FAQs

Do I need a prescription or a referral prior to coming to PPM?

No, you do not need a prescription or referral by an MD before visiting PPM. Because our physicians are Chiropractic Physicians, they are defined as 'first contact physicians' (by federal and state regulations) and can therefore diagnose and treat conditions as they deem appropriate. A comprehensive consultation and examination will be performed to determine a diagnosis. Treatment options will be provided for you following your examination. (This is true in 99% of the cases. On a rare occasion, your particular insurance policy may require a visit to your Primary Care Physician before beginning any type of treatment.)

Do you treat areas of the body other than the spine? 

Yes. Disorders involving extremities (i.e. shoulders, wrists, hands, knees, hips, feet, etc.) are assessed and diagnosed regularly at our office. In fact, many of the cases seen at PPM are sports medicine cases and oftentimes involve an extremity injury. After the comprehensive evaluation, the doctor will discuss with you in detail your treatment options.

I've already had surgery. Can I come to see you post-operatively for PT/Rehab?

Yes. We have worked with many patients after their surgery, including spinal surgery, joint replacements, stabilized fractures, and rotator cuff repair. We work closely with orthopedic and neurosurgeons, forging a team approach to your rehabilitation program. We can also provide detailed narrative reports for the referring surgeon at their request.

I'm still not sure if this is the type of Doctor I should see for my problem. How do I know if I should come in?

In these types of scenarios, PPM will offer a free consultation where you will be able to meet with the doctor face-to-face and discuss what problem(s) are ailing you. At which time, the doctor will provide you with his/her honest opinion about therapy options and if you are a candidate for care at our office. It is not an examination, but it will provide the doctor with enough information to know if you can benefit from the types of therapies that we provide at our office. If the type of care we provide is not appropriate at that time, or if an additional work-up is necessary prior to beginning treatment, then we can help assist you by making the appropriate referrals.

I’ve been to another chiropractor before and had a bad experience. How should I feel about coming to your office?

Many patients have come to our office after experiencing Chiropractic (or even Physical Therapy) at another facility. Some have had positive past experiences and were looking for something perhaps closer and some have left their previous chiropractic office due to a “bad experience”. What you should expect at our office is a mainstream, thorough medical evaluation (including a complete orthopedic evaluation), a review of your past medical history (including any past treatment that did or did not work for you), and a tailor-made treatment plan for the exact presentation of your condition. You should be relieved to hear of what you will NOT experience from us at PPM. You will not be “over-sold”, asked to give your friends’ and families’ contact information for solicitation purposes, receive a second-rate examination nor a generic, group-style treatment plan. We strive to make your experience of the highest quality and to address every concern you may have had with your past experiences. Each and every patient that has come to our office after having a negative experience has been beyond satisfied by the care and respect they have received at our office.

I’ve been to another Physical Therapy facility, but felt like I was “just a number” and that no one was ‘really’ paying attention to me. What should I expect at PPM?

Here at PPM, we strive to make your experiences with Physical Medicine personal. For starters, our initial evaluation is done in a private exam room. You will receive a thorough review of your symptoms, your past medical history and a detailed physical examination of your current complaint. This exam will not be performed by an aid or an assistant; rather it will be done by the Doctor who will be working with you during your therapy. Each visit will be tailored to suit YOU, your needs, your strengths and your weaknesses. We are not cookie cutter by design, and your therapy plan won’t be either. We will right by your side, making sure that you not only know which exercises are to be performed, but that you have good form and function while doing them. We will pay close attention to detail with each phase of your care so that we can help correct the events that may predispose you for your condition. In addition, we will get to know you on a personal level so that we may best understand your goals for recovery and help you to achieve them.

I had an M.R.I. that showed a herniated or bulged disc. Can you help me?

Yes. PPM specializes in treating disc conditions (whether a bulge, herniation, or degeneration). We have highly specialized equipment that will help decompress the spinal area, thereby reducing the bulge or herniation. We combine this Spinal Decompression Therapy with several other effective types of therapy and exercise plans that will be specific to your kind of bulge or herniation (since not every protrusion is identical).

What should I expect on my First Visit?

First, you will be required to fill out your New Patient Paperwork, which usually takes between 10-15 minutes. You will then see the doctor who will discuss, in detail, the nature of your problem(s) and your Past Medical History. This discussion will be followed by a thorough evaluation of ranges of motion, muscle and neurological testing, and orthopedic testing. The doctor will then present to you the exam findings, provide a diagnosis, and make recommendations for treatment and recovery. You may, or may not, begin therapy on the day of your evaluation.

How long is the First visit?

The initial visit usually lasts 45-75 minutes, depending on your condition and if therapy is rendered on the same day as the examination.

How long is the "Typical Therapy visit" and what should I expect?

After the initial examination, subsequent appointments generally take about 60 minutes, depending on the condition and the therapies provided. If your condition is simple, your therapy may likely consume less time. For example, if you were coming in for simply a Chiropractic Manipulation, you may only be in the office for 10 minutes. If your condition is more complicated, then visits can take up to 90 minutes. The doctor will be able to provide you with an approximate length of time for your visits for planning purposes. Please remember that while our Physicians will recommend the therapies that will aid in your optimal recovery, we may be able to accommodate a more abbreviated treatment plan for those patients with heavy time constraints.

What should I do after receiving treatment?

