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Welcome

You can save time by filling out the paperwork before your appointment or you can do it at our office if you choose. To fill it out now, choose the appropriate category below. This will open a new window you can print from (for your safety and privacy we currently do not have an option to upload your personal information). If you do not see your specific problem, then chose the "other" tab . Not sure if we treat what your complaint is? Feel free to give us a call. Generally if it involves a bone, muscle, or joint, we can treat it!

What to bring for your first visit

- your ID or a copy of it.
- your insurance card, claim number, or workman's comp info (case manager and number), or a copy of it.
- if you have one, your referral (but you do not need to have a referral to be seen).
- new patient paperwork you'll open by choosing below. Please sign and date all pages.
- loose fitting clothes you are comfortable in.
- a desire to get better : )

What to expect

- your first visit will take about 1 hour.
- we will sit down and talk to you about your problem, so we can better understand it.
- we will ask you to do some movements, to help determine the best treatment to reduce your pain.
- you will get a home program to start reducing your pain on the first visit.
- we will ask to see you back within 24-48 hours after the first session to confirm we are on track.
- at the 2nd visit, we will have a better idea of how often you will need treatment.

Our Notice of Privacy Practices (HIPAA) information can be found HERE.

Arm symptom

Shoulder pain, arm pain, elbow pain, wrist pain.

This includes shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand. You should not have neck pain if you choose this category.

Neck pain

Neck pain, radiculopathy, upper back pain. arm pain numbness and tingling.

This includes the neck, and it may also include symptoms in the upper back, mid back, shoulders, arms, hands and/or fingers.

Low Back and Sciatica

Back pain, radiculopathy, buttock pain. leg pain numbness and tingling.

This includes the lower back, and it may also include symptoms in the buttocks, hips, thighs, lower leg, calf, foot and/or toes.

Leg Pain

Leg pain, hip pain, knee pain, foot and ankle pain.

This includes Hips, pelvis, legs, knees, ankle, foot, and toes. You should not have low back pain if you choose this category.

Other problem

General pain otherwise not listed

This includes any other problem such as balance issues, pelvis, vertigo, headaches, stroke, wellness, other pain, or anything else not listed.

Do I need to see my doctor before starting Physical Therapy?

No, Alaska is a direct access state. This means a licensed physical therapist can see a person for physical therapy without requiring a doctors referral. On occasion, an insurance carrier might require a referral for physical therapy, but most will pay for the evaluation without a referral. The information from that evaluation will be used to justify the treatment's medical necessity to the insurance carrier.

Studies have shown that patients who are seen for physical therapy using direct access, (not seeing their doctor first) have a lower overall cost of care. They also tend to require less medication. You can read about the results of that study here: http://www.apta.org/StateIssues/DirectAccess/MitchellStudy/. Similar studies have found less use of treatments such as injections and surgeries.

Do I need an MRI?

You do not need an MRI before initiating physical therapy. In fact, several studies highlight the negatives to having an MRI early when treating back and neck pain. Current literature indicates MRI's have become so good they can find things "wrong" on just about anyone. Even more surprising, when they do studies on "normal people" (people with no history of pain or injury) they also find things "wrong". Issues like herniated discs and torn rotator cuffs for example.

MRI's often lead to escalated interventions such as surgeries or injections. However, it is indicated to get an MRI when you are have progressive neurological deficits, and appropriate when you have failed with conservative care.

In an interesting study of PT's with low back pain, it was found that 75% did not have imaging, and 81% had no formal diagnosis (Louw, A. et.al (2015). A clinical contrast: physical therapists with low back pain treating patients with low back pain). These are the folks that work with patients in pain all day long, yet relatively few put enough weight in imaging that they had it done for their own issues.

How much does physical therapy cost?

