Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

(Click the questions for the answers)

Your First Visit Video

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What should I expect on my first visit?

On your first visit, your physical therapist will perform an examination/evaluation to determine what deficits and/or problems you have that can be addressed in physical therapy. The examination/evaluation involves a thorough history, a systems review, and tests and measures that allow the physical therapist to get a more specific understanding of your condition. Your physical therapist will make a clinical judgment as to your diagnosis and prognosis. A treatment program will be developed aimed at resolving the problems identified as well as to attain the goals you set in conjunction with the physical therapist.

What types of interventions may I receive?

The interventions you receive will depend on what the physical therapist finds in the examination/evaluation. Our intervention programs include coordination among all people involved in your care (other health care professionals, family, friends, caregivers, and others), communication to ensure a good exchange of information, thorough documentation of the care and services provided, and instruction to you and others involved in your care to promote and optimize our services. Most physical therapy plans of care will include three categories of interventions: therapeutic exercise, functional training in self-care and home management, and functional training in work or school, community, and leisure environments. Other interventions might include manual therapy techniques; use of equipment such as supports, orthotics, or prosthetics; skin repair and protection techniques; electrotherapeutic modalities; and mechanical modalities. Your education regarding your specific problems is also very important to us.

How long will my visit last?

Intervention time will vary according to what the physical therapist finds in the evaluation. There is no specific time limit for physical therapy. Whatever is found to be appropriate during the examination/evaluation will become part of the patient’s or or client’s program and the program will be updated as appropriate.

How is my progress measured?

Because your physical therapist will perform a meticulous examination/evaluation, quantifying and qualifying all the deficits and problems you are presenting with, examination/evaluation to determine progress are possible. You will be reexamined based your diagnosis as well as the chronicity of the problem. Additionally, the physical therapist always needs to be aware of follow-up visits with your physician as a reexamination may be performed so that the physician can be updated at that time.

Will I need follow-up or maintenance care?

The answer depends entirely on the physical therapist’s examination/evaluation to determine your diagnosis and prognosis.

What if I need to return to physical therapy?

If you have a recurrent problem after your discharge from physical therapy, how/if you will return to physical therapy will depend on a number of factors. It would depend if it was a re-injury of the same specific problem, how long it has been since you were last in physical therapy, how long it’s been since you saw the physician (if a physician referred you), and many other factors. In general, if you are discharged from physical therapy and feel the need to return, you should contact the physical therapist who treated you. He or she will review your chart and call back to discuss with you what should be done, depending on the problem you are having.

Is it OK to ask my doctor about physical therapy?

Absolutely. If you have a problem that you think can be helped with physical therapy, feel free to give us a call. After discussing with you the specific problem you present with, we can give you a better idea if it is something that is manageable with physical therapy. You can also give your doctor a call. If he or she is not sure, he or she is welcome to contact us as well. In today’s healthcare, if you feel physical therapy can be helpful to you, you will need to stress your feelings to the doctor you are seeing.

Will my insurance cover physical therapy?

Although most insurance companies do cover physical therapy, what they cover specifically varies greatly. Please review our billing and insurance participation section on this website, and if you have additional questions regarding your specific insurance give us a call at (562) 795-5295 or you may fax us at (562) 795-5297.

How do I arrange an appointment?

If your physician gives you a referral to physical therapy, simply call our office for an appointment. Our clinic hours and location are explained on the location and hours page of this website. Our office staff will get all the necessary information from you and assist you with an appointment.

What should I wear?

In general, wear comfortable clothing to physical therapy. If you are presenting with a problem of your cervical spine, upper back or shoulders, the therapist can provide you with a gown as needed to expose these areas. If you are coming for a knee-leg-ankle-foot problem, shorts are important. You can bring clothing with you if you need to change here.

What should I bring with me?

For your first visit you will need your insurance card, and any paperwork that was sent to you that needed to be filled out. If you have any operative reports, MRI or X-ray results, and you may bring those as well, but they are not necessary. Additionally, if you are utilizing any type of brace, splint, or crutches, those should come with you.

What if I have an increase in symptoms?

If you have increased symptoms please call your physical therapist. When you call the office, please be sure you explain to the office staff that you are having an increase in symptoms. The office staff will pull your chart and contact your physical therapist or a covering physical therapist. We will be able to review the information and will give you a call back that same day. After we discuss the case with you, we will be able to give you guidelines as to what would be appropriate to reduce your symptoms, whether you need to come in our office, or if you should contact or follow up with your physician. It is best to call us prior to calling your physician as if a change in symptoms has occurred, it is important that we fax the physician a report so that he can be up to date on your care when you see him for a follow-up visit.

Who chooses which physical therapist I go to?

Oftentimes, your physician will give you a recommendation or a listing of physical therapists in your area. Sometimes your insurance company will guide you with regard to who is “in network” for your insurance plan. Ultimately, however, the decision as to where you receive your care is up to you. If you have a specific request, you need to let your physician or insurance company know. If we are not in network for your insurance company most plans have out-of-network benefits that will allow you your choice in physical therapy.

Why should I choose physical therapy?
In physical therapy, the goals should be to resolve your problem, not just temporarily relieve it. Although medication and other forms of treatment can be helpful in relieving symptoms, physical therapy produces a long term result. The physician may opt to utilize medication in conjunction with physical therapy depending on your diagnosis. Additionally, physical therapy unlike some other forms of treatment, is not designed to go on as a maintenance program. Because we look to resolution, maintenance is not generally necessary.
What office policies should I be aware of?

If you have to reschedule an appointment, please call us. We have an answering machine and will return your call to reschedule you as soon as possible.

If you will be late, please call and we’ll see if you will still be able to receive your treatment as scheduled.

Missed appointments are discouraged. They also become part of your medical record. Multiple missed visits may result in discharge from care, with a note to your physician.

Before returning to your physician, let us know and we will let him/her know how you are doing via a written progress report.

Payment due at time of service: your co-pay (if applicable) and any supplies that you may desire to purchase is due at each visit, please.

Why choose Alamitos Physical Therapy?

Because of our expertise. We are widely regarded as a leading expert in physical therapy. Physicians regularly send their own office staff and family members to our facility. We are dedicated to resolving your problems in an environment that is welcoming and relaxed. Patients receive personalized care, not an assembly line atmosphere. If you are still not sure, feel free to give us a call and stop in to speak to one of our therapists.

What is my responsibility in physical therapy?

You are our partner in your recovery. Your physical therapist cannot do it without you! We ask that all patients and clients cooperate by following through with their home exercise programs and instructions, as this is extremely important in expediting your recovery. Please help us to help YOU.

Which credit cards do you accept?

At present, Alamitos Physical Therapy does not accept credits cards. However, we DO take PayPal and, if needed, a payment plan may be started.

Do you accept liens?

Yes, we can, as long as the lien is for a personal injury or automobile accident claim. Sorry, we do NOT accept Worker’s Compensation liens. Please call our office for more information.

Do you accept Medicare?

We are providers for Medicare, accepting assignment of benefits. We will automatically bill your secondary insurance, if you have supplemental coverage.