Your knee started giving you trouble on a training run. When you leave work at the end of the day, your back aches. Your shoulder hasn’t been the same since you tweaked it doing yardwork.
They’re minor enough that you may think twice about calling around for a doctor appointment and sitting in the waiting room only to hear what you already knew: You need physical therapy.
But if you just live with it, it can come back to haunt you as a more serious injury. That’s where our Center for Rehabilitative Medicine at the East Campus can help. The convenient facility now offers Direct Access for physical therapy, so patients can make appointments on their own if they have private insurance or are paying out of pocket.
“If you’re having some type of pain and you’re not sure what’s going on, you can come in and let us evaluate you,” said Ambrosia Scott, DPT, LAT, CCI, Outpatient Rehabilitation Manager. “Let us get to the root of the problem before it becomes something more serious.”
Here’s what you need to know to get started:
Do a common-sense assessment of your injury
Scott said Direct Access is a great option for patients who have the sort of nagging pain that bothers them at times but doesn’t keep them from their day-to-day activities. Often, that pain comes from regular actions – not a specific incident where you immediately know you injured yourself. Common causes include repetitive tasks at work, home repairs and sports and exercise.
“Something hurts, and you don’t know what you did. You don’t think you need to go to a doctor because it isn’t severe, but you want to start physical therapy,” Scott said.
If you suspect something is broken or torn, see a doctor. But if you feel the injury is less severe and doesn’t require imaging, you’re a good candidate for Direct Access. “It helps you skip a step and find out what’s going on with your body so we can start the process of healing,” Scott said.
Determine if you qualify
Direct Access is for patients with privately paid insurance, such as through their employer, or who want to pay out of pocket. Patients who use Medicare or Medicaid do not qualify.
Scott said it allows patients to have up to 15 physical therapy treatments within 30 days. Currently, it is only available for physical therapy, although Scott is working on establishing Direct Access for occupational therapy and speech therapy.
Schedule an appointment with a therapist and get started
Simply call the Center for Rehabilitative Medicine at 901-515-3100 and ask to set up a Direct Access appointment with a physical therapist.
At the appointment, the therapist will evaluate you and develop a treatment plan. Even though you made your appointment without a doctor’s referral, your doctor will be made aware of your treatment and can be brought in if necessary.
Get well soon!
Working with a physical therapist can help you recover more quickly and prevent further injury.
Along with hands-on treatments, they help with proper posture, breathing exercises, stretching and strength training geared toward specific activities, how to perform activities safely and more. They can even look at your workspace to identify ergonomic problems and offer solutions.
Scott noted all of her physical therapists have their doctorate, and they have an eclectic mix of experience helping athletes, office and industrial workers, the elderly and even trauma patients.
“We try to make it a fun and loving environment,” she added. “That’s what we want everybody to embody. You’re not just getting great care, you’re getting people who care. You know your therapist, you engage with each other, and you’re involved in your plan of care.”
To schedule an appointment, call 901-515-3100.