Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to be a dancer in order to be treated at WSDPT?
Our practice is not strictly limited to professional dancers, although this is the specialty we are known for. The same skills and expertise used to return our professional dancers back to performance level are applied to all our patients to achieve the best individualized results to meet the patient’s particular goals.
What is Orthopedic Manual Therapy?
Manual physical therapy is a specialized form of physical therapy delivered with the hands as opposed to a device or machine. In manual therapy, practitioners use their hands to assess joint mobility to determine if there is too much or too little movement in an individual or series of joints or in the soft tissues. The therapist uses this information to give a musculoskeletal profile of how different parts of the body can influence a dysfunction at a particular joint or muscle. Often, pain free joints that lack adequate mobility can be the biomechanical driving force for accelerating wear and tear on another joint. That breakdown can strain the supporting tissues surrounding a joint causing pain and excessive mobility. Joint imbalances can cause discomfort, pain, and an alteration in function, posture, and movement. Manual physical therapy involves restoring mobility to stiff joints and reducing muscle tension while using stabilization techniques to support the painful, hypermobile joint.
In general, manual physical therapy techniques employ the following types of movement:
- Soft tissue work, including massage and myofascial release, applies pressure to the soft tissues of the body such as the muscles, fascia, tendons and ligaments. This pressure can help relax muscles, increase circulation, break up scar tissue, and ease pain in the soft tissues.
- Mobilization/manipulation, which uses measured movements of varying speed (slow to fast), force (gentle to forceful), and distances (called ‘amplitude’) to twist, pull, or push bones and joints into position. This can help loosen tight tissues around a joint, reduce pain in a joint and surrounding tissue, and help with flexibility and alignment
What is Biomechanical analysis and how can it help my injury/condition?
Biomechanical analysis is the examination of various tasks that humans perform with particular attention to the mechanics of how the task is performed. Gait or walking is a frequently studied activity. Faulty movement patterns in dance or sport can be the cause of injury in the body and visa-versa. With an injury, there is often a mechanical compensation somewhere else to make up for any lack of motion (or too much motion), strength, balance, flexibility or co-ordination.
Our staff specializes in biomechanical analysis of dance, sports movements and, of course, gait. We use the information from our biomechanical analysis to return the injured dancer/athlete to a healthier movement pattern that will keep you injury free. For example: faulty turnout may be the cause of a dancer’s hip pain and may have resulted in an abnormal position of the hip ball-and-socket joint and chronic inflammation of the surrounding tendons. Manual therapy and motor control techniques in conjunction with reeducating turnout technique not only resolve the pain, but return the dancer to a healthier movement pattern, preventing future re-injury.
What is motor control?
Motor control is the qualitative balance of muscle usage about a joint to achieve stability of that joint as well as groups of joints participating in a task. Different muscles perform different tasks at the same joint. Some muscles are best suited to stabilize a joint while others work best to move groups of joints. Training differs for these two different types of muscles.
Do I need a prescription for physical therapy
New York became a direct access state in 2006. Since then, licensed physical therapists in New York have been able to see patients without a prescription provided:
- Treatment is limited to 10 visits or 30 days, whichever comes first.
- The therapist must have practiced PT on a full-time basis for no less than 3 years and be of at least 21 years of age.
- The therapist must provide written notification to the patient that services rendered without referral might not be covered by the patient’s health plan or insurer. The notification must state that the services might be covered by the health plan or insurer with a referral. The therapist must keep a copy of the written notification in the patient’s file.
How long are the appointment sessions?
The initial appointment, you are scheduled to be with the physical therapist for one hour. It is possible that in some cases you might spend additional time doing some exercise or perhaps receiving a modality. At the initial appointment, your therapist will tell you what to expect for follow-up visits.
At follow up appointments, you spend 30 minutes with the physical therapist and depending on your condition, may spend an additional 30 – 60 minutes after that receiving a modality, doing exercises or performing therapeutic activities.
Do I need to wear/bring anything special?
While we do have some private treatment areas we generally work in an “open-gym”/training room type format. Accordingly, you should wear (or bring to change into) clothing that you can be examined in, generally shorts and tee shirts work well. A top with straps works best for females being treated for a shoulder complaint.
We provide changing rooms with lockers and recommend you bring your own lock to secure the locker. If you wear orthotic devices and are being seen for any condition of the leg, pelvis or lower back, please bring them to your session. If you are having custom orthotic devices made bring any devices previously made for you as well as typical footwear you plan on using the orthotic in i.e. athletic shoe or dress shoe.
If your injury is related to playing a musical instrument, we ask that, where possible, you bring your instrument with you to one of the first several visits.
Will I see the same therapist each time?
You will be evaluated by one of our licensed and highly trained physical therapists and he/she will also treat you during subsequent visits. Unlike some clinics, where you see someone different each visit, we feel it is very important to develop a one-on-one relationship with you to maintain continuity of care. At times, due staff vacations or illness, you may need to continue treatment with another therapist. When this occurs, your therapist will communicate all pertinent information verbally and through your written medical record to the covering therapist.