PHYSICAL THERAPY

nbpt-24_pp webby Stacy Hennis, PT, C/NDT

New Beginning Physical Therapy, Inc

You get what you pay for.Decide wisely on where to spend your health care dollars and your time.

Many people are familiar with traditional physical therapy, especially after a surgery. Unfortunately, not enough people think of physical therapy for wellness and prevention, or to be the front line people to help with pain issues. For someone with a chronic illness, such as Parkinson’s disease, a physical therapist should be an important part of the team.

A team approach is necessary to holistically help someone. Medicine is important, but so is nutrition, exercise, and stress management, to name a few factors. The changes that occur with Parkinson’s can be influenced by many factors and the changes can be slowed.

A person has symptoms of Parkinson’s for a period of time before diagnosis. Those symptoms include changes in motor function. Waiting for symptoms to worsen even further, or even until an event like a fall, to see a therapist is like waiting to buy a fire extinguisher until you have a fire in your home. Regrettably, in today’s health care environment, a person’s health needs can extend beyond coverage by an insurance company.

Your insurance may not cover the doctor that you like. Do you find someone else, do you change your coverage, perhaps pay out of pocket? We all have choices that allow us to prioritize what is important. Everyone hopes for a good relationship with their doctor. You don’t want to see a different doctor every time you go into a clinic. Ideally, you have a doctor who gets to know you, what your normal is, someone you trust and with whom you can build a relationship. The same is true of a physical therapist.

Let me share with you my ideal situation for all adults, particularly those with Parkinson’s; You are assessed by a Physical Therapist early in your diagnosis. They give you activities and exercises that are designed to keep you flexible, strong, pain free and moving well. You build a relationship and they get to know your body, how you move, your history, your family support, etc. When a problem arises, you call them and they help you take care of it and feel better. You see them periodically for “fine tuning”to make sure you’re moving optimally. This consistency with a therapist you trust gives you a higher level of care. It allows you to stop problems before they arise.

Physical therapists are movement experts. We know moving in certain patterns can lead to problems, and we can determine the underlying impairments when a problem does arise. All therapists are licensed professionals and follow all laws and regulations, adhering to our standard of practice. But therapists all have various experience levels, continuing education classes and areas of focus. You should find the one that you feel comfortable with and fits with your needs. There are therapists who are neurological therapists, even some who are LSVT BIG certified. Choose your therapist wisely—just as you would a dentist, doctor, or even car mechanic!

As we said, it’s regrettable that with today’s issues in our health care system, this type of relationship isn’t covered by most insurance. There are caps on how much therapy a person can have a year, limits on what can be treated in one session (you can’t always treat the foot if someone is there for neck pain), wellness isn’t covered, etc. This is when it pays to have a private physical therapist. It is becoming more common for Physical Therapists to have a cash based practice, allowing more individualized and custom treatment.

We’ve all heard the phrase “You get what you pay for”. Just because your health insurance will give you “free”therapy, doesn’t mean it’s the best fit for you. You alone are responsible for your health. Decide wisely on where to spend your health care dollars and your time.

To learn more about New Beginnings Physical Therapy, Inc. visit them in the Wellness Village at ParkinsonsResource.org/spotlight/new-beginning-physical-therapy/

 

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