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Do You Need a Referral for Physical Therapy in Upper Manhattan?

Do you think you could benefit from physical therapy in Morningside Heights or Harlem but haven’t visited your general practitioner yet? 

You’re probably wondering, “Do you need a referral for physical therapy?”

As a reliable and effective provider of physical therapy in Upper Manhattan, Park North Physical Therapy can help you recover from injury (without a referral). Keep reading to discover everything you should know about the process.

The Benefits of Upper Manhattan Physical Therapy

What is the role of a physical therapist? Physical therapy services focus on healing the muscles and joints either from an acute or chronic condition, such as exercise-related injury or chronic muscle imbalance. The idea is to help you regain or improve mobility and strengthen your muscles and joints against future injury.

Physical therapy treatment has many benefits, including:

Versatility of Patient Care

Physical therapy can help reduce or eliminate the symptoms of a wide variety of conditions. The most common conditions treated using physical therapy include:

  • Injuries sustained while playing sports
  • Joint pain in the neck, back, knee and hip
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Pain or inflammation in the tendons
  • Shoulder or Rotator cuff injuries
  • ACL and meniscus tears (in the knee)
  • TMJ pain
  • Concussions and traumatic brain injury
  • Strokes
  • Injuries to the spinal cord

Often, this treatment occurs in conjunction with that of a chiropractor or physician.

Safe and Consistent Pain Reduction

One of the main objectives of physical therapy is pain management and pain reduction in patients. By encouraging at-home treatments like ice, heat and over-the-counter medicines, a physical therapist can empower you to accelerate your recovery at home.

During your appointments, you’ll focus on reducing the stiffness in your joints. Treatments also reduce inflammation, which is the primary cause of muscle and joint pain.

Improved Mobility and Functionality

After injury, or with certain conditions like arthritis, you may lose mobility in your joints. It might be painful to move and you might also lose some range of motion. By reducing inflammation and strengthening and stretching joints, ligaments and tendons, you’ll begin moving your joints more fully and with less pain.

Additional Treatment Support

Physical therapy supports and strengthens the treatment you receive from other healthcare professionals. For example, increased mobility can help your healthcare provider complete your treatment goals more successfully.

A Personalized Approach to Rehab and Recovery

When you see one of our physical therapists in Harlem or Morningside Heights, you won’t receive a cookie-cutter treatment plan. Your therapist will spend time learning about your injury, your recovery goals and your lifestyle to offer you the best treatment.

They may also customize the treatment by altering the following:

  • The frequency of your visits
  • The type of activities you practice during the appointments
  • The type of assistive technology, such as NEUBIE therapy
  • The routines you perform at home to help your recovery

How to Self-Refer for Physical Therapy in Upper Manhattan

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a referral to access physical therapy in Harlem or any other location in Upper Manhattan. However, direct access in New York City is only available for physical therapists out of school for 3 years. 

Before you schedule your own appointment, consider the important role that a referral could play in your physical therapy:

Understand the Role of a Referral

You’ll most often receive a referral from your general practitioner, surgeon or chiropractor. A referral to a physical therapist means your care provider believes your condition can benefit from this treatment approach. If you self-refer or use direct access, you can still undergo successful physical therapy treatment.

However, if a doctor refers you to physical therapy, this also gives your physical therapist specific details about your condition and any treatment you’ve already undergone. A clearer picture of what you’re going through gives a greater chance of successful recovery.

Of course, some physical therapists require referrals. However, you can find many physical therapists in Upper Manhattan who don’t. You might also have an easier time covering your treatment plan with your insurance if you receive a referral first. 

NOTE: If you are a Medicare user, you absolutely need a referral.

Tips for Referring Yourself to Physical Therapy 

Do you need a referral for physical therapy in Upper Manhattan? No.

If you want to self-refer (direct access), consider the following tips:

  • Ask family and friends who they’ve had success with and look at reviews.
  • Confirm your insurance covers physical therapy
  • Alternatively, compare the non-insurance rates of physical therapists.
  • Give your physical therapist a detailed medical history, focusing on the nature of your injury and the treatment you’ve tried so far.
  • Work with your physical therapist to provide clear goals and expectations for your treatment.
  • Be honest about what exercise and treatment you’re willing and able to complete at home.

Advantages of Self-Referring for Physical Therapy

Referring yourself to a physical therapist has several benefits:

  • You’ll likely receive an appointment sooner with direct access.
  • Even if insurance doesn’t cover the treatment, you may save money overall because your physical therapist won’t have to perform unnecessary treatments or appointments required by insurance.
  • With direct access, you can receive more personalized care, outside the restrictions of insurance or the limitations of the referring physician.

Advocating for Your Own Health

Seeking direct access to physical therapy is a great way to advocate for your own health. For even greater success in taking control of your medical care, consider the following tips:

Don’t Fear Questioning

No matter what type of healthcare professional you’re visiting, ask them questions. Before you visit, write down a list of concerns and ask what expectations you can reasonably set for the treatment. Always ask about possible risks and side effects and how you can mitigate them.

Keep Records

While your doctor, chiropractor and physical therapist all keep detailed records, it’s wise to keep your own. More information helps, including the time of day your joints ache more, food that makes your condition worse and home remedies.

Your Source of Reliable Physical Therapy in Upper Manhattan

Do you need a referral for physical therapy in Upper Manhattan? You do not! Care is waiting right around the corner and gaining direct access to physical therapy has many advantages.

Whether you’re looking for physical therapy tips for injury prevention or need help regaining mobility, Park North Physical Therapy in Harlem and Morningside Heights can help. To speak with our compassionate team of specialists, call 212-222-6525 or visit our contact page to schedule your consultation!