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23FAQs 1

Frequently asked questions

Physical therapy the process of rehabilitation using hands on care by a Physical Therapist who may give you specific exercises tailored to your issues to speed up the process. The goal of physical therapy is to improve how you move/work/live and increase what you can currently do. We use hands on manual therapy techniques, specific tailored exercises, and may use other things like dry needling (if needed and wanted) or specific rehabilitation tools to speed the healing process and restore movement to our patients. You will get personal one on one attention with the doctor your whole session giving you the fastest results towards your goals.

If your pain or stiffness revolves around muscle or joint issues revolving in the following areas it is 99% likely we can help.
Back                        Elbows/Wrists                    Foot/Ankle
Neck                        Hips
Shoulders              Knees
If for some reason we couldn’t help you we would let you know at the first phone call or the first visit. 

Unlikely. When there is pain most people describe it as a sort of “good pain” like it’s a little uncomfortable but feels like it needs it. Otherwise if we think a technique would be slightly uncomfortable we would communicate that with you beforehand and make sure you were onboard with the treatment.

With pain the faster you come in, the faster you are able to return to a pain free life. However, Physical Therapy can help people with acute (short term) as well as chronic (long term) conditions. Even the pain of degenerative conditions such as arthritis and degenerative disc disease can be eased by Physical Therapy. Many of the people we work with at KinetikChain Denver have had their pain for years and we are able to get great results when working towards their goals.

If you have been to a physical therapist that has only given you exercises and you didn’t get better I am sorry, but that isn’t physical therapy. The exercises in physical therapy are meant to reinforce hands on care.  While exercise should be a small part of what you get with physical therapy, the hands on care is really what you need to get back to feeling like you should. Giving specific exercises geared to improving how you move is part of physical therapy, but it is only a minor part of what Physical Therapists use to get you better.  When it comes to rehab It’s kind of like ketchup (exercise) on a hot dog (hands on physical therapy).  Without the hot dog (hands on physical therapy) the ketchup (exercise) isn’t all that great by itself.  These exercises will be different for every person and every body part as the causes for pain will be different for every person even between two people with shoulder pain.  Trying general exercises without an evaluation to improve your condition generally won’t work. A trip to the gym and the exercise given by your Physical Therapist are not the same thing, and you should not expect the same results.  At KinetikChain we will give you 3-5 specific tailored exercises, explain why we are giving them to you and what they are doing to help you recover, and make sure you are doing them correctly.  Over time we will try to keep it to 3-5 exercises but give you harder exercises as you progress to get rid of your pain and get you to your goals. In addition to exercise you will get tips and advice along the way to help you adjust other parts of your daily routines that can help you as well. 
Since the cost will be different for everyone it really all depends on how much you value your health and your lifestyle.  Many people avoid getting help from a specialist because they fear the cost, but have never thought of what it is costing them in terms of their health, quality of life, and what they are missing out on because of their pain/injury/stiffness.  This doesn’t even start to consider the costs of any future costs of doctor visits, pills, injections, or surgeries that could have been prevented if this was remedied properly.   I can’t tell you how many times I have heard from patients that they wished they would have spent the money earlier and fixed it properly so they wouldn’t have missed out on years of living an active fulfilled life.
Figuring out the best PT for you is a personal decision, but there are some criteria that you can use to figure out who works best for you. It is helpful to choose a provider that has worked with your injury and has helped others get back to goals that are similar to yours. Since PT’s vary in training and expertise, and vary in the setup of their clinical practice, the best way to figure out if they will best suit you is to give them a call to ask all of your questions. 
Other Important questions to ask should include:
  • How much time do they spend with each patient ?
  • Do they use an tech or aide – Will you be seeing the same PT throughout your plan of care (and for the whole time during every visit) that has experience with your diagnosis or condition? 
  • How do they determine plans of care? 
  • What is the clinic environment like? (busy where the clinician has to focus on multiple different  people and multiple different things at once? Do you want a lot of people in the clinic distracting them while you are there?)
  • Will they know your name or get to know you?  (at busy clinics it is hard to remember the details when you are seeing 25+patients a day.  This can not only affect your relationship with the PT or front desk, but can slow your progress)
  • Will you spend a lot of your time doing exercises in the clinic that you could easily be doing at home?
  • Are there ultrasound units and tens unit treatments? (these are rarely a good use of your time and generally don’t do much to progress your healing)
  • Will they communicate with your other health care providers to make sure that everyone is on the same page?
Make sure you put together a list before you contact your prospective PT, and don’t be afraid to ask all of your questions to see if you are a good fit.

