We help transform the lives of everyday people by quickly getting them out of pain and back to normal without pills, injections or surgery

What The Heck Is A PT and What Do They Do? Top 7 Things You Didn’t Know.

General, Services January 4, 2022

I get asked questions all of the time including what exactly is a Physical Therapist and what does a PT do? 

In today’s blog  I will cover some of the most common questions we get and hopefully help you make better decisions about your healthcare. 

 One of the most common and pressing questions we receive is:

Is physical therapy for me? 

While that is a very general question the answer needs to be more specific. 

Any type of healthcare decision needs to be made with your specific condition in mind, this is why the experts at MOSS REhabilitation Center always perform an evaluation (assessment) of your condition as well as discuss what you would like to be able to do once you are finished with Physical Therapy. 

Common goals besides getting out of pain, include being able to walk longer, or without a cane/walker. Be able to play with your kids or grandkids without having to take a handful of pills so you can function the next day. Other goals we hear include reaching into overhead cabinets, dressing unassisted and maintaining their independence. 

At MOSS we offer a Free Discovery Visit for those who are not sure if physical therapy can help them. 

We have a simple 3 step process to make it easy for you to get started.  

1. Schedule a FREE NO Obligation, Discovery Visit with one of our experts. During this visit, you will talk with one of our friendly experts about your issues. This is a safe and confidential visit, you can trust that your safety and privacy is important to us. We are taking extra measures to ensure that you remain safe during this pandemic. 

2. Receive a Customized (Individualized) Treatment Plan. Based on your free discovery visit, we will put together a custom, unique to you plan that will address all of your nagging pains and issues. The goal is to get you back to your healthy self as soon as possible while also addressing your issues for the long term. 

3. Get Your Life Back and Do What You Love. The best result for us is a patient who tells us they can finally do what they love without the constant pain, stress, or issue they were facing. Together we can get you back to living life without worry. 

Not only will we create a physical therapy program designed around you and your needs, but we also ensure to provide you with quality education for your long-term health.

What does a Physical Therapist do?

Physical therapist (PT) are trained in the evaluation and treatment of musculoskeletal issues, basically the muscles and joints of the body. 

The experts at MOSS will first assess your condition and then work with you to determine the best course of action. PT’s treat everything from non-operative muscle sprains/strains to more complicated operative procedures like rotator cuff repairs, knee replacements and spinal fusion. 

Over the course of treatment they help to guide you from maximum pain and limitation to zero pain and maximum function, thus allowing you to live the life you want. 

At MOSS I have developed The MAGICAL 5 Phases of healing which consist of 

  1. Minimize Pain and Inflammation
  2. Restore Mobility, Flexibility and Strength
  3. Return to Normal Function and Activity
  4. Maintenance and Injury Prevention
  5. Performance Enhancement

The goal is to help you “Get your life back so you can do what you love”

What type of education does a Physical Therapist have? 

Years ago when I graduated from PT school, therapists were finishing with a Masters degree, that was in 1998. Now PT’s are finishing with a DPT, which is a Doctorate In Physical Therapy. 

This is considered an entry level doctorate but highly qualified to effectively treat your aches and pain. This is considered the base level. 

Other education opportunities include specialty certifications, fellowships and post-professional doctorate degrees. 

For Example: OCS is a type of certification for orthopedic clinical specialists. Therapists take an exam to establish a specialized knowledge in the area of orthopedic conditions. 

FAAOMPT – is a fellowship designation. To achieve this a therapist must complete certain course work as well as work alongside another Physical Therapist who is also a fellow for a designated period of time to work on their clinical skills. The fellow is graded and must complete practical application examinations to receive this certification. 

ScD or PhD are post professional doctoral degrees. While ScD is not as well known it is usually associated with studies in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). While PhDs are awarded to students in every other field. 

These degrees go beyond the entry level DPT degree. Average time to complete either an ScD or PhD program is 6 years. 

So technically you can call your physical therapist “doctor”, if they have the appropriate degree similar to calling your favorite professor in college “Dr.”. 

Do I have to have a referral?

No you do not have to have a referral in order to be seen. This law was changed in September of 2019. 

Physical therapist can actually treat you a number of times without a referral but will eventually need your treating physician to sign off on your plan of care. 

We will send your physician a report once you have completed your initial visit, once your doctor signs off on the report, that will stand as your referral. 

There may also be some other nuances based on your healthcare insurance. It’s best to contact us with all of your information and we can help guide you through this difficult process. 

What will it cost?

This depends on if you have insurance or not? If so, we will have our insurance department verify your benefits so that we can give you an answer for that.

If you will be a private pay patient, we have 3 different direct pay options and our friendly team would be happy to explain each one to you. Once your therapist evaluates you, they will advise you of the package they feel will benefit you most. 

Regardless of the payment method the most important things to consider is getting you feeling better and what your overall goals are: 

Questions to consider:   

  • What can we help you with? 
  • What are your goals? 
  • Why does this matter to you? 
  • How important is it that you address your problem? 
  • Examples we hear often include: avoid surgery, help to get you off of harmful pain medications, avoid future problems, be able to work, play with my kids or grandkids, walk without a cane, enjoy an upcoming vacation.  

How many times do I have to come?

The better question is what do you really want to achieve? 

We utilize  The MAGICAL 5 Phases of healing to help you.  

  1. Minimize Pain and Inflammation
  2. Restore Mobility, Flexibility and Strength
  3. Return to Normal Function and Activity
  4. Maintenance and Injury Prevention
  5. Performance Enhancement

If all you want is to reduce your pain and hope that your problem never comes back then that might be as quick as 3-6 sessions in Phase I. . 

If you are truly interested in fixing your problem and making sure it doesn’t come back then it might be closer to 20+ visits, going through all 5 Phases. 

Either way the first step is meeting with one of our experts who can assess your condition and discuss with you what you would like to accomplish. They will give you their recommendations as to what they feel will benefit you most. 

Our goal is always to get you out of pain, to help you to become stronger and to provide you with a plan so that you continue to stay pain free and get back to the things you enjoy doing. 

What if I cannot afford to come as often as the therapist thinks I should?

Your physical therapist is going to prescribe the most effective plan to help you achieve your goals, similar to your physician prescribing the most effective course of antibiotics for a sinus infection. 

We also know that the sooner you get to feeling better you can return to work and do the things that you love. 

You should ask yourself what is it costing you if it is preventing you from working, not being able to take walks with your spouse, play with your grandkids or forces you to be dependent on family members? 

If you have financial concerns about paying for your therapy sessions then we have several options to help you but the main thing is that  you get your health concerns addressed. 

The longer you let your problems linger the more time and money it will cost you in the future. 

This can lead to frustration, anxiety and chronic pain that spirals out of control. 

There you have it, some of the most common questions we receive in the office regarding physical therapy. If you have additional questions then please call the office and we will be happy to help. 

Next steps: 

If you feel you would really enjoy helping yourself find relief from those annoying aches and pains then I have something for you. 

I have two free reports that you can get simply by calling the office at 817-220-MOSS (6677). 

—How To Choose The Right Physical Therapist

—The 7 Secrets for Permanent Relief From Neck and Back Arthritis. 

NEXT ACTION: Call Us Today if you would like to work with one of our experts, 817-220-MOSS (6677) to schedule a FREE No Obligation Discovery Visit, you will talk with one of our friendly experts about your issues, and learn what can be done to help you.  

To your health,

Dr. Robert Moss PT, ScD, OCS, FAAOMPT

Get Your Life Back So You Can Do What You Love. Call Today!
817-220-MOSS (6677)