San Diego Physical Therapy FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to see my doctor before I come to physical therapy?
How do I schedule a physical therapy appointment?
Will my health insurance cover physical therapy?
What if I do not have a doctor but need a referral?
Do you have changing facilities?
What will I be doing at physical therapy?
How long are my physical therapy appointments?
Will physical therapy hurt?
Will I be getting a massage at physical therapy?
What is your parking like?
Why should I go to physical therapy?
Who will I be working with at physical therapy?
Do I have to go to the place that my doctor tells me to go?
How is your clinic different than other PT clinics?
How is this any different than going to a chiropractor?
How many visits will I need in order to feel better?
Can I bring my children or family members to my appointments?
Should I have someone drive me to my appointments?
Is physical therapy right for me?
What if I cannot afford physical therapy?
Do I have to go to the clinic listed on my prescription?
What should I wear to physical therapy?
Do I have to have insurance to be treated by a physical therapist?

Do I need to see my doctor before I come to physical therapy?

  • In California, some health insurance plans require you to see a medical provider and obtain a referral prior to starting physical therapy treatment; however, under the new Direct Access Law (AB 1000), enacted January 1, 2014, many PPO insurance plans allow a patient to be treated by a physical therapist for 12 visits or 45 days, whichever comes first, without obtaining a referral from a medical provider.  If you are uncertain of your PPO insurance plan’s requirements, Mizuta & Associates Physical Therapy offers complementary insurance verification to help you in identifying and meeting the needs of your specific plan.

How do I schedule a physical therapy appointment?

  • Contact our office, Monday through Friday 7:00am to 7:00pm, at 619-564-7120.  Our front office staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have as well as verify your insurance benefits for physical therapy and inform you of any steps you may need to take to start treatment.

Will my health insurance cover physical therapy?

  • Most health insurance plans cover physical therapy.  If you are unsure if your insurance covers physical therapy, please call our front office to have one of our team members verify your insurance benefits.  We will let you know exactly how much you will owe if physical therapy is covered before we schedule your initial evaluation.

What if I do not have a doctor but need a referral?

  • No problem, In most cases a prescription/referral can come from any medical professional such as a Medical Doctor, Podiatrist, Chiropractor, etc. If you visit an urgent care clinic, the staff there can help. Additionally, Mizuta & Associates has a large network of medical providers we work closely with and are happy to recommend one to you.

Do you have changing facilities?

  • Yes, we have private treatment rooms and bathroom facilities for patients to change.

What will I be doing at physical therapy?

  • During your initial evaluation, your therapist will gather information about your medical history, as well as perform tests, measure your range of motion, strength, and performance in order to establish a baseline for your treatment.  At the end of this visit, your therapist will give you a plan of action as to what to expect for your physical therapy treatment.

How long are my physical therapy appointments?

  • You will spend a full hour with a licensed physical therapist for each appointment.  We do not use any technicians or aides at our clinic.

Will physical therapy hurt?

  • Depending on the patient diagnosis, some patients may experience discomfort during their sessions.  Physical therapy is not intended to hurt, and open and honest communication with your therapist is the best way to prevent and minimize pain during your treatment.  Your therapist will also educate you in distinguishing among forms of pain or discomfort, such as “good pain” that is related to muscle strength or a “non-intended pain” which would be a joint pain, where program modification may be necessary.

Will I be getting a massage at physical therapy?

  • Physical therapists may perform manual therapy in the injured area for certain diagnoses, which will be billed as a manual therapy technique.  Manual therapy will only be performed in the injured area if identified by the therapist or referring provider as an acceptable form of treatment.  Again, this is depending on the diagnosis.

What is your parking like?

  • We have free, curbside parking with two handicapped places right at our front door.

Why should I go to physical therapy?

  • The majority of people think physical therapy is strictly for post-operative rehabilitation; that is not the case.  Physical Therapy applies to people of all ages and backgrounds with various diagnoses.  Most people come to physical therapy to reduce pain, improve muscle strength, meet personal goals, improve balance, increase quality of life, rehabilitate and prevent surgery, or return function after a surgery.  Our physical therapy clinic offers other specialized programs, including torticollis and developmental delay in infants, sports training and assessments for athletes (including running assessments), ergonomic assessments for the working population, vestibular rehabilitation for dizzy and unbalanced patients, as well as gait and strength training for our geriatric population.  The main thing to keep in mind, if you have pain or difficulties performing activities of daily life or sports activities, physical therapy is for you!

