Direct Access

Health Check

Your access to physical therapy does not always require a prescription from a physician. You can often get the treatment you need without waiting!

Direct Access Physical Therapy in PA

This treatment option, known as “Direct Access”, took effect in October 2004 when the Pennsylvania Board of Physical Therapy first certified specially-qualified physical therapists like Tom Suspenski to evaluate and treat certain common conditions. Under this option, treatment may continue for up to 30 days from the date of your first visit. Should you require treatment beyond this initial period then you must obtain approval from a physician.

stepper machine that may be used in direct access physical therapy

As a result of the “Direct Access” option, you can avoid the wait often associated with scheduling an appointment with a physician. Waiting delays treatment and healing while allowing your muscles to stiffen or scar tissue to develop. Due to either or both you may suffer a loss of mobility and potentially increase your risk of further injury. So, ask us about how this option may benefit you.

Please refer to Patient Billing and Insurance if you have concerns about how you pay for treatment under the “Direct Access” option. In some cases your payment options are the same with or without a prescription from a physician.

Finally, should you have an injury due to major trauma or some unknown cause, the only prudent course of action is for you to see your physician first. Only your physician can perform the proper diagnostic testing before prescribing treatment.

Common Conditions We Can Treat Immediately Under Direct Access!

Lower back pain and neck pain

Muscle strains or ligament sprains often cause these conditions. Based on the results of our evaluation, manual massage and other therapeutic techniques designed to relieve pain serve to treat these conditions. Alternatively, nerve or joint compression may cause these conditions. Again, based on the results of our evaluation, manual techniques, including traction and immobilization, serve to treat these conditions.

SI joint pain / Sacroiliac joint pain

Improper alignment of the sacrum and the ilium bone in the pelvis often causes this condition. Also, this condition may affect one or both sides of the lower back and even spread to related nerves. Based on the results of our evaluation, controlled, low force manual techniques designed to correct improper alignment serve to treat this condition.
Most patients leave their first appointment with far less pain.

Muscle strains

The tearing of muscle tissue due to overexertion or trauma from either accident or injury often cause this condition. Based on the results of our evaluation, soft tissue mobilization, specialized massage and therapeutic techniques serve to treat this condition. In addition, such techniques relieve pain.

Joint sprains

The tearing of the fibers of a ligament that connects bone to bone often causes this condition. Based on the results of our evaluation, therapeutic techniques including ultrasound and electrical stimulation as well as cold therapy and immobilizing the joint serve to treat this condition. Furthermore, such techniques promote healing and relieve pain.

Rotator cuff strains

Either a partial or a full tear of any of the four muscles that provide stability to and enable normal movement and function of the shoulder joint often cause this condition. Based on the results of our evaluation, manual and other therapeutic techniques serve to treat this condition. In addition, such techniques reduce pain, promote healing and restore normal movement and function.

Sports injuries

These conditions are due to injuries sustained during active participation in various sports. They include sprained ligaments, strained muscles, bone fractures and muscle bruises or contusions. These conditions are treated based on the results of our evaluation.
Throughout treatment we strive to help you maintain and improve your level of physical conditioning. We want you to return safely to active participation in the sports you enjoy as soon as reasonably possible.

Arthritic conditions

Inflammation of the joints that may involve either or both the spine and the extremities often cause this condition. Based on the results of our evaluation, range of motion and strengthening exercises serve to treat this condition. Noteworthy is that, in our experience, this condition generally responds well to treatment.

For additional information on the “Direct Access” option we recommend reviewing information provided by the American Physical Therapy Association.

American Physical Therapy Association logo and link for direct access

Health Check encourages you to contact us to schedule an appointment for the treatment you need.