Below are FAQ’s to assist you in your physical therapy experience. This will allow you to understand what to expect as well as be prepared for your initial and subsequent visits. If your question is not answered here, please email us with your specific question. Our goals are to provide you an exceptional experience, ease of access, and a professional relationship for your immediate and long-term needs.

  • Do I need a referral to attend physical therapy?

    Oregon allows patient self referral, or direct access, for physical therapy; therefore, a prescription from an approved provider (see following FAQ for a list of who can refer you to PT) is not required. Oregon House Bill 2684 allows unlimited access to physical therapy treatment as long as care is medically necessary and warranted.

    As a courtesy and to foster professional relations and team care, if you attend physical therapy under self referral, upon your request, we will send a copy of the initial physical therapy evaluation and subsequent progress reports to your physician for their records and to keep them informed as to your care.

  • Will insurance cover my physical therapy without a referral?

    Most insurance providers cover and reimburse for physical therapy related services without a referral from an approved provider (see following FAQ for a list of who can refer you to PT). Please contact your individual insurance carrier to verify that physical therapy services are covered via self referral.

    ​Medicare recipients are required to have a referral to physical therapy in order to have the services covered under Medicare benefits.

    For those whose insurance does not cover physical therapy services under self referral, most often if you contact your medical provider and request a referral for physical therapy they are happy to oblige.

    Click here to link to a list of insurance companies we are affiliated with.

  • Who is allowed to refer me to physical therapy?
    • Physician (MD, DO)
    • Physician Assistant
    • Nurse Practitioner
    • Podiatrist (DPM) – for lower extremity injuries only
    • Chiropractor – except for Worker’s Compensation and MVA
    • Naturopathic Physician
  • What can I expect during physical therapy?

    Your first visit will require you to complete requisite paperwork you experience at other medical providers. This includes completing an initial Intake Information form to provide demographic and insurance information , signing a Financial Policy acknowledgement form, and an Acknowledgment of HIPAA Guidelines. Call us at 503.228.1306 or email to request these forms so you can print and complete them prior to your first visit. It will expedite your check in process.

    At your INITIAL EXAM your physical therapist will sit down with you and learn why you are seeking treatment, what it is that is giving you problems, limitations in work, sport or play as a result, and details with regards to relevant medical history and contributing factors. Thereafter, a comprehensive physical therapy exam will be completed and the clinical findings will be shared with you in a way that allows an easy understanding as to the problem and the treatment strategies implemented to help you. Emphasis on education is a vital component in the success of your recovery. Goals will be set with respect to your personal goals as well as objective goals relative to deficits discovered during the exam.

    Subsequent FOLLOW-UP VISITS will provide a progression of rehab specifically curtailed to your unique needs. If you are attending physical therapy for post-surgical rehabilitation we will contact your surgeon’s office to capture any relevant surgical reports, imaging reports and post-surgical rehab protocols unique to your surgery. Education will continue throughout the course of your care and self-management ‘homework’ will be provided and is important in the overall success of your recovery. Treatment may also include manual therapy techniques (range of motion stretching, soft tissue/myofascial release, ASTYM, joint mobilizations and/or manipulations, muscle energy, Jones Counter-strain), evidence based exercise, posture and body mechanics, sport or work specific functional activities, and passive modalities as needed.

  • What should I bring?
    • ​​Directions
    • ​ID
    • ​Insurance card
    • ​Referral (if you are not coming under direct access)
    • ​Shorts (for a low back, hip or lower extremity problem)
    • ​Females – a tank top or sports bra (for a neck or shoulder problem)
    • Males – a tank top or sleeveless shirt (for a neck or shoulder problem)
    • ​Running shoes (if a runner)…a worn and current newer pair
  • What should I know about physical therapy?

