Some Frequently Asked Questions about Physical Therapy?


Does Physical Therapy Hurt?


“ No Pain-No gain” is not true in most cases. You might develop some muscle soreness from working muscles that you haven’t used lately or movements to increase your mobility may be painful while you are doing them – but you will feel better when they are completed. In fact, our primary goal is to reduce pain and this occurs before other things like strengthening.


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Who chooses which physical therapist I go to?



Oftentimes, your physician will give you a recommendation or a listing of physical therapists in your area. Sometimes your insurance company will guide you with regard to who is ‘in-network’ for your insurance plan. Ultimately, however, the decision as to where you receive your care is up to you. If you have a specific request, you need to let your physician or insurance company know. If Creative Therapy is not a member of your insurance PPO, we may be able, on a case by case basis, to reduce your out of network deductible and co-payments to a level similar to your ‘in network’ deductible and co-payments. We will be able to determine your out of pocket costs after your first visit, or call us at 847-390-0999 and we’ll find out before you start.



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How do I arrange an appointment?


If your physician gives you a referral to physical therapy, simply call our office for an appointment. Our Des Plaines office can be reached at 847-390-0999. Our Riverwoods office can be reached at 847-520-9038. Our office staff will get all the necessary information from you and assist you with an appointment.


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What is my responsibility in physical therapy?


We are partners in your treatment. Your physical therapist cannot do it without you! We ask that all patients cooperate by following through with their home exercise programs and instructions, as this is extremely important in expediting your recovery.


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What should I bring with me?


For your first visit you will need your insurance card, and any paperwork that was sent to you that needed to be filled out. If you have any operative reports, MRI or X-ray results, you may bring those as well, but they are not necessary. Additionally, if you are utilizing any type of brace, splint or crutches, those should come with you.


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Will my insurance cover physical therapy?


Although most insurance companies do cover physical therapy, what they cover specifically varies greatly. Please review our billing and insurance participation section on this website, and if you have additional questions regarding your specific insurance, give us a call.


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What is the co-pay for physical therapy?


Co-pays are dependent upon your individual insurance. After your first visit, we will call your insurance and find out your benefits. We will give you a written summary of your physical therapy benefits with an estimated co-payment amount, if you have one.


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What should I expect on my first visit?


On your first visit, your physical therapist will perform an evaluation to determine what deficits and problems you have that can be addressed in physical therapy. The evaluation involves a thorough history and tests and measures that allow the physical therapist to get a more specific understanding of your condition. Your physical therapist will make a clinical judgment as to your physical therapy diagnosis and prognosis. A treatment program will be developed aimed at resolving the problems indentified, as well as, to attain the goals you set in conjunction with the physical therapist.


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What type of interventions may I receive?


The interventions you receive will depend on what the physical therapist finds in the evaluation. Our intervention programs include coordination among all people involved in your care (other health care professionals, family, friends, caregivers and others); communication to ensure a good exchange of information; thorough documentation of the care and services provided; and instruction in home exercises to you and others involved in your care to promote and optimize our services. Most physical therapy will include three categories of interventions: therapeutic exercise; functional training in self-care and home management; and functional training in work or school, community, and leisure environments. Other interventions might include manual therapy techniques; use of equipment such as supports, orthotics or prosthetics; electrotherapeutic modalities; ultrasound; and mechanical modalities such as traction.


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How long is a typical treatment session?


Plan on one hour for your initial visit and after that an ongoing treatment lasts between 30 to 60 minutes.


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How long is a course of therapy?


It depends upon the diagnosis, the severity of your injury and how dedicated you are to doing your part outside of treatments. Our goal is to not only get rid of your pain but to get you to the point where the likelihood of the pain coming back is significantly reduced.


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How is my progress measured?


Because your physical therapist will perform a meticulous evaluation, quantifying and qualifying all the deficits and problems that you are presenting with, re-examination to determine progress is essential.   We will constantly monior your progress and adjust your program as needed.  Additionally, the physical therapist always needs to be aware of follow-up visits with your physician so a progress note can be sent to the doctor the day of your appointment.


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What if I have an increase in symptoms?


If you have increased symptoms please call your physical therapist. When you call the office please be sure you explain to the office staff that you are having an increase in symptoms. The office staff will contact your physical therapist or a covering physical therapist. We will be able to review your medical record and will give you a call back the same day. After we discuss the case with you, we will be able to give you guidelines as to what would be appropriate to reduce your symptoms, whether you need to come in to our office, or if you should contact or follow up with your physician. It is best to call us prior to calling your physician as if a change in symptoms has occurred, it is important that we fax the physician a report so that they can be up-to-date on your care when you see them.


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I have never had physical therapy before, how do I know that my treatment is of good quality?


If you can do more at home or on the job with less pain and you are having a good time in the process, then the treatment is of good quality. If you dread going to your physical therapy appointments, perhaps the overall quality of your experience could be improved on.


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Will I need follow-up or maintenance care?


The answer depends entirely on the physical therapist’s evaluation to determine your physical therapy diagnosis and prognosis.


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What if I need to return to physical therapy?


Please contact the physical therapist who treated you. She may be able to help you over the phone, but if you are having problems its best to come in and let us find out what the problem is. You will need a prescription from your doctor in order for the therapist to treat you, but we will be happy to fax a prescription request to your doctor if you would like.


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Is it OK to ask my doctor about physical therapy?


Absolutely! If you have a problem that you think can be helped with physical therapy, feel free to give us a call. After discussing with you the specific problem you present with, we can give you a better idea if it is something that is manageable with physical therapy. You can also give your doctor a call. If he or she is not sure, he or she is welcome to contact us as well. In today’s healthcare, if you feel physical therapy can be helpful to you, you will need to stress your feelings to the doctor you are seeing. We are happy to send the doctor information about our treatment programs if the doctor needs additional information.


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Are Physical Therapists licensed?


Yes, all physical therapists have to be licensed in the state that they work. Licenses should be prominently displayed.


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What should I wear to my physical therapy appointments?


In general, wear comfortable clothing to physical therapy. If you are presenting with a problem of your cervical spine, upper back or shoulders, it is helpful to be able to expose those areas. If you are coming for a lower-extremity problem, shorts are important. You can bring clothing with you if you need to change here.


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Hours & Locations

Convenient Hours at 2 Locations


Des Plaines

Mon - Thurs:  7:00AM to 6:00PM



Mon - Thurs: 8:00AM to 6:00PM


(later hours may be possible at both locations, please call for more information)


Creative Therapy Resource, Ltd.

Main Phone: 847.390.0999  Fax:  847.390.0949



Des Plaines Office: 1683 Elk Boulvard, Des Plaines, IL 60016      Ph:  847.390.0999   Fax: 847.390.0949

Riverwoods Office: 1135 Milwaukee Ave., Riverwoods, IL 60015  Ph: 847.520.9038  Fax: 847.520.9039