What does a physical therapist do?

Our Doctors of Physical Therapy are movement experts who use targeted exercise, hands-on care & patient education to decrease pain, restore function and maximize performance. Masters of Anatomy physical therapists are phenomenal healthcare providers who are particularly well trained at evaluating, diagnosing, and treating musculoskeletal injuries. 

Do I need a referral for Physical Therapy?

In Baltimore, and everywhere in Maryland, you do not need a referral or prescription to see a physical therapist. However, your physical therapist will likely be in contact with your primary care provider or surgeon so that you have the best, well-coordinated & multidisciplinary care you can have. We are a direct access state, and therefore if you feel like you may benefit from seeing a PT, call 410.995.8178 to schedule your evaluation today.

How Much Does Physical Therapy Cost?

So, as always, it depends. Let’s start with insurance. If you have insurance and a Carefirst Blue Cross Blue Shield Plan or Medicare, you will likely be able to use your insurance benefits for physical therapy with ChapmanPT. This means that you will only pay a small amount (whatever is listed as your copay for physical therapy.) Or, you may pay a small coinsurance for each visit (a % of how much the session costs, typically ending up around $20-30/session for you.) 

If you have another type of insurance, you can still use your insurance benefits (called out-of-network benefits) for physical therapy. If this is the case, we recommend you call ChapmanPT, and we can help you figure out what physical therapy would cost for going through your insurance plan.

If you prefer to pay for services via cash, we offer a cash discount wherein most evaluations are around $100/visit, and most treatments are around $80/visit. 

How Long Is a Physical Therapy Session?

Your evaluation will be 1 hour, and all sessions after that are between 45 and 60 minutes of 1:1 care with your therapist. 

What does a physical therapy session look like?

First and foremost, your session depends entirely on what we are rehabilitating. Depending on the injury and your goals, your rehabilitation may require a lot of hands-on care or very little. Overall, most physical therapy courses range from just a couple of visits to a couple of months (depending on the surgery/injury, etc.) and focus on decreasing pain initially and progressively shifting towards a greater emphasis on targeted exercises until you’re able to achieve all your goals. Regardless of the reason you’re coming to physical therapy, you can rest assured that you will have the complete 1:1 attention of your physical therapist, your session will be a minimum of 45 minutes long (some are 60), and your therapist will be absolutely dedicated to being your partner in care as we work towards your goals, together. 

How often do I need to attend Physical Therapy?

This completely depends on you, your PT, and your rehabilitation goals. Most patients come to PT about twice/week and then taper down to 1x/week towards the end of their course of care. Some patients occasionally start at 1x/week or 3x/week, depending on their schedule, needs, and preferences. 

What Should I Wear To Physical Therapy?

Comfortable clothing that allows the physical therapist to see and examine the area and surrounding areas of concern. For example, if you are coming in for…

Knee pain: don’t wear tight leggings that don’t allow you to roll them up to your mid-thigh.  Shorts or loose leggings would be perfect. 

Shoulder pain: T-shirt for males and females. Females, please wear a sports bra underneath your T-shirt if possible. 

Hip Pain: Same as knee pain, shorts, or loose pants/leggings.

Back Pain: Comfortable clothing that can be rolled up or adjusted so that the therapist can examine the area of concern. 

What if I have pain, but I don’t feel like I have “an injury.”

You don’t need to be recovering from surgery or a specific injury to benefit from physical therapy. If you’re in pain, call ChapmanPT today to schedule your evaluation, get yourself out of pain, and back to whatever it is that brings you joy. 

Is Physical Therapy Painful?

One of the main goals of physical therapy is pain relief, not pain. This can oftentimes be achieved through a combination of hands-on care (joint mobilizations, manipulations, soft tissue mobilization/massage) and targeted exercises and mobility movements. Occasionally, physical therapy can be painful if, for instance, we are working to restore joint range of motion after surgery. If this is the case, your physical therapist will always be in communication with you so that you’re working together.

When Should I Stop Physical Therapy?

This should be a cooperative discussion between you and your therapist. Typically, when you feel like you have achieved your goals and feel independent in your rehabilitation program, that is a great opportunity to stop physical therapy. Oftentimes, in the lead-up to discharge, we will taper sessions (you come in less frequently) to allow you to take more independence in your rehabilitation but still have some care to help you troubleshoot any issues that may arise. 

How Long Does Physical Therapy Take?

This entirely depends on the issue you’re coming in for. Some people have a small, nagging pain that they want to be addressed and can be helped in 1-4 visits. Some patients have chronic, high-intensity pain that will likely take longer, such as 12-30 visits. Where you are in terms of chronicity, pain intensity, adherence to your home program, and the nature of what type of activity you’re trying to get back to will be all factor into the length of your course of care. 

How Does Physical Therapy Work?

Generally speaking, physical therapy uses movement (be it via manual hands-on care or targeted exercises and rehabilitation programs) to help the body heal an injury and return to function and optimal performance. This starts with a comprehensive evaluation to assess what it is that is contributing to your pain and dysfunction, followed by a targeted program to facilitate the physiologic healing process and optimize your movement towards your specific goals.

Ask us a Question

Feel free to ask any physical therapy related questions over the phone, or get send your question via this form below. Your message will be dispatched directly to our staff who will answer as soon as they can.