• Physical Therapy Frequently Asked Questions

  • Will my insurance pay for treatment. What would I have to pay each visit?

    Most insurance plans cover outpatient therapy. Usually, there is a deductible and/or a co-payment for each visit. We collect co-payments at time of service. Patients are asked to check with their individual insurance company for specific policy requirements.

    Do I need to be referred by my doctor?

    Most insurance companies require a referral from your physician. Please check with your insurance to see what they require.

    What information do I need to bring with me to my first visit?

    On your initial visit, please bring your referral from your physician, if required by your insurance company, your drivers license or photo ID, your insurance cards, or any work-comp information.

    What should I wear?

    Loose-fitting, comfortable clothing is recommended. You may want to wear or bring shorts. Please wear or bring workout shoes. Pool therapy requires a swimsuit.

    How long is each visit?

    The first visit and initial evaluation takes about one hour. Each follow-up visit will take about 30 to 60 minutes.

    What should I expect during my initial visit?

    To initiate a program of therapy, the therapist examines the patient. This includes: obtaining a patient history, performing relevant systems reviews, and selecting and administering specific tests and measurements to obtain data.

    In addition to the evaluation, what else will be involved in my treatment?

    Therapists may use one or a combination of the following interventions to achieve treatment goals:

    • Therapeutic exercises (including aerobic conditioning)
    • Functional training in self care and home management
    • Manual therapy techniques (soft tissue and joint mobilization)
    • Physical agents, mechanical and/or thermal modalities
    • Electrotherapeutic modalities
    • Education and/or application of assistive, adaptive and protective devices and equipment

    How many times a week, and for how many weeks, will I have to come?

    Frequency and duration of treatment will be determined by your physician or after the initial evaluation by your therapist. The typical frequency is 2-3 times per week.

    How will I handle my problem at home?

    Your therapy program will include a home program to be carried out independently. Our therapists use patient-related instruction to educate not only the patient but also families and other care givers.

    Why should I see a physical therapist instead of personal trainer or chiropractor?

    Physical therapists are uniquely qualified to perform biomechanical and movement system analysis. We can provide comprehensive interventions to correct identified dysfunction, as well as corrective functional exercises. We are movement specialists, with a total movement system approach, dedicated to returning you to full function.

  • Sports Medicine

  • Sports medicine rehabilitation is as much an awareness of what an athlete needs to be able to return to, as an understanding of what the athlete is diagnosed with. Whether you are a younger athlete who is recovering from an ACL reconstruction wanting to return to the football field, or a mature athlete recovering from a rotator cuff repair wanting to lead climb a summit, an integrative approach of dynamic strength and three-dimensional flexibility gives you the highest probability for success.

    Mercy Integrated Physical Therapy belongs to the Rocky Mountain Sports Medicine Foundation and its therapists are committed to staying up to date on current concepts in the field of sports medicine rehabilitation.

  • Manual Therapy

  • Manual physical therapy involves comprehensive evaluation and treatment of specific joint biomechanics. The quality and quantity of joint mobility is assessed utilizing hands-on techniques. Deficits in joint mobility are identified and then corrected with very specific manual mobilization and soft tissue release techniques. Restoring normal joint mechanics and function is an essential component in order to return to fully functional activity.

  • Myofascial Therapy

  • Myofascial therapy involves the use of deep soft tissue release techniques. The goal of myofascial therapy is to release soft tissue adhesions that may develop following injury, surgery or any chronic inflammatory condition. Tissue adhesions disrupt normal tissue mobility and function. In addition to treatment in the clinic, we will instruct you, or a care giver, on in home treatment to optimize your recovery and return to full function.

  • Functional Rehabilitation

  • What is functional rehabilitation, and how does it differ from traditionally practiced physical therapy?

    Functional medicine is a philosophical shift from treating the area of pain to treating the area of dysfunction. In other words, instead of treating what hurts, we treat what's causing the hurt.

    The treatment is performed using positions and movements that closely resemble the activities that we wish to perform. As an example, let's focus on the common scenario of back pain. Many of us experience back pain over the course of our lives, and there are many different ways to go about treating back pain. Often the source of back pain lies in problems occurring in the ankles, hips, or upper back. By performing tests which require the entire body to turn, bend, and rotate throughout space, we can assess where the movement is and isn't occurring. After a thorough assessment, we can prescribe a functional exercise program designed to address all the limitations and thus decrease pain and improve function.

    The exercises prescribed will look very similar to activities which you desire to return to. For instance, if you wish to return to golfing, your stretches will look a lot like the backswing and follow-through, and your strengthening exercises will be performed in an upright position and require rotating in a pain free manner. This same approach will be used for all areas in the body.

    The results are long-term and we begin to see the transformation quickly. The rehabilitation is fun because the exercises require full body movements and make a lot of sense to people performing them.

  • Ergonomic and Work Site Analysis

    • Job Analysis: We can provide on-site specific job analysis to identify ergonomic improvements for task efficiency, safety and to reduce work related injuries.
    • Work Station Analysis: Evaluation of individual and/or multiple office work stations with recommendations for optimizing work station set up and organization for efficiency and reducing overuse injuries.
    • Bioergonomics Program: Specific movement program to reduce job task and postural stressors, which can be customized to specific work groups.
  • Women’s Health

  • Pelvic floor physical therapy involves comprehensive evaluation and treatment of the pelvic floor muscles and other structures that can contribute to the optimal function of the pelvic floor. Deficits are identified and then corrected with specific manual techniques, exercises, and modalities. Pelvic floor physical therapy can be appropriate for the treatment of many conditions, including urinary and/or fecal incontinence, pelvic pain, and low back pain.

  • Dry Needling

  • Dry needling is a valuable adjunct treatment to deactivate myofascial trigger points which can cause musculoskeletal pain. This technique involves placing a tiny fine gauge needle into a muscle to release shortened bands and help to reset a muscle. During treatment, a muscle will feel a sensation like a muscle cramp or twitch, and the patient may feel a reproduction of their pain which is a helpful diagnostic indicator. Patients soon learn to recognize this sensation as it results in deactivating the trigger point, reducing pain and restoring normal length function to the involved muscle. This is not traditional Chinese acupuncture but instead a medical treatment that relies on a medical diagnosis to be effective.