We like to think of this like a medical first date.  We get to make sure we can help you, you get to make sure you trust us to get rid of your pain and get you back to your goals.  The discovery visit is a chance for us to get to know each other.  We will ask you about your goals and what is motivating you.  After that we will put you through a mini-exam and figure out what is causing your issues as well.  We will describe your injury, what caused it, and come up with a plan together of a way to fix it.  This is meant as a way for you to make a better, more well informed decision about your health. 

At each follow up visit, your therapist will review how things have been going for you and if anything has changed in your life and goals. Based on that information we will either continue to progress your treatment or alter your treatment so that you will continue to improve. This may include, but is not limited to various manual therapy techniques (myofascial release, joint mobilizations, manipulations), specific therapeutic exercises, dry needling, kinesiotaping, and many other techniques. Also before you leave, he/she will have a discussion summarizing what you accomplished that session, challenge you on how to progress yourself using the exercises and drills we give you, and inform you of what we will be doing and working towards the next session.  Then quickly before you know it you will be back to everything you want, need, and love to do.

Comfortable, loose clothing, such as gym/workout clothing, is the best. This will allow your physical therapist to fully access and examine your body and how you move.  An FYI to another occasional question-You won’t have to get naked or take your clothes off.

That depends on the nature of your unique problem- different diagnoses require different interventions and therefore will show a range of results in different timeframes.  In general you will start to notice improvements very quickly, usually by visit 2 or 3. Consideration of your individual condition, medical history and any contributing factors such as additional injuries, lifestyle and even compliance will affect the timeline of your recovery. To get a specific idea of your timeline, make sure to speak with your therapist about your expectations. 

Yes. More and more people are now getting yearly or more frequent examinations by their Physical Therapist similar to how your Dentist tries to prevent minor issues from becoming more serious.  With most injuries there were signs that could have been addressed to prevent the injury from ever happening.  With the documented benefits of early intervention in short and long term injuries we can help minimize your downtime and get you back to a normal life faster. Physical therapy is a great asset as a preventative tool when starting a sports or exercise regimen, or trying to stay healthy and active as possible. 

Our physical therapy focuses on three phases of care.  Get the pain down, get to the root cause of the problem, and teach you how to keep it away.
Most other therapies only focus on getting the pain down at the area of pain (the victim) and not getting to the root cause (the culprit).  So what happens?  It helps, but only for a while.  The pain improves only to come back shortly after.  By focusing on the root cause we are able to make permanent changes and teach you how to keep the pain from coming back. 
To do this we focus on one on one hour long sessions by the best most talented physical therapists and communicators we can find and spend 15% of our time every week on getting better on treatment skills as well as communication skills.  While you are in your sessions with us we will focus on the hands on care you can’t get anywhere else and won’t waste your time with exercises you could be doing at home.  Lastly we only give you a few very specific tailored exercises as well as a plan on what to do to help progress yourself and maintain your improvements.
Many of our patients have tried and failed therapy and rehab at multiple other providers.  Because of being let down multiple times before they are skeptical to see us, but after seeing just how different our approach is they make the leap of faith and are able to get back to what they need to do. Giving you the time and attention you deserve will make the difference in you getting better or stagnating in your progress. 
While PT is great for all of those things most people who benefit from physical therapy have less specific types of injuries and are just looking to get rid of their pain and get back to fully enjoying an active life.  The most common types of injuries we see are the nagging injuries that have been around for several months to years.  Maybe there was something you can pinpoint as the cause, but frequently there isn’t a cause you can think of.  These are typically the straw that broke the camel’s back situations where it was one or two small things that didn’t cause any problems by themselves, but after you did those things 10,000 times they started to give you pain.  The good news is that these are easily treatable once we figure out what is causing the pain and what we can do about it.

There is no way we can fully predict this and I can only tell you what has happened to others.  The problem rarely gets better on it’s own.  Many times it gets worse.  By waiting you are running the risk of ongoing increased pain and stiffness and possibly damage to the muscles, tendons, and joints.  Without help you may not be able to do everything you need to do as time goes on.   I assume if you really could see in the future and see what would happen if you don’t take action vs. what would happen if you gave us a try you would be calling us right away. 