Prices will vary depending on the length of your sessions. We usually do 30 min sessions in an effort to keep your costs down, because we value your time, and we have confidence in our home exercise programs. No one wants to spend an hour at PT doing what they can do at home! In order for our approach to work you must do the home exercise program! We accept all private insurances and are preferred providers for most of them, so that defrays much of the expense. It is hard to give you a cost estimate because some co-payments are flat fees (ie. $20 per visit), and some are based on a percentage of the overall cost. As a courtesy to you, we will verify your insurance coverage at the first visit so you will know what your upfront costs will be. For cash paying patients (who are paying at the time of the visit) we can offer a significant discount. If you have financial concerns let us know and we will discuss the options we may be able to present you.

How often do I need to come?

We generally treat our patients 2 times per week. In order for this to work you must be dedicated to your home program. Depending on how quickly you respond, or your specific needs, we may do 3 times per week, but this is the exception rather than the rule. As you progress we anticipate reduced treatment frequency, going down to 1 time per week, every other week, or even once per month. This all will vary depending on your needs and response. We are flexible and understand people have cost and time constraints. We are working with you as a team, so together, we can determine the treatment frequency that will give you the best results with the least amount of expense and time demands.

How long are the sessions?

Usually 30 mins. Though they can run to 45 mins and if you are seeing the therapist for direct manual therapy such as MFR (Myofascial release) those sessions are usually 60 mins.

How many sessions will I need?

This is very variable from patient to patient. If you have an acute back injury and it's the first time it's ever happened to you the odds are you will require fewer sessions than someone with chronic back pain. We have seen patients for as little as one or two visits. This is common when a patient just needs education and a home exercise program. Most patients should expect 4-6 visits of therapy. This can be quite different for patients with total joint replacement surgeries, strokes, or other issues that are slower to respond like chronic pain issues or multiple sites of pain. .

As a general rule we try to get you to be as independent as possible as quick as possible. This reduces your costs and the time demands, but it also necessitates you as a patient being complaint with the home exercise programs we prescribe. Your speed of recovery will in large part be determined by your commitment to the exercises and changes we prescribe.

What should I wear?

Wear something comfortable that you can move freely in. If it's a knee or arm that we will be treating, than having clothing that will allow you to easily expose the area is helpful. Generally there will be physical activity required. The amount tends to increase over time. So dress in light weight clothes where you will not get hot. If something specific needs to be worn we will discuss that with you at the time.

Will it be painful?

Our goal is to reduce your pain, not increase it. That said, at times, especially after a surgery, some things that need to be done can be uncomfortable. At times a tissue may have healed short, and the specific motions required for your body to heal can be uncomfortable. That being said, we are pretty clear about the fact that even if it hurts, you should still be no worse overall than when we started. If you find your pain increases, and remains increased as a result of therapy than we need to discuss that and re-evaluate what we are doing. So, there may be some pain at times, but the overall picture should be that you are pain lass often, pain that is less intense, and that you doing more than before you started PT.

What is the McKenzie method?

The McKenzie Method is a dynamic and highly effective assessment and treatment approach. It is a system used to properly identify the cause of a patients pain, and then formulate the proper treatment. It is often misused and misunderstood. Many clinicians only take a course or two in the discipline and then profess to "use the McKenzie exercises". This is misleading, and generally leads to subpar outcomes. Louis, our main PT, has attained Diploma level certification in the McKenzie approach allowing us to be the first and only clinician owned certified McKenzie clinic in the state. You can read more in depth about the McKenzie method HERE.

What is MFR (Myofascial release)?

MFR is a very specific manual therapy. it takes years of training and experience to perform effectively. The goals (in simple terms) is to help the body realign itself by manipulating and facilitating the fascia (a form of connective tissue) to release and remodel. Unfortunately, there some massage clinics and Rolfing clinics that say they are using MFR but in fact they are using a different form of massage and soft tissue release. Our clinicians are all licensed by the state with the levels of education and training meeting stringent standards. Unfortunately, there are "providers" with just some weekend classes that are treating patients. Their results are often mixed, watering down the perception of this technique. We have found, that while not for everyone, a patient properly matched with this treatment can make huge improvements regarding their pain.

What is MedX equipment?

