1.  Do I need to see a Doctor before I see a physical therapist?

Answer: In the state of Virginia, it depends on your insurance company and if the physical therapist has a doctorate in PT or has been certified for Direct Access. At NWC, Agnes Schrider has been certified for Direct Access and Steve Berkey has a doctorate in PT.

It also depends on your insurance company. Medicare requires a physician’s referral to start PT and the referral is good for 60 days. During your rehabilitation, if your care goes over 60 days from the date of the referral, your PT can document the need for additional PT and get that update signed by the doctor for more PT.

With some private insurances, a visit to the doctor for a musculoskeletal ailment. The best route to take is to call your insurance if it is not specified in your plan before starting PT.

2. How soon after an injury should I start PT?

Answer: If your ache or soreness is not gone after 2-3 weeks, then that is a good time to seek medical attention. Typically, the pain reduces but there may be remaining compensatory movements, restrictions or posturing which your physical therapist can help you with.

3. What is the Fitness Assessment?

The Fitness Assessment is a 90 minute evaluation that consists of a musculoskeletal exam, vital signs, biometrics for fat, girth, strength and flexibility testing and an endurance test. From the test results, your individualized exercise program is designed with your personal objective and measurable goals. The personal trainer meets with you to discuss and set reasonable goals and coaches you in your program. The results are compiled and forwarded to your primary care physician. It is an ideal to get an annual fitness assessment to advance your exercise program as a part of your personal health profile.

4. What are the benefits of having a personal trainer?

There are many. Even the best athletes have a coach and your personal trainer is your coach to teach you and help you progress your program. A personal trainer helps to keep you accountable to exercise so you don’t go for periods without exercise. A personal trainer offers you support and guidance.