Yes, the sooner the better.  This is actually quite common.  The good news is that it doesn’t bother you all the time yet!  Physical therapists are trained to give you a proper examination that can determine what is causing your pain whether you are currently feeling your pain or not.  After the examination we will describe exactly what is causing your pain and why, as well as layout a plan for you to get rid of this for good. 

Like most things in life there are no guarantees and you should probably run from anyone who says their treatments are 100% guaranteed to work.  That being said it helps the overwhelming majority of people who get the right quality of care.  For most of the patients that physical therapy didn’t work for it wasn’t that physical therapy wouldn’t work, but just their past physical therapist likely wasn’t able to provide the quality of care the person needed to get better.  This happens frequently in clinics that are too busy or use non expert techs or aides to help in the rehab process.  At our clinic we try to have a phone call to screen everyone before they come in and make sure it is something we think we can help you with and that we are 100% the best people to help you with it.  After that we have a money back guarantee that you will leave happy knowing that we have done everything possible to help you.  If after the first visit you don’t think it will work for you then there is no charge. 

That’s fantastic, as the time to do something about it is now before it becomes an injury.  Before you can start to help yourself you have to know what specifically is wrong and causing the stiffness/tightness.  A PT will put you through a full examination and let you know everything that is causing your issues and help you to formulate a plan to fix it.  They will likely be able to help you with any joint, muscle, soft tissue, or movement restrictions you have to get you moving better and making all the things you want to do easier and more enjoyable.

Almost every clinic you talk to will say they give you hands on care and more than likely they are not lying about that.  The amount of time you get one on one likely will be different.  When I worked at another very busy clinic I was simultaneously seeing up to 4 patients an hour, while managing another therapist and their patients, 2 physical therapy techs, and helping to manage the front desk.  I now see patients one on one for an hour.  Both got hands on care. I hope I have improved my skills in the years following that job, but just for argument’s sake let’s say I haven’t.  Which patients do you think had better outcomes?
In our current system with longer one on one time we average around 60% less treatments.  Not only that, almost all of our patients now finish their plans of care compared to a much smaller percentage in the other clinic.  In the old clinic they were not finishing their plans of care because they weren’t making progress when the physical therapist couldn’t spend enough time with them.  At KinetikChain we don’t have that problem. 
People frequently tell us that the reason they finally came to see us was that they didn’t want to end up like their parents. You don’t want to end up like your parents when you are 14, and even more so when you are older and watching your parents complain about their pain and stiffness and getting frustrated they aren’t doing much about it.  There is a saying about when you get old and stiff.  However, we don’t think that is true. We think you get stiff then you get old.  Physical therapy can prevent you from getting stiff and help you to move better, which can help you to be more active and healthy in your older years. 

With musculoskeletal problems it is rare that PT cannot help.  There are only a few common reasons PT won’t work: if you think it is going to be a miracle cure, hoping to be fixed in one day, or are not ready to do your part in helping to make sure you recover.  We always discuss your goals before you come in to make sure there are no surprises, that we are on the same page as far as what you want, and to make sure we think we can help.  If we think there was a better option for you we will recommend someone else for you at no charge to you.

While many physical therapists encourage this, we do not.  We want you to work out for a variety of reasons including improving general health and for you to be able to blow off some steam.  We have built a reputation around helping people to continue to work out during their injuries.  With very serious injuries a short rest period may be suggested, but we will give you other exercise options.  With the variety of injuries we will help you to modify your workouts if necessary and help you progress into full workouts as soon as possible.

If you want someone else to come we actually encourage it.  If you want them to come back and experience physical therapy with you we love helping your friends and family understand what is going on with you and how they can be involved.  They will likely discover some tips they can use themselves to improve how they move as well!

It depends on how fast you want to recover and the nature of your injury.  Most of our patients tell us they want to get back yesterday so usually we suggest 2-3 visits/week to give them the fastest return.  However, twice a week isn’t possible for everyone and we do once a week or sometimes even every other week.  This takes longer, but because of their schedule it is right for them and they still get the results they are looking for.  You will have the choice on how you want to make your progress.  There is no right or wrong, only what is right for you. 
For Answers to almost 50 more FAQ’s see the FAQ chapter of Dr. Jamie’s Book. (Adding Insight to Injury)
If you have specific questions you would like answered please call us at 720-651-0674.

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