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Patient FAQ

Welcome the ABA Physical Therapy Associates website Patient FAQ (frequently asked questions) section. The purpose this section is to answer some of the questions you have or may have before you arrive for therapy. However, if you have a question of a more immediate nature that you want answered before you arrive for your visit please call us at (650) 558-0247.

What should I expect on my first visit?

On your first visit, your therapist will perform an evaluation to determine what deficits and/or problems you have that can be addressed in physical therapy. The evaluation involves a thorough history, objective testing and measuring, following which your therapist will form an opinion as to the specific problems you present. A treatment program will be developed aimed at resolving the problems identified as well as to attain the goals set by the therapist in conjuction with the patient.

What types of treatment may I receive?

The treatment you receive in physical therapy will depend upon what the therapist finds in the evaluation. Our treatment programs emphasize manual therapy, self-treatment strategies and therapeutic exercise to resolve the problem. We may utilize some modalities such as ultrasound, heat, electrical stimulation, etc .to assist with reducing swelling and pain and minimize post-treatment soreness.

How long will my visit last?

The first visit will be an hour. Subsequent visits are usually 30 minutes, but may be longer if the therapist determines necessity after the initial evaluation.

How will my progress measured?

Your physical therapist will perform an evaluation that quantifies and qualifies your problems and deficits . You will be re-evaluated on a periodic basis, the frequency of which will depend upon your diagnosis as well as the chronicity of the problem. Patients are re-evaluated approximately every 4 weeks. Additionally, the therapist always needs to be aware of follow-up visits with your physician so that the physician can be updated at that time.

How will you communicate with my physician?

The physical or occupational therapist will communicate with you physician most commonly by written report. The therapist will send a complete written report outlining the findings of their initial evaluation as well as their assessment of the problem and an outline of the general treatment and frequency with which they intend to see you. The therapist will continue to update your physician with written reports each time you are re-evaluated and most specifically prior to your return to the physician. This is why it is so important that you let your therapist know if you have an appointment with your physician. Additionally, the therapist will, as they feel appropriate, contact the physician by phone if they have a specific concern or question. At the end of your treatment the therapist will send a discharge report to your physician with final information as to your status at the time of discharge from therapy.

When is the best time to start physical therapy?

In general starting physical therapy should be done as early as possible. Initiating physical therapy early on will reduce the overall treatment time that you will require by not allowing the problem to become chronic. If you are in pain and or you are in an acute state and are experiencing a lot of pain, your program will be modified according to your signs and symptoms.

Will my insurance cover physical therapy?

Because of today’s health care and the wide variety of plans available, we strongly advise you to call your insurance company so that you understand the benefits under your plan. Insurance company benefits vary greatly. Many plans require pre-approval before beginning physical therapy. If we know about it in advance we can be sure authorization is in place prior to the first session.  Please review our billing and insurance participation section on this web site. It is your responsibility to understand your insurance benefits, inform us that pre-approval is needed and help us to comply with your insurance company’s requirements or you could be responsible for your physical therapy costs.

We will be happy to help you understand your benefits if you provide us with a copy of your insurance card prior to your first appointment.

How do I arrange an appointment?

Simply call ABA Physical Therapy Associates for an appointment. You do not need a prescription from your doctor to begin physical therapy. If you are a Medicare Patient, however, you must have a doctor willing to approve your care after the physical therapist has done an evaluation. 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?

Wear comfortable and preferably stretchy clothing to therapy. If you have a problem with your neck, upper back or shoulders, the therapist can provide you with a gown as needed to expose these areas for treatment. If you are coming for a lower extremity problem, shorts are important. You can bring whatever you like to wear with you if you need to change here.

What should I bring with me?

For your first visit you will need your insurance card, a photo ID and if you have one, your physician’s prescription for therapy. Also please bring any paperwork that was sent to you that needed to be filled out. If you have any operative reports, MRI or X-ray results that you think might be helpful, you may bring those, but they are not necessary. If your therapist wants to imaging or surgery results, we will contact your physician. 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 contact your therapist or a covering therapist. They 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 and whether you need to come in our office, or if you should contact or follow-up with your physician.

Why should I choose physical therapy?

In physical therapy, your treatment is tailored to your specific problem and to your specific goals. Our task is to return you to the activities that you enjoy. We believe that although your physician may opt to utilize medication in conjunction with physical therapy, that medication alone will not resolve pain and disability in the musculoskeletal system. Physical therapy improves the way you move!

What office policies should I be aware of?

We ask that our patients:

  • Give 24 hours notice when possible for cancellations. Our voice mail is on 24 hours a day.
  • Be prepared to pay your co-payment at the time of each visit.
  • Call if you have a question or a concern.
  • Be on time. We try to see all patients within 5-10 minutes of their scheduled time. If we are running late, you will still get your entire scheduled appointment time.
  • If you are late, we will see you for the remainder of the appointment time, however you will be responsible for the entire scheduled visit time.
  • Notify your therapist at least one week prior to returning to your physician. The therapist must have time to re-evaluate your condition and communicate with your doctor.
  • Schedule appointments two weeks in advance and have the proper number of visits scheduled. If you don’t schedule your appointments in advance it will be more difficult to schedule you for the times that you desire.
  • If you call our office during office hours and get our voicemail, it is because we are on the phone or helping other patients. We will return your call as soon as we can.
What is my responsiblity in physical therapy?

You are our partner in your recovery. We want you to recover as quickly and completely as possible. Your therapist cannot do it without you! Communicate your goals. Follow through with your exercise program and home instructions. Tell us if you have soreness after therapy so we can modify your treatment, if necessary. Ask your therapist before doing any unusual or different activity or exercise.

Why choose ABA Physical Therapy Associates?

Because of our expertise. ABA Physical Therapy Associates is widely regarded as a leading expert in physical therapy. Physicians regularly send their own office staff and family members to our facility. Patients are often referred to us when they have not gotten better elsewhere. ABA Physical Therapy Associates is dedicated to resolving your problems in an environment that is welcoming and relaxed. We use private treatment rooms to discuss and provide most of your care. Patients receive personalized care, not an assembly line atmosphere. If you are still not sure, feel free to give us a call to speak to one of our therapists.