    Physical therapy’s fundamental premise is the restoration of mobility, strength and functional movement to allow one to recover from pain, injury or surgery and get back to an fulfilling active pain free lifestyle - whether it is gardening, playing with the kids, work, recreation or sport. It is a proven evidence based aspect of the medical model. A typical course of physical therapy includes an abundance of education and empowerment to allow one to learn of and how to manage their problem(s) for long-term success. Additionally, therapeutic exercise, activity specific functional exercise, and agility and balance (neuromuscular exercises) as well as manual therapy - hands-on approaches to care - are all used to relieve pain, increase range of motion, strength, movement, and restore function. Physical therapists are proven specialists for musculoskeletal rehabilitation  and work closely with physicians. 

    The CDC (Center for Disease Control) recommends physical therapy as the first line of care for acute and chronic pain management as it lowers utilization of high-cost medical services, opioid use, and healthcare costs compared to patients who see a physical therapist later in the medical model of treatment, or never see one at all. Early physical therapy is also associated with decreased use of advanced imaging, additional physician visits, surgery and injections when compared to delayed utilization of physical therapy.  Our musculoskeletal physical therapist specialists at Rose City Physical Therapy in Portland, OR can help!

    Each patient’s condition is as individual as they are. A knee injury is not a knee injury is not a knee injury (or insert any body part into that statement). You are unique. Your past experiences with pain and/or injury are unique. How you manage pain and limitations in your quality of life are unique. Your overall health status is very individual. Our physical therapists recognize this and treat each patient individually, respecting their uniqueness as well as their specific wishes and goals. A variety of rehabilitation exercise and movement recovery functional activities as well as hands-on techniques,, and equipment to relieve pain quickly and restore your function to optimum levels are used. Hands on manual therapy treatments include range of motion stretching, soft tissue/myofascial release, ASTYM, joint mobilizations and/or manipulations, muscle energy techniques, and Jones Counterstrain.

    The overall goal is to get you moving, active, healthy and back to doing the things you love through restoring pain-free mobility, strength and function and to prevent the injury or pain from recurring.

  • Does physical therapy treatment hurt?

    Physical therapy ultimately relieves pain and restores loss of function - that which is the main reason people come to see us for. However, as we work with patients to restore mobility, pain levels at times can fluctuate. During progression through rehab, as we work on restoring motion, movement, strength and function one may experience episodes of some increased pain. Not the pain per se that brings someone in to see us; but symptoms - often ache, low grade soreness or stiff feeling - that comes from adding new stimulus or load (i.e. progressive exercise and weights with strengthening) to the body to help in recovery. This is a normal response to physical therapy and one we spend time educating each patient on so they can learn and appreciate this expected response and use it to their advantage to manage symptoms and avoid overdoing it. Good communication with your physical therapist will help minimize any post-therapy or post-exercise discomfort. We’re here to get you on your way to quick pain relief and back to normal activities.

  • Will I benefit from physical therapy?

    Research supports the benefits of physical therapy for musculoskeletal pain and injury. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) recommends physical therapy as the first line of care for acute pain management as it lowers utilization of high-cost medical services, opioid use, and healthcare costs compared to patients who see a physical therapist later in the medical model of treatment, or never see one at all.  Early physical therapy is also associated with decreased use of advanced imaging, additional physician visits, surgery and injections when compared to delayed utilization of physical therapy. Get PT first! 

    At Rose City Physical Therapy we work with our patients and their individuality. We are all different, and treatment is multifaceted for success. If you are referred by your doctor, we work with them also through collaborative care and communication. There are times physical therapy isn’t right for someone and different or additional medical management is necessary. Our physical therapists specialize in musculoskeletal pain and injury care and if it's determined that physical therapy isn’t appropriate for one's problem(s), we then advocate and assist in getting our patients back to their physician or to the right specialist. We can discuss options for the right plan of care and help determine if physical therapy will be the right choice.

    Call us today to discuss your current condition with one of our physical therapists or request an appointment now. We also offer a FREE 20-minute discovery session if someone is uncertain if physical therapy is the right way to go. Click here for more details and to request a free discovery session.

