Questions and Answers

We realize there may be some uncertainty with starting physical therapy, especially for those who’ve never visited a physical therapist before. Below are the most common questions we receive from patients prior to their first visit with us and during their course of care.

What is Direct Access?

Direct Access gives patient you, the patient, direct access to skilled physical therapy without the need for a referral or prescription from your doctor before starting treatment, under most circumstances. This allows patients to start physical therapy treatment sooner to reduce pain, increase mobility, and improve their overall function. As of August 2023, this applies in both Missouri and Illinois.

Do I need a prescription to start therapy?

No! Thanks to Direct Access Legislation, a prescription is not required for Illinois Residents AND Missouri Residents to start physical therapy. This means you have direct access to physical therapy – without the need for a referral or prescription from your physician, under most circumstances. Axes will still coordinate with your physician or specialist, as part of your healthcare team.

Does my therapist communicate with my doctor?

Axes will coordinate with your physician or specialist, as part of your healthcare team. Our clinicians will provide each patient with a personalized plan of care following an assessment of their injury, pain or musculoskeletal complaint. This plan includes information about the injury/condition as well as next steps for the recovery process, which will include follow up with the patient’s physician and/or physician specialist. If you do not currently have a physician or specialist, Axes can help coordinate your care.

What should I wear?

Bring or dress in comfortable, loose-fitting clothing like shorts and a t-shirt. For those with a lower extremity injury, wear or bring tennis shoes.

How long will my sessions last?

It depends. Each condition is different and recovery during the course of your therapy may necessitate longer sessions. Rest assured, we respect your time and will do everything in our power to be efficient in the delivery of our services. However, if your condition requires two hour sessions because of the nature of your condition, we’ll see you for the entire two hours.

Expect to spend approximately an hour and 15 minutes at your first visit with us.

How early should I arrive for my first appointment? What should I bring?

We ask that all patients arrive 15 minutes prior to their appointment time. This will allow time for completion of paperwork (if not already completed prior to the appointment) and for any additional explanation of benefits.
To simplify this process, patients are encouraged to fill out forms online, prior to their first appointment. These forms are found at the top of your screen: Patient Resources > Patient Forms.

Please bring the following items:

Prescription from physician
State Issued Driver’s License
Insurance Card
Patient Forms (download and fill out these online to expedite your time in the clinic)
*For Workers’ Compensation or Automobile claims, please bring your case manager or insurance claim information

How will physical therapy help me?

Working closely with you and your physician, we will develop the most effective plan for you. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or free injury screening to discuss how physical therapy will benefit you.

What training do physical therapists have?

All of our therapists hold an advanced degree from an accredited physical therapy program. Many of our therapists have gone on to received advanced certifications and degrees in addition to their physical therapy degree. Additionally, all of our therapists are licensed through the State Board of Healing Arts and hold a license to practice physical therapy in the State of Missouri.

Will I see a physical therapist each visit?

Yes you will and, in almost all cases, you will see the same therapist at each visit. Our company is founded on the belief that our patients deserve the highest level of care with expertly trained physical therapists.

Does physical therapy hurt?

Generally, we do what we can to reduce pain. However, there are certain conditions and surgeries that can be painful and recovery isn’t always easy. We’ll do what we can to make you comfortable during your visits with us but we’ll also push you based upon your needs in order to recover. Remember, there’s a difference between pain and soreness. Talk to your therapist and communicate how you are feeling after each visit.

Will my insurance cover physical therapy?

In most cases it does. Most insurance plans have some level of physical therapy benefit based upon the plan type and benefit outline. We will be happy to contact your insurance provider and verify your benefits prior to initiating care with us. Be aware that it’s always wise to contact your insurance company as well, as there is value in advocating on your own behalf. As always, if you have questions, don’t hesitate to call us. We will work with you.

Can I pay cash?

If you do not have physical therapy benefits or if you have a high-deductible plan and would rather pay our of pocket, we will work with you.

We do offer a per visit rate for initial evaluations and subsequent visits and are willing to work with you on payment arrangements. For those paying by the visit, we ask that payment is provided at the time of service. Talk to your therapist for more information.

Co-pays, coinsurance and deductibles can be paid by cash, check or card at any of our locations at the time of service.

How much therapy will I need?

Truly, it depends. As every condition and every individual is different, the length of therapy and number of visits will vary. Your therapist will assess your condition and, in coordination with your physician’s plan of care, outline the anticipated recovery time and expected course of care.

What's the difference between physical therapy and chiropractic?

We get this question a lot because there is often quite a bit of overlap between the disciplines. Keep in mind that we’ll paint with a broad brush here but both professions are focused on improving your overall health. Philosophically, there may be some slight differences, but physical therapists and chiropractors often have the same end goal – to relieve pain and get you back to doing the things you like to do.

Speaking for Axes Physical Therapy only, we center on you, your limitations and returning you to the highest level of function.

Can I schedule my appointments online?

You may use our convenient online “Request Appointment” feature to initiate the process of scheduling an evaluation or free assessment. Upon form submission, one of our friendly associates will contact you to get scheduled. Follow up visits will be scheduled in the clinic at the time of service.

Do I have a choice where I go to therapy?

Of course you do! Your physician may make recommendations on specific therapists or companies and, hopefully, they recommend Axes because of the positive outcomes and results they receive. However, if your physician is part of a hospital system or closed network, there are likely outside organizational pressures to keep you within the system that are based on financial incentives, not outcomes. As a consumer, be aware that recommendations for therapy should be based upon results and patient satisfaction, as well as accessibility to services.

Begin Your Recovery Today

We’re excited to help you achieve your goals and return to the things you enjoy.