Do I need a referral for my physical therapy appointment?
No. Illinois is considered a state with direct access. This means you can have access to physical therapy services without a referral or perscription from a doctor.
Although the Illinois law does not require a referral, your health care provider does need to be notified that you are receiving care for physical therapy. Because of this we will ask you to provide the name and contact information for your primary care physician in your initial paperwork.
A referral from your physician can also assist in providing you with the highest reimbursment from your insurance provider.
What should I expect for my first appointment?
Your first session will be 60 minutes, one-on-one with your Doctor. You will discuss your history, current concerns, and goals. Your Doctor will perform a comprehensive evaluation, which will look at your strength, range of motion, and muscle function externally. An internal examination of the pelvic floor is also likely to be performed in order to provide a thorough understanding of your concerns. You will receive a small treatment during this time, and then both of you will determine what the best plan of care is going forward.
Is an internal examination necessary? I already had a gynecological exam.
An internal pelvic floor examination is different than one performed by a gynecologist. Physical therapists are experts in the musculoskeletal system, and thus our exams support that. Doctors of Physical Therapy examine to see if the muscles are weak, the coordination of how they contract and relax, and muscle tone to determine if they are tight or lax. Gynecologists may assess for signs of infection, swelling, or tissue abnormalities.
What should I wear to physical therapy?
Wear something you are comfortable to move around in and perform exercises.
Should I attend if I am on my menstural cycle?
Yes. We are still able to provide other beneficial services such as external manual therapy, therapeutic exercise, and self-care education. If you are comfortable we are also able to perform internal manual work. If you have any questions do not hesitate to email or call us with concerns.
Isn't pelvic physical therapy just kegels?
No, pelvic physical therapy is so much more than that. In fact, we may even recommend you to not do kegels at all! Interventions can include bladder and bowel retraining, soft tissue massage, strengthening and stretching exercises, coordination training, dry needling, postural retraining, and education for self-management.
How often will I have to come to physical therapy?
Unfortunately healing is not linear, and at CPHW we do not believe your individual case should follow a "cookie-cutter" protocol. Together you and your therapist will decide what is best for your plan of care at your initial evaluation. Typically you should start to notice improvements in the first 3-5 visits.
More FAQ's coming soon!