  • How do I schedule an appointment?

    Scheduling is easy and seamless. We are here to assist and answer any questions you may have.

    We are conveniently located in the central Portland, OR metro area, specifically in Northwest Portland in the Slabtown neighborhood adjacent to The Pearl District.   .  We have convenient appointment times to meet your needs, with morning and evening appointments are available to meet the demands of your busy schedule. 

    Call us today at 503.228.1306 or request an appointment through the below link.

  • Can you treat my type of condition at your clinic?

    Joint pain? Muscle pain? Neck or low back pain? Motor vehicle accident or work (industrial) accident? Recent orthopedic surgery in need of rehab? This is what we specialize in. Physical therapists have 5 to 6 years of university education and clinical internships prior to graduating. Most programs in the United States are now a doctorate level of education - a clinical doctorate (‘DPT’) - with extensive training in anatomy, physiology, kinesiology (study of joint movement), neurology, and many of the other medical sciences. 

    Our physical therapists have graduated from accredited physical therapy programs and are state licensed. Mandatory continuing education is required for maintenance of licensure. Know that our physical therapists exceed the minimum required annual education hours by the state licensing authority. I guess we are nerds in that way and information thirsty. Education in movement and exercise science, orthopedic and sports specialization, manual therapy certification and post-concussion care are some of the areas our physical therapists have advanced training in.   

    Rest assured, at Rose City Physical Therapy your physical therapist is well trained to evaluate and treat your condition. We provide an intensive in-house mentorship and training program for all staff and hold high regard to excellence in care and case management. And if your problem is one that physical therapy isn’t appropriate for, we recognize that and will assist in getting you to the right provider to help you.

  • How long will my appointments last?

    Plan on one hour for each appointment with us. This can vary based on the complexity of your condition or if more than one area is being treated and your specific needs. Your physical therapist will discuss the proposed plan of care with you.

  • What should I wear for my physical therapy appointments?

    Dress comfortably with clothes that allow easy access for your physical therapist to examine and treat your problem areas. Loose fitting clothes that are comfortable for exercises and movement and supportive sneakers are good choices to wear.

    Some specific recommendations:

    • For a low back, hip or lower extremity problem...
      • Shorts are ideal to allow exposure of the areas being treated. Otherwise loose fitting yoga or stretch pants are helpful
    • For a neck or shoulder problem...
      • ​Females – a tank top or sports bra is recommended
      • Males – a tank top or sleeveless shirt is recommended
    • For runners…
      • bring your running shoes; both a current newer pair and a worn pair
  • Will my insurance cover my appointments?

    Yes, in most cases it does. Rose City Physical Therapy will contact your insurance company and determine your eligible benefits and coverage based on your individual policy. Our insurance specialists will then call you with an explanation of your insurance benefits, including any copay and/or deductible you may have.  

    For additional information, visit our Insurance Information page where explanations are provided on the ins-and-outs of health insurance benefits and allowances. We understand this can be confusing and we want to help you gain clarity and understand your benefits. And please do not hesitate to contact our office if you have any questions. 

    For expenses incurred on your part for copays and deductibles, we offer payment plan options curtailed to meet your needs and financial situation. 

    Also, we are a hybrid clinic. This means that in addition to providing services through insurance, we also offer cash-based services for those without insurance, if we are out-of-network with your insurance, or those choosing to not use their insurance for their care.

  • How soon will I start noticing relief and improvement?

    Everyone responds and heals differently. Each patient’s diagnosis is different, as is their health and ability to recover from injury or surgery. Your physical therapist will develop a plan of care that is right for you to, and collaborate with your physician as well if they referred you to physical therapy 

    Typically patients experience pain relief right away. The initial visit consists of the evaluation as well as education on not only the problem you're dealing with, but what are some things you can do to start effective management at home and get your pain under control.  This may include posture and body mechanics or sleeping position instruction, instruction on use of ice or heat, ideal brace or post-op sling adjustment, proper crutch, cane or walker use, protection and rest, and appropriate early activity and exercise to begin your road to recovery.

