Top 20 Questions Patients Ask Before Their First Physical Therapy Appointment

Are you considering Physical Therapy but don’t know what to expect? Do you have questions you’d like to know before scheduling an appointment? 

You are not alone!

Many people have similar questions just like yours, and we are here to answer them for you. 

In this post, we will cover the top 20 questions patients ask before their first physical therapy appointment.

By the end of this post, you should have a better understanding of what to expect at your first appointment, that way you can have more confidence walking in the door and seeing your physical therapist. If you have other questions that you would like to get answered, feel free to contact our front office at 855-331-7522 or ask your physical therapist when you arrive at your first appointment. 

Related Reads: Questions to Ask Your Physical Therapist at Your First Visit

Question 1: Can my therapist provide me with a diagnosis?

The answer is YES. ​After a thorough examination and interview process, it is our mission to provide you with a rehabilitative explanation of your musculoskeletal system.

Question 2: How does the billing process work?

After verifying your benefits, each session will be submitted to your health insurance company for review. Coverage of insurance is strictly dependent on your individualized plan. We do our best to provide you with this information in regards to your copay or coinsurance, prior to your initial evaluation, so you are aware of your out-of-pocket costs.

Question 3: What’s next after physical therapy?

​Throughout your sessions of physical therapy, your therapist will be providing you with home exercises and self-management techniques to promote independence towards reaching your goals and returning to your prior level of function.  

Question 4: Is my therapist licensed?

All of our Specialists at One Accord have pursued advanced post-graduate training beyond their doctorate level degree. They all have additional residency, fellowship, or certification training to provide a superior patient experience unlike any other in Arizona. Due to their expertise and unique approach to therapy, many teach across the UK and internationally.

Question 5: Can I go directly to my physical therapist?

Arizona is a “Direct Access State”, meaning you do not need a referral from a physician. This means you are able to directly discuss your concerns as a first line of care for pain or injury.

Question 6: What if my problem or pain returns?

Many patients may go weeks, months or years before their symptoms return. It is our duty to provide you with the techniques and self-management exercises to manage your symptoms independently throughout your time at physical therapy. In the instance that your symptoms do return, we offer a 20-minute consultation to discuss your symptoms and concerns to determine if returning to physical therapy is the right option for you.

Question 7: Will I get a massage at physical therapy?

​Physical therapy utilizes manual interventions including soft tissue mobilizations, joint mobilizations, active release techniques, instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization, cupping and trigger point dry needling to improve the mobility of your muscles, improve circulation and reduce pain. 

Question 8: What types of treatments will I receive?

Physical therapy treatments will consist of a series of interventions including electrical stimulation therapy, ultrasound therapy, cold therapy, heat therapy, strengthening and stabilization exercises, flexibility training, balance and neuromuscular retraining as well as manual interventions including soft tissue mobilizations or joint manipulations. Depending on your course of treatment, your physical therapist will decide which of these interventions will provide you with the best results.

Question 9: Is physical therapy painful?

Physical therapy should not be painful. However, it is normal to experience soreness following your sessions.

Question 10: Why should I choose a private practice physical therapist?

​As a private practice, we pride ourselves on individualized treatment plans that are specific to each and every individual’s goals and lifestyle. When you come to our private outpatient facility, you can expect to see the same physical therapist that evaluated you throughout your entire experience. We believe that this develops consistency and accelerates your rehabilitation journey.

Question 11: Why are people referred to physical therapy? ​

There are many reasons patients may be referred to physical therapy, including neck, low back pain, migraines, pre and post-operative rehabilitation, migraine management, pre and post-partum pelvic floor management, arthritis symptom management, vestibular rehabilitation or generalized strengthening and balance training to reduce fall occurrences.  Our main priority is to get you to regain your functional independence and return to your desired lifestyle.

Question 12: What do physical therapists do? 

As physical therapists, we have the ability to specifically identify musculoskeletal dysfunctions based on abnormal movement patterns, reduced range of motion and expressed symptoms utilizing various tests and measures that are specific to each patient and specific target tissues that may be affected. After determining your specific impairments, we are then able to provide patients with manual interventions, strength and stabilization exercises, flexibility training, promoting proper body mechanics with functional movements, such as bending, lifting, carrying and squatting. Each patient is different and will be provided with an individualized approach to their specific symptoms.

Question 13: Why is physical therapy a good choice?

​As doctoral prepared physical therapists, we have the ability to determine if physical therapy is the best option for you by ruling out systemic and non-musculoskeletal dysfunctions. Once we determine if you a good candidate for physical therapy, it can have many benefits including promoting healthy movements, improved quality of life, adequate sleeping patterns and providing our patients with the resources they need to be successful following their time in therapy.

Question 14: How many visits will I need? 

On your first visit, you will have the opportunity to discuss your plan of care with your physical therapist, where they will estimate the number of visits you will need. We often see results quickly and the number of visits can range from as little as 2 to 8, depending on your rehabilitation diagnosis. We highly encourage our patients to complete their physical therapy plan to maximize their benefits and return to their functional lifestyle.

Question 15: How long will each treatment last? 

​You should expect your initial evaluation to last from 60-90 minutes, with follow up appointments lasting 45-60 minutes depending on your plan of care. 

Question 16: How should I dress? ​

We recommend wearing comfortable, loose fitting clothes including T-shirts, sweats, shorts and good supportive shoes, such as gyms shoes. Sandals, high heels, and office attire are not recommended.

Question 17: What do I need to bring with me?

​For your first visit, you should be sure to bring an identification card, as well as your insurance card to verify your insurance benefits.  

Question 18: What happens during my first visit? ​

During your first visit, a thorough interview, evaluation and examination will be performed that is tailored to your expressed symptoms.

This can include various manual techniques, exercises, movement analysis and general education to assist with self-management techniques. You should expect to move throughout your treatment, so we recommend bringing comfy clothes and supportive shoes. Other interventions that may be utilized include electrical stimulation therapy, cold therapy, heat therapy, as well as ultrasound therapy to address pain and inflammation management.

Question 19: How do I schedule an appointment? 

You can schedule a free 20 Minute Telephone Consultation on our website here: Free 20 Minute Phone Consultation

Question 20: Where are you located?

We have 3 Locations in Arizona: Casa Grande, Phoenix & Gilbert

Casa Grande: 580 N. Camino Mercado, Ste. 25, Casa Grande, AZ 85122

Phoenix: 2020 N. Central Ave., Ste. 550, Phoenix, AZ 85004

Gilbert: 225 E. Germann Rd, Suite 250, Gilbert, AZ 85297


At One Accord Physical Therapy, we diagnose and treat various cases with a focused treatment approach. OAPT has only dual credentialed providers with advanced post-graduate training, certifications, residencies and fellowships. That means you get EXPERT care every visit, and your care is SPECIALIZED to your specific need and case. 

We utilize the most recent evidence-based approach for your care and our specialists are able to collaborate with experts throughout the state. That means your treatment is matched to what the evidence says is most effective for your condition so you do not waste time and money on needless treatments.

If you are experiencing signs and symptoms of pain but want to avoid medication or traditional treatment, our team of specialists can help. We offer the best in treatment through a whole-body approach. Give us a call or go online to schedule your free telephone consultation today.

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