Physical therapy is a common treatment after an injury at work. Whether you injure your back, neck, arm, or leg, your treating physician will often order treatment with a physical therapist to help relieve pain. Physical therapy is often ordered shortly after an injury. It is also frequently ordered after surgery to aid with recovery
The order for physical therapy will generally include instructions about how often and what type of physical therapy should be done. This order can generally be taken to any physical therapy provider, although your doctor may have a recommended physical therapist. The physical therapist who treats you is required to be licensed by the State of Georgia. You can make sure that your physical therapist has the proper licensing by visiting the Georgia State Board of Physical Therapy.
Physical therapy often includes active and passive modalities. With a passive modality (such as heat packs or ultrasound), the activity is done to you. Active modalities involve you taking an active role in the therapy. Some common active modalities include stretching and exercises to build muscle strength.
The physical therapist remains in communication with your doctor throughout the treatment. The therapist generally writes a progress report for the doctor to review. This helps the doctor make decisions about whether further physical therapy would benefit you.
Physical therapists also perform other treatment and testing. One common test performed by many physical therapists is a functional capacity evaluation. This is a test that attempts to determine appropriate work restrictions for your injury. We have an article devoted exclusively to functional capacity evaluations that you can read by clicking here.
Sometimes insurance companies delay approval of physical therapy. Other times they refuse to pay for it all together. Often, they tell you that you can only have a certain number of visits. These denials are often based on the insurance companies own guidelines or the guidelines of some other company.
The insurance company is not the doctor. You should not wait around for the insurance company to decide it is going to approve treatment that the doctor says you need. There are things that can be done to make the insurance company pay for treatment you need.
If the insurance company is delaying or denying your physical therapy or any other medical treatment, it may be helpful to get an attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation involved in your case. Having a consultation about your specific situation is the first step. Our workers’ compensation specialists provide free consultations. To get a free consultation, simply call the phone number or complete the “Need Help” form on the right side of this page.