    Your individual plan of care and number of visits will be determined during your first visit and explained to you by your physical therapist. You can read more about the phases of recovery through physical therapy by clicking the below link to get a FREE COPY of our ‘4 Phases of Recovery: Your Journey Through Physical Therapy’ eBook.

    4 Phases of Recovery PDF
  • What is the best payment method for my physical therapy?

    We accept cash, check, debit card, and credit card. Copays are due the day of service. Co-insurance and deductible costs are processed the first of each month and a statement sent to you with balance due. We do offer payment plan options as well to fit your needs and circumstances.   

    For costs due from you, we will determine your insurance benefits before your initial evaluation, and will inform you of what costs you will be responsible for. This may include a per-visit copay which is due at each visit, a co-insurance percentage of each visit which is calculated on your monthly statement once insurance processes, or a responsibility to pay fully until your deductible is met. Yes, insurance can be confusing….click here for our easy to follow ‘Guide to Understanding Your Insurance.’

  • What should I do if I don’t have insurance?

    We are a hybrid practice. This means that in addition to providing services through insurance, we also offer cash-based services for those without insurance, or if we are out-of-network with your insurance. For these patients, we offer a discounted cash rate that is due at the time of service. Contact us for further information at 503.228.1306 or use the Chat Box.

  • I’m feeling better but I still want to continue my physical therapy. Is that possible?

    Physical therapy is part of the medical model and its purpose is to get rid of pain, restore mobility, strength and function and get people back to their pre-injury or pre-surgery status. A necessity for ‘skilled intervention’ is required by the insurance company to warrant physical therapy under the insurance model. We don’t just focus on getting rid of pain as pain is often caused by underlying weakness, movement limitations or movement faults. This is where physical therapy proves valuable and allows us to continue care beyond just feeling better.

    Once you have completed your physical therapy sessions, your therapist will have developed a home program for you to continue. We are available and recommend a bi-annual visit to review your status, and amend or update this program to allow you to remain at your highest level of function and minimize any pain or injury recurrence. Think of it the same as you do going to the dentist for your bi-annual cleaning and checkup. Prevention is key! 

    Even after you are discharged from physical therapy, your physical therapist is always available for questions. Just give us a call.

  • I want to come prepared for my first appointment. What should I do and bring?

    When you first call to set up your initial appointment, please have your physical therapy prescription (if referred by your physician or surgeon to come see us) and your insurance card available when you call. This will allow us to verify your insurance benefits and provide you with an estimate of coverage.

    Bring with you on your first visit:

    • Directions to the clinic. Click here for printable version
    • Insurance card (we will make a copy for your record - required) [Note: Unless paying cash for services. Insurance card not required then]
    • Photo ID (we will make a copy for your record - required)
    • Prescription (referral) for physical therapy (if applicable) from your referring physician, surgeon, podiatrist, dentist, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, chiropractor, or naturopath. [Note: Oregon allows you to seek physical therapy without a referral - this is called ‘Direct Access’, Most insurances allow this; some don’t (Medicare, Work comp, Motor vehicle accident). We will let you know if a prescription is required or not]
    • Past medical history
    • List of current medications
    • For Workers compensation injury or Motor Vehicle Accident injury, bring any case manager or insurance adjuster contact names, phone numbers, and claim number.
    • Completed Patient Intake forms. Print out and complete the patient forms, and bring them with you. If you are unable to do this, please allow for extra time to fill these out upon your arrival.
    • Make a list of questions that you have and bring them with to discuss with your physical therapist during your first visit.
    • Wear comfortable clothing that allows easy access to your problem areas. Click here or see the above FAQs for recommendations

    Please arrive 15 minutes early to complete any remaining paperwork, so you can maximize your time in your evaluation.