If you do not see an answer to your question or for more detail, please contact our office.
337-439-3344


What is a PT?
Why do people go to a PT?
What do I need to do to go to physical therapy or send a friend/family member?
Can I go directly to physical therapy?
Does insurance cover physical therapy?
Do you accept self payment patients?
What happens on my first visit?
What should I bring with me for the first visit?
How Should I Dress?
What will the treatments be like?
How long do treatments last?
Why should I choose physical therapy to address my complaint?
How long will I go to physical therapy?
Will my doctor be kept informed about my progress with physical therapy?
What happens if physical therapy doesn’t fix 100% of my problems?
What happens after I am discharged from physical therapy and my pain returns?
What is a POPTS?
Is it true that physical therapy is painful?
What are some examples of physical therapy treatments?
What is the difference between massage therapy and physical therapy?
What is the difference between physical therapy and chiropractic care?
My doctor wants to send me to physical therapy but I have already been to physical therapy?
How does the billing process work?
What is the Medicare Cap?



What is a PT?
Physical therapists (PTs) are health care professionals who diagnose and treat individuals of all ages, from newborns to the very oldest, who have medical problems or other health-related conditions that limit their abilities to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives.

PTs examine each individual and develop a plan using treatment techniques to promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability. In addition, PTs work with individuals to prevent the loss of mobility before it occurs by developing fitness- and wellness-oriented programs for healthier and more active lifestyles.

Physical therapists provide care for people in a variety of settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, schools, sports and fitness facilities, work settings, and nursing homes. State licensure is required in each state in which a physical therapist practices.

All PTs must receive a graduate degree from an accredited physical therapist program before taking the national licensure examination that allows them to practice. The majority of programs offer the doctor of physical therapy (DPT) degree.

Why do people go to a PT?
PTs do not only assist people for a variety of conditions that are painful and limiting but also to help individuals who are interested in preventing injury, preparing for surgery, or who are interested in general health and wellness.

What do I need to do to go to physical therapy or send a friend/family member?
In Louisiana, you can come to phsical therapy without a written referral for a screening in order to determine if physical therapy is appropriate for you. Insurance companies usually require a referral from your health care provider for payment of physical therapy intervention. However, most insurance companies do allow you to come to physical therapy for an evaluation prior to receiving a referral from your healthcare professional.

Please call Charlotte with specific questions: 337-439-3344 ext. 2.

Many health care professionals can refer to physical therapy including:
1. Medical Doctor (any specialty)
2. Advance Practice Nurse
3. Podiatrist
4. Chiropractor
5. Dentist
6. Physician Assistant

Can I go directly to physical therapy?
Direct access was adopted in LA in 2003:

Louisiana State HB 982 - Direct Access legislation in Louisiana allows a physical therapist to implement physical therapy services without a referral or prescription under the following circumstances:

(1) to children with a diagnosed developmental disability pursuant to the patient's plan of care
(2) as part of a home health care agency pursuant to the patient's plan of care
(3) to a patient in a nursing home pursuant to the patient's plan of care
(4) related to conditioning or to providing education or activities in a wellness setting for the purpose of injury prevention, reduction of stress, or promotion of fitness
(5) to an individual for a previously diagnosed medical condition after informing the health care provider rendering the diagnosis.
The bill adds chiropractors to the list of health care providers authorized to refer patients to physical therapy.

Does insurance cover physical therapy?
The answer is generally YES; however, plans can vary and some have regulations such as number of physical therapy visits per year or the amount of coverage for service. All insurance is verified prior to treatment and if needed, developing payment plans can be an option.

We strive to do our best to make sure that the patient receives the care that is required for their particular condition and are willing to advocate for the patient as needed.

Do you accept self payment patients?
The answer is yes. Self payment rates are $120 for the initial evaluation and $85 per visit. Payment plans are available.

What happens on my first visit?
You will need to arrive at the clinic 25 minutes early to fill out paper work unless you have printed the paper work from our website prior to your evaluation. If you do not fill out the paperwork, you will complete paperwork and provide us with a copy of your insurance information. The therapist will evaluate you and set up a treatment plan specific to your needs if it is deemed that physical therapy is appropriate for you at that time.

Unfortunately, many people perceive that Physical Therapy only involves some form of therapeutic modality (ice, heat, TENS) and exercise. In actuality, what happens on your first visit is that your therapist spends one hour with you to listen to the full history of your condition and them appropriately evaluates in order to answer the clinical question: What is causing the problem? As well as, what else is contributing to that problem? This question is answered through appropriate questioning as well as a musculoskeletal exam including range of motion, strength testing, flexibility, soft tissue mobility, neurological screen when appropriate and joint mobility. After this has been evaluated, the PT will follow up with specific/special testing in order to rule in or rule out competing diagnosis of your condition. Treatment will be based on this initial evaluation and will be consistently monitored and adapted as you progress through therapy.

