How much time should I allow for my first visit?
For most appointments, you should expect to be with our physical therapists approximately 1 hour; however, leave yourself an hour and a half to be in the office. This will give you sufficient time to fill out the paper work involved in your first visit as well as give you enough time to schedule your follow up visits.
What should I bring with me to my initial appointment?
New patient paperwork must be downloaded from this website. Please bring the appropriate new patient paperwork and questionnaire for your symptoms as this is an insurance requirement.
How important are previous medical records or past tests?
Our review of your past medical records or past tests (that relate to your symptoms) can be an essential component to your overall evaluation. These records can be faxed or mailed to our Columbia, MD office. Alternatively, you may bring a copy for the physical therapist to your initial appointment. NOTE: Radiologic films such as X-rays, CT scans, and MRI will not be read here, but a copy of the radiology report may be useful in certain conditions.
What will happen at the first visit?
Initially, your physical therapist will completely review your past medical history, especially as it applies to the reason you are being seen at Her Health Physical Therapy. This review will take approximately 25 minutes and sometimes longer. You will have time to mention all information you believe to be pertinent. A good medical history cannot be rushed, and we will not do so. Next, your physical therapist will perform a very thorough physical exam. We will make every effort to limit all discomfort associated with this exam, never causing pain in our examination. The exam will take approximately 10-15 minutes, depending on the complexity of the condition. After the physical examination, you will have an opportunity to discuss your diagnosis, options of conservative care and your prognosis. We will strive to provide a very thorough review of the current information that is known about your medical condition. A written plan of care will be faxed to the physician of your choice, if you wish. Again, we know that this discussion cannot be rushed and you will not leave until all of your questions have been answered. You may have someone join you at all parts of your visit, just during the consultations, or not at all. Your comfort and wellness is our primary concern.
Will you call to remind me of my appointments?
We will send a reminder email to the given email address 2-3 days before your appointment. An automated system will call to remind you of your appointment the night before your appointment as well. We do however, ask that you do not rely solely on these reminders, as the cancellation policy will be enforced for any missed visits.
How can I get the most out of my first appointment?
Please, be on time. Make a list of questions for your physical therapist and bring that to the appointment. Fill out the questionnaires given you prior to your first visit thoroughly. This will enable your physician to make the most out of their time with you. Provide a list of all medications you have used/are using and a prepare, as best you can, a timeline of their use and any comments on whether or not they are helpful.
What training or education do you need to have to be a pelvic health physical therapist?
To be a pelvic health physical therapist, first you need a Masters or Doctorate in physical therapy. Once you have either of these two graduate degrees, you then need to take at least basic courses in pelvic health physical therapy. These courses will give further training in pelvic floor muscle treatment and assessment. It would be ideal if your treating therapist also had a mentor that helped to ensure the best possible pelvic health practices. Other then this, there are no specific requirements to be a pelvic health physical therapist.
All of our physical therapists at Her Heath Physical Therapy have taken advanced course work and more than one pelvic health physical therapy course and/or have had extensive mentoring. One of our therapists has become a Certified Women's Health Physical Therapist, and others are working toward becoming certified. A certified women's health physical therapist is recognized by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialists as being highly knowledgeable in the field of women's health. You'll see the letters WSC after the therapist's name if she has this certification.
Your company is called Her Health Physical Therapy. Do you really treat male patients?
We have two physical therapists who treat penile/prostate pelvic floor dysfunction. Yes, our original intention was to specialize in women's health, however the urologists we work with asked us to start working with male patients and finally, we found the right staff who have been trained in the treatment of male pelvic floor therapy. So to our male patients, please feel welcomed! The only negative is, you can expect a longer wait to get in as there are only two therapists currently treating male patients (we're working on hiring and/or training additional staff members!)
How many physical therapy visits should I expect each week?
Your physical therapist will best be able to answer this after your initial evaluation. In general all patients will start off at a minimum of 1x/week and a maximum of 3x/week. This often quickly decreases as your condition improves sometimes dropping to 1x/month until discharge. Discuss with your therapist any concerns you have regarding your budget and time constraints and they will work with you to solve any of these issues as best they can.