therapist per week, how many weeks you will need therapy, home programs, and short-term/long-term goals.
What will I have to do after therapy?
Some patients will need to continue with home exercises. Some may choose to continue with a fitness exercise program. Others will complete their rehabilitation and return to normal daily activities. It is important that you communicate your goals to your therapist, so he/she can develop a custom program for you.
How long will each treatment last?
Speech therapy sessions are typically 30 minutes each. The speech therapist sees only one patient at a time, so we request that patients are on time and give advanced notice if they are unable to attend so that we can fill any vacancies.
Physical therapy visits are usually 60 - 90 minutes each. Sessions are longer for certain diagnoses.
Occupational therapy sessions usually last 60 - 90 minutes per visit.
Lymphedema treatments last 60 - 90 minutes each. The lymphedema therapists see only one patient at a time, so we require that patients are on time and give at least 24 hours advanced notice of any cancellations so that we can fill any vacancies.
For information on Functional Capacity Evaluation and Impairment Rating appointments, please call.
How many visits will I need?
This is highly variable. You may need one visit, or you may need months of care. It depends on your diagnosis, the severity of your impairments, your past medical history, etc. Your therapist will give you an idea of what to expect after your initial evaluation.
How much will therapy cost?
This will vary depending on the services you receive and the type of coverage you have. Please visit our Patient Financial page for more information.