What should I bring with me for the first visit?

You should bring your written referral (if it was given to you), your insurance information, and any test results that you have (MRI, X-Ray, EMG, etc…).

How Should I Dress?

You should come to physical therapy dressed comfortably. If you do not have the appropriate clothing, we will provide you with shorts or a gown as needed.

What will the treatments be like?
This is highly variable and will be based on your particular evaluation. Partners in Physical Therapy is a “hands on” clinic and this will likely be a large part of your treatment program.

In general, physical therapy treatment is aimed at the following:
1. Decreasing pain
2. Increasing mobility (general as well as specific to particular joint segments as well as soft tissue)
3. Addressing biomechanical movement dysfunction
4. Addressing neurological pain and weakness
5. Improving strength and conditioning
6. Prescribe appropriate assistive or supportive device
7. Increasing function
8. Assisting in increasing independence with ambulation and other daily activities
9. Promoting wellness
10. Education regarding condition and self management

How long do treatments last?
Your initial evaluation will last between 45 and 60 minutes. Each treatment will also generally last between 45 and 60 minutes.

Why should I choose physical therapy to address my complaint?
We are thankful that the healthcare system includes many individuals that are experts in different specialty areas. This allows each patient to receive the best care for their appropriate condition. PTs are experts relating to movement dysfunction as well as anatomy.

In a majority of situations, pain is related to a movement dysfunction and having a profound understanding of anatomy helps to be able to ID the cause of the problem as well as implement a plan to address that problem.

When the patient is treated as part of a healthcare team that address all components of their problem including physical, emotional, and medical the results for those patients are superior to any one treatment alone.

How long will I go to physical therapy?
This varies drastically depending on the degree of your problem as well as specific diagnosis and can range to one treatment visit to several months of treatment.

As a general guideline: the longer that the problem has been present, the longer the rehabilitation. This is the case due to the need to address not only the primary dysfunction but also secondary problems that may have arisen over time (these secondary problems are important to address in order to help increase your long term rehabilitation potential). Also, sometimes it is necessary for patient to attend physical therapy both prior to and following a surgical procedure to help both prepare and recover for surgery.

Your therapist will address this on your evaluation as well as present a treatment plan specific to your individual needs.
Please see examples of treatment protocol section for specific patient examples.

Will my doctor be kept informed about my progress with physical therapy?

All progress information will be sent to your referring Healthcare provider. We are also happy to send the initial evaluation if requested.

What happens if physical therapy doesn’t fix 100% of my problems?
 Physical therapy attempts to increase function and decrease pain to the greatest extent possible. In some situations, complete recovery may not be realistic and flare ups may occur. Therapists do their best to assist in the greatest recovery possible and attempt to avoid potential flare-ups. We will also help to establish a home exercise program so that you may continue your rehabilitation even after you are no longer coming to the physical therapy office.

It is important to realize that physical therapy is not a passive treatment approach. In most situations, it is imperative that the patient take an active role in the rehabilitation process. Those patients who take an active role in their treatment program often have better lasting results following discharge from physical therapy. A past patient commented on this topic, “To come to physical therapy and not participate in your home program is like go into the doctor and not filling your prescription”.

What happens after I am discharged from physical therapy and my pain returns?

Physical therapy attempts to increase function and decrease pain to the greatest extent possible. In some situations, complete recovery may not be realistic and flare ups may occur. Therapists do their best to assist in the greatest recovery possible and attempt to avoid potential flare-ups. We will also help to establish a home exercise program so that you may continue your rehabilitation even after you are no longer coming to the physical therapy office.

It is important to realize that physical therapy is not a passive treatment approach. In most situations, it is imperative that the patient take an active role in the rehabilitation process. Those patients who take an active role in their treatment program often have better lasting results following discharge from physical therapy. A past patient commented on this topic, “To come to physical therapy and not participate in your home program is like go into the doctor and not filling your prescription”.

What is a POPTS?

Physical therapy referral for profit describes a financial relationship in which a physician, podiatrist, or dentist refers a patient for physical therapy treatment and gains financially from the referral.  The most common form of referral for profit relationship in physical therapy is the physician-owned physical therapy service, known by the acronym “POPTS.”
Is it true that physical therapy is painful?
For many patients, the goal of physical therapy intervention is to reduce pain. However, there are particular situations/techniques that may be painful. This may include increasing range of motion following a total knee replacement or with a frozen shoulder. Also some patients with a diagnosis of fibromyalgia or with peripheral sensitization may experience pain with simple palpation of the affected area.