Our MedX equipment is rehabilitation-specific exercise equipment designed by Arthur Jones creator of the Nautilus equipment. This rehabilitation-specific equipment prevents a patient from cheating and compensating. It was developed with that purpose in mind and uses various positioning devices so the target muscles (usually those of the low back or neck) are forced to work. Without good stability, the often stronger surrounding muscles end up doing the work. This makes the exercise you are doing less effective and leaves the target muscles weak. The MedX equipment ensures you strengthen the muscles you need to in order to eliminate your back or neck pain. Learn more HERE.

Do you offer massage?

We offer Myofascial release which is a more specific and therapeutic intervention. We employ only licensed physical therapists. Many massage therapists and Rolfers only have a certificate. Massage can often help with symptoms (pain, muscle spasm, etc), but that can be an issue in itself. We have seen on more than one occasion where a patient got worse after a massage. Why is that? The reason is the cause of the pain was not identified, and the bodies protective muscle spasm was stabilizing that injury. Then, that protection (muscle spasm) was removed. It made the patient feel looser for a short period, but also allowed further injury to occur with the patient worse overall as a result.

On occasion for patients with a lot of spasm and guarding, like a patient who has had a car accident, we will use moist heat and E-Stim. (E-Stim is short for Electrical Stimulation). E-stim is a medical device that uses an electrical wave form to reduce pain, muscle spasm, and improve circulation in the area. We only use this once the source of pain has been identified and the cause has been addressed through exercises or manual therapy.

What types of things do you treat?

If it involves, muscles, joints, and pain we treat it. This is what we are trained to do.

One thing that definitely separates us from most other clinics is that we treat a huge volume of spine patients (neck, low back and mid back). If you think experience matters than this might be important to you. The other thing is the beauty of the McKenzie evaluation. I have seen numerous patients with pain that they thought was from one thing (such as Plantar Fascitis) that really ended up being referred pain from the lumbar spine (low back). Many, many patients are mis-diagnosed. It is a huge issue and one we see often. Have a look at some of our testimonials and you will hear about patients with shoulder pain, and a shoulder diagnoses, that ended up being a neck problem. For that reason we don't specify all the diagnoses we treat. If it involves, bones, muscles, and joints, leave it to us and we will figure it out and fix the source of your problem.

Do you have special training or are all physical therapists the same?

Physical therapist all need a basic foundation and education level. After that, skill levels and approaches vary widely. Not all schools offer the same academics with some programs focusing on one approach or another. Once a PT graduates they then begin taking courses of their choosing making the differences between clinicians even greater. Then there is clinical experience, how long we have been doing what we do. Over a few decades you see and learn a lot!

Our main PT, Louis, has over 20 years of experience, attained multiple advanced training certifications, and has left the state for weeks, even months at a time to attain special training and certifications. His Diploma level of credentialing in MDT (aka. The McKenzie method) has allowed IPT to become the first and only clinician owned, McKenzie Certified clinic in the state.

Billing

As a courtesy, we will attempt to verify your insurance benefits during your initial evaluation. We will bill your insurance for the services we provide. You will likely receive an EOB (Explanation of Benefits) at some point from your insurance carrier. This is not a bill from us, but rather a summary of what was billed to your insurance carrier. If you pay your co-payments at the time of your visits or weekly, than you should not get a bill from us. If you choose to pay after the fact then you will receive a bill in the mail from us via ABS. You can always call us at the office directly (907) 561-1711, or ABS (907) 563-1777 to make a credit card payment or if you have any questions about your statement or bill. You can also make a secure payment online HERE.

We out source our billing to Alaska Billing Services. Their contact information is:

ALASKA BILLING SERVICES
200 Center Ct
Anchorage, AK 99518

For patients paying cash we are able offer a large discount. This is only available if you are paying at the time of the visit. Please inquire if you have questions.

We are Preferred providers for most of the large insurances that are utilized by Alaskans. If you want to verify that we are a preferred provider for your insurance just give us a call and we will be happy to confirm it.