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Frequently Asked Questions

Dealing with pain and injury can be a stressful time in a person’s life. Having unanswered questions about what a rehab process might look like, what it may cost, how long it can take to get better, and the best ways to go about seeing a physical therapist certainly don’t make matters easier. With this in mind, we wanted to put together one place that answers the most asked questions about seeing a physical therapist and the rehab process.

How much does physical therapy cost?

Answer: This is a great question that doesn’t have as simple of a simple answer as you might think. In general, with most health insurances, seeing a physical therapist will require a typical co-pay cost of $10-50/session.

However, in place of a standard co-pay, some insurance plans function through a co-insurance payment system which may require that you meet your deductible before the insurance company begins to pay. In these cases, seeing a physical therapist can fall in the $100 per session range until your deductible has been met. Once your deductible has been met, the cost will range from $10-50 depending on the co-insurance percentage agreement your specific insurance plan set up.

How many days a week should I go to physical therapy?

Answer: This is another question that doesn’t have as simple of a simple answer as you might think. Various conditions (low back pain, neck pain, knee pain, osteoarthritis, balance issues, patellofemoral pain, rotator cuff tears, shoulder impingement, post-surgical conditions, headaches, etc) that benefit from physical therapy may require different approaches to care to optimize your recovery.

With that said, an average of 2 visits per week will often be the “sweet spot” for most conditions. If you just had surgery or are in a high degree of pain, your physical therapist may recommend 3 times per week for the early phases of rehab to prevent muscle atrophy and make sure your joints are staying mobile to set you up for success later in recovery.

Once you have begun making good progress, have your home exercise program down well, and are feeling confident in the plan you and your PT have made you may transition down to 1 visit per week for a short time and then even transition down further to once every other week in order for you to stay in contact with your PT and have guidance and progressions as you continue to fully rehab your injury and make the positive changes and adaptations to your body needed to keep you going strong and pain free in the future!

Can I see a physical therapist without a referral in Texas?

The short answer to this is YES! A referral is no longer needed to be evaluated and treated by a physical therapist. However, there are a few details that must be kept in mind

  • The PT must have their Doctorate in Physical Therapy (this is the entry-level degree that has been required for the last 10+ years) and have been out of PT school for at least 1 year.
  • In this case, they can work with you for up to 10 business days
  • However, some physical therapists seek additional training through residencies and board specialization. If a PT has their board specialty (they would be indicated if they have letters such as “OCS” or “SCS” after their name) they will be able to see you for up to 15 business days

If it is determined that you still need further care after 10-15 business days, you will need a referral from a physician.

How long will it take me to see results with physical therapy?

Answer: Yet another excellent question! Of course, the answer here isn’t straightforward either. Just as when discussing how many visits you may need in a week, various conditions (low back pain, neck pain, knee pain, osteoarthritis, balance issues, patellofemoral pain, rotator cuff tears, shoulder impingement, post-surgical conditions, headaches, etc) that benefit from physical therapy may require different amounts of time to optimize your recovery.

Some body tissues heal faster than others (Healing speed from fastest to slowest: skin > muscles > bones > tendons/ligaments > cartilage > nerves), and sometimes even after your tissues heal, your nervous system can get extra sensitive in the area of an injury and that often takes time to adapt and come back down to your normal levels.

With that said, MOST non-surgical conditions make a lot of progress or even completely resolve with physical therapy in 6-8 weeks.

If you just had surgery or have had chronic pain for a long period of time, your physical therapist may recommend seeing you for a longer period to allow for tissues to heal adequately in the event of surgery and/or longer-term changes to occur in the case of long term chronically painful conditions.

Once you have begun making good progress, have your home exercise program down well, and are feeling confident in the plan you and your PT have made you may feel comfortable “graduating” from PT earlier than the original plan laid out by your PT.

This is a good thing! We love it when we can give people the plans, tools, and education to take things into their own and hands and be successful on their own!

A member of the Therapy Partners Group family of brands.
GTC strives to be the premier provider of physical and occupational therapy in the DFW area. Our therapists apply professional techniques and utilize state of the art tools to ensure that patients recover function and receive relief from pain as quickly and efficiently as possible.
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Suite 530, Lewisville, TX 75077
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