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Frequently Asked Questions

Know What To Expect At Physical Therapy


Do I need a prescription or referral from my doctor before I start physical therapy?

In the state of Arizona, legislation is in place which allows for Direct Access to physical therapy which means that in many cases, you do not need a referral from your doctor. However, many insurance plans do require a doctor referral and/or pre-authorization. The best way to determine if you can start your plan of care directly with a physical therapist would be to call your insurance company and inquire about your physical therapy benefits. You can always call us, and we would be happy to inquire on your behalf.


What should I wear to physical therapy?

Because physical therapy involves the movement of the body, it is important to wear comfortable clothing that allows you to move. Whether you’re in Peoria, Sun City, or Vistancia, you need to consider what part of the body is being treated and make sure it is accessible. For example, people experiencing knee pain should wear shorts instead of pants, patients with elbow pain should avoid long-sleeved shirts, and those experiencing neck pain should avoid wearing turtle necks.


Is it normal to feel pain after physical therapy?

Our hope is that you will feel better after physical therapy! Sometimes, however, because you will be asked to engage in activities that will stretch your body and be increasingly more demanding than your typical everyday physical activities require, you may experience some pain. It is very important that you communicate with your therapist about how your body is responding to your treatment. He will rely on your feedback to plan, execute, and adjust your treatment accordingly. There may be more going on in your body, and he will want to help you figure out and resolve the source of your pain! If your pain becomes worse, and you would like to talk to your therapist before your next visit, please feel free to call the office.


What do I need to bring to my first appointment?

1)   Print, fill out, and bring the patient forms found on our website under the PATIENT FORMS tab at the top.

2)   Bring your insurance card & photo ID.

3)   Bring a form of payment.

4)   You may also like to have a water bottle so you can stay hydrated while you work. There are cubbies available as a place to put your belongings, but keep in mind they are unsecured, and Desert Edge Physical Therapy will not be held responsible for lost or stolen items.


How long do I need to go to physical therapy?

Your treatment length depends on your injury/condition, how long you have been experiencing it, and how closely you follow your treatment plan. Some conditions require only a couple of visits to assess and educate you on how to do self-treatment at home. Other conditions require a longer treatment process. Common treatment plans require 2-3 visits a week for 4-6 weeks. We recommend attending all of your recommended appointments and adhering to your home exercise program to optimize the benefits you can achieve in therapy.


How long will each treatment last?

Your first appointment will be your longest visit because it will include an evaluation and explanation of your recommended treatment plan. You will want to get a jumpstart on your recovery so you can feel better faster, so your visit will also include some treatment. This first appointment will last anywhere from 1 ½ hours – 2 hours depending on your condition. Managing the flow and length of the treatment session is most efficient when you arrive at your appointment a few minutes early.