  • Heed any specific advice or restrictions given by your doctor during your visit.
  • Although you may feel better, you may not be fully recovered. Do not jump into strenuous activities too early.
  • Do your home exercises and stretches as recommended.
  • If you are too uncomfortable to wait until your next scheduled appointment, please don't hesitate to call our office. We will try to see you as soon as possible.

What should I do if I am uncomfortable following treatment?

  • Apply ice to the sore area for 15-20 minutes, with an hour between applications.
  • Some patients also report benefits from over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
  • Do not hesitate to contact your doctor if you are at all uncomfortable following treatment. There may be specific advice that the doctor would want you to follow.

How long will I have to come to the office for my problem?

PPM believes in upfront honesty and will tell you what to expect in order for you to make the best decision for your health. How long it will take depends upon the condition at hand.  Some factors that may also influence recovery can include: your age, your treatment goals, general health status, severity of the injury, chronicity of the problem, genetics and the number of prior episodes. Adhering to any prescribed home therapy is an integral part of recovery.

The reduction of pain alone will usually be the first treatment goal in a complete therapy program.  Although you always have a choice as to whether you are seeking only symptomatic relief or correcting and stabilizing the problem for the long term, we would like to help you reach a point of full recovery and self sufficiency. However, whatever goals you desire to meet, we will help you attain them.

Is it true that once you have chiropractic treatment, you must keep going back?

No. On the contrary, our goal is to help our patients to become independent from care. Actually, many people elect to continue their treatment after feeling well because periodic elective care helps them feel and function better. Some form of Physical Medicine is oftentimes an integral lifestyle component of many health conscious individuals' overall wellness-plan (which also includes such things as healthy eating, exercise and proper sleep).

I am scared of being adjusted. Do I have to have this done?

Every patient and every condition is unique. Chiropractic manipulation is appropriate for certain conditions, but not absolutely necessary. We will only provide care that is appropriate for you and that you will be comfortable with.

Is chiropractic manipulation safe?

Yes. Most patients feel an immediate relief from stiffness and discomfort, while only approximately 20% of patients will experience some temporary stiffness and soreness following the first couple of treatments. The risk of serious injury has been estimated between one in 1-million to one in 10-million. If you have specific concerns about potential complications from receiving chiropractic manipulations, please discuss them with the doctor before receiving treatment. Chiropractors receive the highest level of education on joint manipulative therapy than all other healthcare practitioners and provide greater than 90% of all skilled manipulation services provided in the United States.

How does the Doctor know where to perform a manipulation?

The doctor will palpate (feel) and examine your spine and other joints for several indicators to determine the need for a manipulation. These include:

  • Regions of local muscle tightness and tenderness
  • Asymmetry in the contours of the spine
  • Restrictions in overall movement of the joint
  • Abnormal postural deviations

What type of education and training do Chiropractic Physicians have?

Chiropractors Physicians are educated as 'primary contact' health care practitioners, with an emphasis on musculoskeletal diagnosis and treatment. Educational requirements for Doctors of Chiropractic are among the most stringent of any of the health care professions. The typical applicant at a chiropractic college must acquire a (4-year) Bachelor's degree, with courses in biology, inorganic and organic chemistry, physics, psychology and related lab work. Once enrolled into an accredited chiropractic college, the requirements become even more demanding – with an additional 5 academic years of professional study being the standard. Because of the hands-on nature of chiropractic, and the intricate adjusting techniques, a significant portion of time is spent in clinical training. In total, the chiropractic curriculum includes a minimum of 4,200 hours of classroom, laboratory and clinical experience. The course of study is approved by an accrediting agency, which is fully recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Are Chiropractic and Physical Medicine treatment appropriate for children?

Yes, children can benefit from chiropractic care. Children are very physically active and experience many types of falls and blows from activities of daily living as well as from participating in sports. Injuries such as these may cause many symptoms including back and neck pain, stiffness, soreness or discomfort. Chiropractic care is always adapted to the individual patient. It is a highly skilled treatment, and in the case of children, very gentle.

Many of our treatment plans geared towards the 'child athlete' will also include Physical Rehabilitation, as to avoid any long term repercussions from the injury sustained. In these types of cases, the 'child athlete' oftentimes becomes a better overall athlete in his/her sport due to sport-specific conditioning and injury prevention education that is included in the PPM treatment plan.

What are PPMs financial policies and how do I pay for my treatment?

Restoring your health is our primary objective. Our treatment will always be rendered solely on the basis of need and our fees comply with the "usual and customary" rates for this region. We will do everything we can to keep your costs to a minimum without risking the quality of your healthcare.

In general, we accept most Major Medical Insurance companies, Cash Patients, Medicare Patients, Illinois Workers Compensation, Personal Injury and Auto Accident Claims.

For out-of-pocket expenses, we offer many payment options. We accept cash, check or credit card (Visa and MasterCard) as well as offer interest-free financing for those who qualify. Please advise us, at the time of your service, if you would have difficulty fulfilling your financial responsibility so that we may discuss alternative payment options with you.

We can help you in discovering what benefits (including copays and deductibles) you have. If you will not be using Health Insurance (or have a high deductible plan), be sure to ask about our Time of Service discount. We are able to offer a discount since we do not have extra time and resources spent filing with the insurance company. Payment is due at time of service.

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