Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do to prepare for my first visit?

You will need to bring your prescription for physical therapy from your physician, your ID, a list of medications, and your insurance card to your appointment.  Come 15 minutes early to fill out paperwork. You may also bring X-rays, MRI’s, etc.

What should I wear to my appointment?

Comfortable clothing is the most suitable for physical therapy. Additionally, if you are being treated for a lower extremity (ankle, knee, etc.) we would prefer if you either wore or brought shorts to your appointment.

What should I expect from my physical therapy on my first visit?

During your first visit to physical therapy, your physical therapist will evaluate you and educate you on your diagnosis. You will receive a home exercise program to perform at home between your therapy sessions.

How long will each visit last?

Your first visit will take just over an hour, as you will have paperwork to fill out prior to being evaluated and the therapist will need to thoroughly evaluate you for your diagnosis. Subsequent treatments will last about one hour. The exception to this is if you are being treated for work conditioning. Work conditioning sessions last 2-6 hours depending on your line of work and diagnosis.

My child is under the age of 18; do I need to come to every visit?

Please come to the initial visit to sign paperwork. After that, it is your choice but not necessary to be there.

Does it matter how often I do my home exercises?

Absolutely; we prescribe exercise like your physician prescribes medicine. You wouldn’t take a antibiotic every 3 days when you are supposed to take it every day for 7 days. Some exercises are for pain relief and should be done frequently to decrease symptoms, some exercises are for postural strength and should be done to maintain good posture, and some exercises are for overall strength and need to be done less often. Every patient is unique and so is the prescription of exercises. You will NOT get a generic program, but a specific program tailored to your pain, functional limitations, and your therapy goals.

Can I quit doing my home exercises when I finish physical therapy?

It is recommended that you continue to do your exercises at least once per day for about one month unless your physical therapist indicates otherwise. Your exercises will help you to maintain the strength and range of motion that you achieved during therapy. It will also help you to prevent the return of your symptoms.

How often do I have to come to physical therapy?

Usually, the frequency of your treatment will be guided by the prescription issued by your physician and the recommendation of your therapist. In addition to your sessions, you will be given exercises and stretches that you need to do on your own at home in addition to therapy. Most of our patients are treated 2-3 times per week.

What is Manual Therapy?

Manual therapy is a series of specialized hands on techniques performed by the therapist. This type of therapy is used to increase the effectiveness of your therapy beyond that of exercises and other modalities alone. It combines joint mobilization and soft tissue techniques in order to aid in the healing process. In years past, some physical therapists did not do manual therapy. All the physical therapists at Excel Sports and Physical Therapy are manual therapists.

What happens if my problem or pain returns?

While you are in physical therapy, you will be instructed on exercises to perform at home to address your problem. It is advised that you continue these exercises after you are through coming to physical therapy to avoid the return of pain. If pain returns, start doing the exercises that your physical therapist gave to you. If pain persists, it may be wise to return to your physician for an evaluation.

Can I go directly to a physical therapist?

In Missouri, state law requires that you are referred to physical therapy by a medical doctor, osteopathic doctor, nurse practitioner, dentist, or chiropractor. This ensures that you are an appropriate candidate for physical therapy and can safely perform physical therapy for your ailment. Your referring physician can fax an order for physical therapy to one of our clinics if necessary.

Can a physician’s assistant (PA) write a prescription for physical therapy?

Yes, your PA is allowed to write a prescription for therapy since they work under the physician.

How does the billing process work?

When you call to schedule physical therapy, we will call your insurance company and obtain your benefits for physical therapy. At your first visit, you will be informed of your responsibility if there is a remaining amount that insurance does not cover.

Do you have self pay options?

Yes, we do have that option available if you are uninsured or have exhausted your physical therapy benefits under your insurance plan. This can be discussed with the clinic director at the appropriate time.

What do I do after physical therapy?

You will be given an exercise program to complete independently between your therapy sessions in the clinic. This exercise program will be progressive throughout your time in the clinic, and you will have the sheet of exercises with instructions to continue when your visits in the clinic are completed. Also, you may have a scheduled appointment to return to your referring physician for a follow up appointment.

How do I choose my physical therapist?

When you call to make your appointment, you will be scheduled with one of our licensed physical therapists. If you have a preference for a specific therapist, just let us know. We will schedule you with the same physical therapist for each subsequent visit.

What is your privacy policy?

Excel Sports and Physical Therapy follows all federal and state privacy policies. We provide a copy of these practices to each patient upon your first visit. It is our responsibility to respect the confidentiality of your private health information and to inform you of your rights regarding this information.

How do I choose my physical therapy clinic?

You may choose a physical therapy clinic that best suits your needs. We have nine locations throughout St. Charles, Warren, and St. Louis Counties to serve you. Depending on your injury, we also have physical therapists that specialize in hand therapy, balance and vestibular disorders, women’s health, aquatic therapy, work conditioning, and pediatric pelvic floor dysfunction. Some therapists tend to specialize in specific areas. We will direct you to the therapist who can best take care of your problems.

What types of treatment will I receive?

Physical therapy treatment will be specific to you and your diagnosis from your physician. After a thorough evaluation by your physical therapist, you will be treated with therapeutic techniques and exercises to address your impairments and limitations. This may include physical agents, electrotherapeutic modalities, manual therapy techniques, therapeutic exercise, assistive device use, and balance and gait training. You will be educated on a home exercise program to perform at home between visits in the clinic.

Will I get a massage at physical therapy?

Physical therapy may include manual therapy techniques to increase circulation, inhibit muscle tone, stimulate muscle recruitment, or lengthen tissue that has decreased flexibility. Physical therapy is not massage therapy, but therapeutic massage may be incorporated into your treatment.

Why is physical therapy a good choice?

Physical therapy is a great choice for management of physical ailments including, but not limited to, musculoskeletal problems, cardiopulmonary deconditioning, balance and vestibular disorders, sports injuries, pre- and post-surgical situations, spine diagnoses, fractures, sprains and strains, and mechanical asymmetries because it is a non-invasive way to augment our bodies to alleviate pain and decrease functional limitations. Physical therapy includes education on your diagnosis and exercises and stretching for you to maintain your pain free state. It is our job to get you back to doing the activities that you want to continue doing.

Are there physical therapy specialists? 

Yes! Excel Sports and Physical Therapy has specialized therapists that perform hand therapy, balance and vestibular training, throwing mechanics, women’s health, work conditioning, core stabilization, and aquatic therapy.