FAQ - Balance Chicago Physical Therapy

Frequently Asked Questions

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What Should I Expect Before My First Appointment?

Please plan for approximately one and a half hours for your initial evaluation. Arrive 15-30 minutes before your evaluation to complete your intake paperwork. When you arrive, our office staff will review your benefits quoted from your insurance provider and collect any deductible, copay, or coinsurance. During your first visit, your therapist will conduct your initial evaluation to assess your concerns. Your initial evaluation will typically consist of discussing your medical history and current health, diagnostic testing, discussing the results and your plan of care, treatment, and your home-exercise program. A copy of your initial evaluation will be sent to your physician.

Things to bring:

  • Insurance card
  • ID card(s)
  • Medication list
  • Physical therapy prescription if you have been given one
  • Comfortable clothes (shorts and a tank top are best)
  • All test results that have been performed with your doctor or other health care practitioner

Do I Need A Doctor's Referral?

We have direct access to physical therapy in Illinois. This means you can see a physical therapist without a doctor’s prescription, in most cases. Feel free to call our office and we are happy to find out your specific insurance requirements.

Do You Take My Insurance?

At Balance Chicago, we accept all major insurance plans. As a courtesy, we will verify your insurance coverage and benefits. On your first visit, we will go over any deductible, coinsurance, and any co-payments that you may have. Keep in mind that the benefits quoted to us by your insurance are an estimate and may differ based on insurance policies. We encourage patients to be aware of all of their physical therapy benefits. All visits will be sent to your insurance company in a timely manner, and you will then receive a detailed statement showing what the insurance has paid, and anything that may become your responsibility. Please do not hesitate to contact our office at 773.525.5200 with any billing questions.

How Many Visits Will I Need?

Our licensed physical therapists will assess and create a plan of care with you. If you are consistent with both your physical therapy plan of care and your home exercise plans you will have shorter recovery times and fewer recurrences of injury.

How Does Balance Chicago Handle Billing?

Upon arrival, our office coordinator will explain your health insurance coverage and payment options. We want you to be able to receive the best care possible, so we do offer payment plans if insurance coverage is inadequate. Any remaining balance will be mailed to you as a bill at the beginning of each month. Your bill can also be paid in office or over the phone anytime. 

Why Am I Dizzy?

Your vestibular system is located in your inner ear. When it is healthy, it sends signals to your brain about where you are in space and if you are moving. Your brain then processes these signals along with similar signals received from the rest of your body, especially your eyes, muscles, and joints. If your vestibular system malfunctions, your brain gets mixed signals, which results in dizziness and balance problems. We will find out which part of your vestibular system has malfunctioned and then work with you to fix it so that you do not have to suffer from dizziness any longer.

How Can Physical Therapy Help My Vertigo?

Our physical therapists will fully assess you and your problem to get to the root cause of your dizziness. A thorough evaluation will be performed on your balance system, including your vestibulo-ocular reflex system, other core reflexes, coordination, position testing, balance testing, and fall risk assessment. From there, our highly trained staff will work with you to progress you through your prescribed plan of care and get you on your way to recovery with a variety of vestibular treatment tools and techniques.

What Is BPPV?

BPPV or Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo is the most common cause of dizziness. It is a false sensation of spinning that is typically intense and scary. BPPV is a mechanical issue in which crystals within the ear become dislodged from your otoliths and migrate to the semicircular canals. The crystals accumulate and alter the normal movement of fluid in the canals that your body uses to sense movement. This issue is most commonly fixed with canalith repositioning maneuvers that your therapist will perform on you.

Will My Symptoms Go Away or Will I Always Have Problems?

90 – 95% of our patients get all the way better.

It takes about a year to heal from any injury – even something as small as a paper cut. This is obviously bigger than that. Once you are better and graduate from PT, the next big weather change could possibly cause flare up of symptoms. If this happens, pick up your exercises and try them for about 2 weeks. If your system does not reset on its own, feel free to give us a call and schedule a checkup. Sometimes people need a refresher of their exercises.

When Will I Be 100% Better?

The typical course of PT starts with you feeling the same or worse for the first 2 – 3 weeks.

Then, you improve and are getting better. Around weeks 5 – 6, you may get frustrated because you are better; however, you are not all the way better. This is when we are going to remind you that we had this conversation and will encourage you to keep going.

Typically, somewhere between weeks 8 – 12 it is as if a light switch comes on and you get better.

*It is important to know that getting better is not a linear path. You will get better, we will make things harder, you can slide back, we keep going, you get better, we make things harder and continue like this until you are all the way better.

Have Any Other Questions?
Email: drmichele@balancechicago.com
Phone: 773.525.5200

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