Do I need a referral to visit the physical therapist?
Yes. We require each patient to have an active provider referral to participate in the physical therapy program. This referral should be current (within 30 days), and have your name, date of birth, diagnosis being treated for and instructions, such as “Evaluate and Treat”, along with a signature from the referring health care provider (a physician, nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant). All patients should check with their insurance company to see if their insurance company requires the physical therapy referral come from a primary care physician (PCP).
What can I expect during my first visit?
During your first appointment, you will receive a comprehensive evaluation of your overall health, wellness, and chief complaint(s). We will work with you to develop a treatment plan to meet your individual needs. At the first visit, you can expect to receive education regarding the issue you are seeking help for. Communication with the health care provider who referred you is important in the coordination of your care. Your referring provider will hear from us right away regarding our findings and your treatment plan. Many patients will receive a physical exam focused on the area(s) of the body that are an issue or causing you pain.
How should I dress for my appointment?
It is helpful if you wear or bring loose comfortable clothing so that your physical therapist can help you to move freely during the visit. If you are asked to undress, you will be draped in sheets and placed in a comfortable position. We are careful to keep you feeling dignified throughout your therapy experience.
I am visiting the center for an issue that is personal in nature. How should I prepare for my appointment as far as personal hygiene?
Due to the nature of the conditions we treat (such as urinary and fecal incontinence, and pelvic pain), your therapist may ask you to undress from the waist down. Therefore, it may be more comfortable for you to shower or bathe prior to the appointment. We recommend that you avoid using heavy soaps or creams that may irritate your skin, and be gentle with your washing so as to not injure your sensitive areas.
The condition that I need to be treated for is personal in nature and a potentially embarrassing issue for me. How will my treatment be handled?
We have successfully helped many women with conditions such as your own. We understand your needs, not only as providers, but as women ourselves. We are not embarrassed or uncomfortable talking about any issues you may be facing, and won’t let you feel that way either. Some of the issues we commonly discuss are painful intercourse, urinary and fecal incontinence, chronic infections, sexual trauma and abuse. Our mission is to provide private, comfortable treatment – without embarrassment. We are not only your providers, but part of your team – determined to help you reach your goals. We often encounter emotional issues that are sometimes related to these health issues – confidence, self-esteem, and finding comfort with your own body’s functions. We are here to help you, and provide support through the process.
I have an incontinence problem, what if I leak during my appointment?
We see many patients with continence issues, and leaking is a typical symptom that we are completely accustomed to dealing with. This is a normal concern but, most times, leakage is not an issue during treatment. We use protective pads under each patient for added comfort. Leaking is actually a part of the treatment and healing process. We need to see what causes your incontinence, so that we can help resolve it.
I am scheduled for an appointment, but I have my period, what do I do?
Patients should always come in during menstruation unless otherwise instructed by their therapist. We understand that having internal therapy during menstruation may be uncomfortable for some women. There are other treatment approaches that can be used if necessary.
Lifestyle Medicine Center
146 West River Street
2nd Floor – Suite 11C
Providence, RI 02904
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