We usually tell our patients that because a majority of our treatment involves a hands on approach, we treat you “like and onion”, working on the surface and progressing as we learn your bodies response to treatment. With that being said, discussing your response to physical therapy treatment with your physical therapist is imperative and the “no pain no gain” theory RARELY applies.

What are some examples of physical therapy treatments?

Physical therapy treatment can include a significant variety of treatment approaches. Here is a simple list of possibilities:
  • Range of motion (passive, active, active assisted)
  • Therapeutic modalities (ultrasound, electrical stimulation, whirlpool, biofeedback…)
  • Strengthening (isometrics, isotonic, concentric, eccentric, activity specific, and core stabilization)
  • Gait training (orthopedic, neurological, assistive device, orthotic, prosthesis…)
  • Manual Therapy (soft tissue and joint mobilization)
  • Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation
  • Stretching/Flexibility
  • Traction
  • Soft Tissue Massage
  • And much more...

What is the difference between massage therapy and physical therapy?

Many people think that massage therapy and PTs are similar professions. In actuality there is a substantial difference between the professions. However, PTs as well as other health professionals (chiropractors, osteopaths, and athletic trainers) also perform soft tissue massage.

Massage Therapist: Individual passing exam to be licensed as a MT. Training can be completed during weekend courses within one year with no prerequisite education required. Some massage therapists participate in continuing education to learn about specific treatment techniques. MT sessions usually include treatment of the soft tissue with possible benefits including pain relief, reduced anxiety and depression, and temporarily reduced blood pressure, and heart rate. Massage therapy is a wonderful profession to assist with muscle tension as well as pain relief associated with soft tissue irritation. There are many techniques employed by massage therapists and particular techniques may be appropriate for different individuals and should be discussed with a licensed MT.

Physical Therapist: Individual with a graduate level education, most graduate programs are now doctorate level education. PTs have the skill and training to evaluate and diagnosis musculoskeletal and neuromuscular injury within their scope of practice. PTs are trained to deliver treatments beyond addressing soft tissue limitations. Examples include joint mobilization, biomechanical evaluation and treatment, neurological rehabilitation, orthotic assessment, prosthetic training, training in activities of daily living, gait training, and much more…..

As a profession, PTs value MTs as having an important role and usefulness to address health and wellness as well as pain and difficulty relating to soft tissue limitations.

What is the difference between physical therapy and chiropractic care?
Chiropractic is also a profession that requires a graduate degree. Programs are also at the doctorate level. Most Chiropractors address soft tissue and joint limitation through massage, therapeutic modalities, traction, and joint manipulation.

It can be the case that some individuals benefit from both chiropractic and physical therapy intervention simultaneously, especially if specific manipulation techniques are required as part of the overall treatment program.

Physical therapists also utilize therapeutic modalities, traction, address soft tissue limitation and utilize joint mobilization in appropriate clinical settings. PTs work in acute care, home health, outpatient settings, inpatient hospitals, and in private practice. Most chiropractors work in outpatient settings and private practice.

My doctor wants to send me to physical therapy but I have already been to a PT?
In some situations, relief from physical therapy intervention can reduce and it may be appropriate to return to physical therapy for a brief period.

We also have patients call and tell us that they previously tried physical therapy with no relief. When I ask what their previous treatment included, many patients tell me that they had: heat, electrical stimulation, soft tissue massage, and exercise. I inform the patient that physical therapy is so much more than modalities, massage, and exercise and that they likely need a detailed evaluation and physical therapy diagnosis in order to :

1. Identify the pain generator or problem
2. Develop a comprehensive full body treatment plan to specifically address the primary problem
3. Educate the patient on an appropriate home program to attempt to keep pain and dysfunction from returning.

If after evaluation, it is determined that physical therapy intervention is not appropriate for your condition at the time, we will discuss the situation with your referral source and refer you onto the appropriate individual to address your situation.

How does the billing process work?
Billing at a physical therapy office is similar to billing at your physician’s office. The PT bills based on the treatment provided. Those treatment codes are submitted to your insurance company through our billing department. The insurance company processes this information and makes payments according to the fee schedule. An EOB (explanation of benefit) is then generated with charges and payment information for the patient. The patient’s responsibility, as applicable, will be included.

Please contact our office with particular questions or concerns about the billing process or with self pay or payment plan questions.

What is the Medicare Cap?

CMS (Center for Medicare Services) has placed a cap on physical therapy and occupational therapy services for the year at $1920. However, there are certain diagnosis codes that continue to warrant treatment beyond the cap. Please discuss this situation with your PT if you have previously received physical therapy or occupational therapy (including Home health) this calendar year.