Aches and pains can be a part of daily life for some people, but when should you ask a professional for help? We asked John DeLucchi, clinic manager and physical therapist at OrthoCarolina Mooresville PT, for the 411 on physical therapy.

Open for about a year, the OrthoCarolina clinic on Kilson Drive has a staff of five doctors, one physician’s assistant, four physical therapists, three physical therapist assistants and one occupational therapist. So, plenty of staff to help you feel better and help with those aches and pains.

Here’s what John had to say when asked When Should We See A Physical Therapist?

Scoop: What are the most common reasons people come see a physical therapist?
John: The simplest way to say this is ~ when you have pain in your body that is limiting you from performing daily or recreational activities. This can include (but not limited to): strains, sprains, knee pain, shoulder pain, back pain, neck pain, hip pain, ankle pain and other joints of the body.

Scoop: What types of relief/treatment does your office provide?
John: Our office provides many different treatments to help you achieve your goal — the most important being an effective exercise program to help you succeed.
We also provide dry needling, taping and other modalities that are utilized to help the patient reach their goals. Our goal is to understand you, your goals and what the research says to help you.

Scoop: Does your office see patients of all ages?
John: Our office sees a wide variety of patients with musculoskeletal issues from the youth athlete to the older individual looking to improve their strength and range of motion. We commonly see those looking to return to their sport or recover from surgery.

Scoop: Other than pain or injury, are there other reasons to see a physical therapist?
John: Our focus is meaningful, purposeful patient-centered goals to help you succeed. Physical therapy is often utilized for movement dysfunctions that may be limiting an individual, prevention strategies to decrease risk of injury or helping you return to sports or work.

Scoop: Do you have to be referred to a physical therapist by your doctor or can anyone just call?
John: North Carolina is a PT direct access state so a doctor’s order is not always necessary. However, you are advised to consult with your insurance company to understand the options you have available, as some insurances require a physician referral.
A recent survey by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) revealed 70% of people think a referral or prescription is required for evaluation by a physical therapist. However, all 50 states and the District of Columbia (DC) allow patients to be evaluated by a physical therapist without a physician’s prior referral. In addition, 49 states and DC allow for some form of treatment or intervention without a physician referral or prescription (Michigan is the exception, but on January 1, 2015, patients in Michigan will be able to do so as well). Some states have restrictions about the treatment a physical therapist can provide without a physician referral. Check out APTA’s direct access summary chart to see the restrictions in your state.

Scoop: Any prevention tips to avoid injury/get ahead of pain to stay out of the PT’s office?
John: One of the most effective ways to reduce your risk of injury is to be on a consistent resistance training program. This can be highly effective for many different individuals from the weekend warrior and avid runner to the older individual looking to be more mobile.

Scoop: Anything else people should know about seeing a PT?
John: PT does not equal pain. Our goals are to understand where you are, your tolerance and work with you to help you heal, improve your movement and achieve your goals.
For more information, contact a professional at OrthoCarolina.




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