Who will I be working with at physical therapy?

  • All of our patients see the same licensed physical therapist for the duration of their treatment.  Sometimes patients prefer to collaborate with more than one therapist, which we are open to as long as it is the request of the patient.

Do I have to go to the place that my doctor tells me to go?

  • While you should value your doctor’s opinion, it is ultimately your right to choose a facility.  As long as you have a valid referral from your medical provider and the facility accepts your insurance, you can take that referral and bring it to any place of your choice.  There should be no difference in your financial responsibility regardless of where you go; however, the time spent with a licensed physical therapist significantly differs from facility to facility.

How is your clinic different than other PT clinics?

  • Our clinic is privately-owned which allows us to see each of our patients for a full hour.  This quality, one-on-one care is how we separate ourselves from other clinics.  We have found our patients graduate from their treatment programs faster because they are able to spend a full hour with the same therapist for the duration of their treatment.  Our clinic does not use any aides, techs, students, or therapist assistants.  This assures that the patient spends the full time with a therapist.  We also offer extended hours as well as lunch-time hours, which many clinics do not offer.  Overall, our care is more personalized and entirely tailored to meet each patient’s needs.

How is this any different than going to a chiropractor?

  • According to the American Physical Therapy Association, Physical therapists (PTs) are licensed health care professionals who can help patients reduce pain and improve or restore mobility – in many cases without expensive surgery and often reducing the need for long-term use of prescription medications and their side effects.  Physical therapists teach patients how to prevent or manage their condition so that they will achieve long-term health benefits and return to daily activities.  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.  Through patient education and home exercise programs, patients of physical therapy will develop the knowledge necessary to treat their condition and return to daily activities, pain-free for good.
  • According to the American Chiropractic Association, chiropractic is a health care profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system and the effects of these disorders on general health.  The most common therapeutic procedure performed by chiropractors is known as “spinal manipulation.”  The purpose of manipulation is to restore joint mobility by manually applying a controlled force into joints that have become hypo-mobile, or restricted in their movement, as a result of a tissue injury.  Manipulation or adjustment restores mobility, thereby alleviating pain.

How many visits will I need in order to feel better?

  • This will vary from injury to injury.  Your physical therapist will let you know on your initial evaluation exactly what he or she estimates for your progress.

Can I bring my children or family members to my appointments?

  • We are a family-oriented clinic and encourage patients to bring their kids and family to their appointments versus not coming to treatment at all.  We have a kid area with arts and crafts, toys, and a Nintendo Wii.

Should I have someone drive me to my appointments?

  • If you are on medication, have not been cleared by your doctor, or think you may have vertigo, we recommend you get a ride to your appointments.  Many post-op patients need rides for the first couple of appointments due to medication use and/or injured body part.

Is physical therapy right for me?

  • Your physical therapist will let you know if he or she thinks you should try other methods of treatment.  Regardless of diagnosis, most patients find that physical therapy works for them, especially in conjunction with massage therapy, acupuncture, or chiropractic care.  Additionally, physical therapists are trained to know when to refer patients to specialists for further evaluation when indicated.

What if I cannot afford physical therapy?

  • We do not like to turn patients away due to financial reasons.  We offer no-interest payment plans to our Cash Pay and patients with high deductible insurance plans.  Many patients continue to make payments for their treatment even after graduating from therapy, and it is all interest-free.  Please contact the front office if you are interested in setting up a payment plan to help with your treatment cost.

Do I have to go to the clinic listed on my prescription?

  • No, as a patient, you have the right to choose who you receive your care from. We happily offer free 15 minute phone or in person consults based on scheduling availability

What should I wear to physical therapy?

  • We recommend wearing something that is comfortable for you. Many people elect to wear their workout clothes. As treatment progresses, it is likely that more challenging exercises will be added to your program, and you may break a sweat!

Do I have to have insurance to be treated by a physical therapist?

  • No, Mizuta & Associates Physical Therapy accepts payment in the form of credit card (except American Express), checks, and cash. In the event you do not have insurance, we have a number of options for you to choose from. We offer package plans to fit your need as well as interest free payment plans with automatic monthly payments for your convenience.