Mills Dental Care Payments

Make an appointment today 675 3200600 Additional phones: 3200610 & 71782677
Ample Parking | Wheelchair Access

How to Get the Most Out of Physical Therapy

We’ve all been there. You think that twinge is nothing to worry about. You push through. Months pass but you can’t shake the nagging pain, and Dr. Google doesn’t provide any relief. You finally admit you have a problem you can’t solve on your own.

“It blows my mind how much attention, money, and energy people put into their gear but then don’t put into the thing that uses the gear,” says Nicole Haas, a physical therapist based in Boulder, Colorado. “Everyone knows you need to tune your skis and tune your bike. PTs are quite literally the mechanics of humans.”

 Nicole Haas

There are a lot of misconceptions about physical therapy: it’s a long and expensive process, it’s only for severe injuries, you’ll have to stop doing what you love. But often it takes just a session or two to get back on the right track, and plenty of PTs encourage their patients to keep doing their sport (with modifications) during the recovery process. The faster you seek help, the faster you’ll likely be back in action.

Deciding to see a medical professional is the first and hardest step. Once you’ve committed, follow Haas’s advice, below, on how to make the most of physical therapy.

Recognize When You Need Help 

Chronic overuse injuries can be challenging to recognize and accept. If something has been lingering for two weeks or longer and isn’t getting better, Haas recommends seeing a medical professional for an evaluation. The discomfort doesn’t need to be consistent throughout the day, Haas adds. “If the pain shows up whenever you do a particular sport or activity, there’s a biomechanical problem,” she says.

Whether you should see a PT or your primary-care physician first is another consideration. The direct access law allows patients in all 50 states to see a licensed PT without a prescription or referral from a physician, according to the American Physical Therapy Association. However, there are limitations in certain states. If you think your injury is biomechanical and doesn’t stem from any underlying medical issues, going directly to a PT can save you valuable time, not to mention co-pays. If your PT has any concerns, they can always refer you back to your doctor.

You might be inclined to just take a few weeks off, but passive rest won’t correct the underlying issues that led to the injury in the first place. Early intervention means quicker recovery, potentially fewer visits, and higher odds that you’ll be able to continue doing your sport (with modifications) during the recovery period.

Choose the Right PT

Physical therapists span a broad spectrum of approaches, training, philosophies, and experience. Research a PT’s education, specialization, and experience, and ask around for recommendations. Physical therapists who work with athletes frequently—and, ideally, are athletes themselves—will better understand your passion and goals.

If your PT is part of a larger practice, ensure you’ll get to see the same person each time, rather than a rotating cast. It’s useful to ask how much face-to-face time you’ll get during each session, too. If the PT keeps an open line of communication between visits, responding to calls, texts, or emails, you may see faster progress and more personalized care.

Be a Good Historian

Your PT is a detective. During your initial evaluation, they need as much information as possible to create a treatment plan. Create a timeline of your injury in advance, including how it has progressed or changed over time, what aggravates the pain, and what makes it feel better. Note when the pain showed up and whether anything in particular provoked it, like a crash or a tweaky movement. If there wasn’t a specific incident, think about when you first started to feel symptoms. What else was going on? Did you increase or change your training? Even simple things like new running shoes or ski boots or long hours at your desk can trigger a problem. 

Use Physical Therapy as an Educational Opportunity

Haas sees two types of patients: those who treat their appointment like an obligation and move disinterestedly through a laundry list of exercises, and those who show up curious to learn about their body and how to care for it. “The success of therapy isn’t just about doing the exercises but understanding the issue and the things that can be done throughout one’s daily life,” says Haas. Come with an open mind, and ask questions.


Tell your PT what you’re feeling throughout your appointment, whether you think it’s important information or not. “If I have you move in a certain way, I’m not just looking for pain, I might be looking for tightness or other sensations.” Haas says. 


The Cheat is On: Protecting Yourself From Scams

Imagine getting an email from your panic- stricken granddaughter, who’s been in a serious car accident. She asks you to wire money, begging you not to tell her parents. What would you do? Most likely, anything necessary to help your grandchild.

The Grandparent Scam

Con artists know this and have taken advantage of that emotional response—even tracking down real-life details on Facebook about the families of potential victims to support their claims. Last year alone, this scam cost consumers $41 million. 

But the “grandparent scam” is just one of many schemes to hit the unsuspecting. Crooks use email, phone calls and door-to- door advertising to get people to give up their money or personal information. 

Older adults may especially be at risk, though fraud impacts people of all ages. People in their 60s, for example, filed fraud reports at nearly twice the rate of 20-somethings. The most common schemes targeting seniors are technical support scams, friend or business impostor scams, real estate offers and sweepstakes frauds. 

In one crafty con, telemarketers told seniors they could get up to $10,000 in government or private grant money. The swindlers asked their victims for an upfront fee and then offered to increase the grant or get them the money faster if they’d pay additional fees. 

The fraudsters bilked consumers out of millions of dollars before the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) shut them down. 

Another group of grifters used online ads, mailers and live events to sell a coaching program that promised to help people start their own online business and earn a large income. The scammers charged a $49 fee and then pressured the participants to buy pricey membership packages. Some victims lost more than $20,000. 

Older adults have also been targeted for identity theft. In one hoax, scammers distrib- uted fliers to seniors, promising they’d receive money from the government if they completed the questionnaire. More than 25,000 people were tricked into giving up sensitive personal information. 

How can you defend yourself against these cons? Experts offer these tips:

Protect your identity

Don’t give your Social Security number if something feels fishy; trust your gut. Shred documents containing personal information before throwing them away. 

When a stranger calls, think twice

If a caller asks you to wire money or provide personal information over the phone, don’t take the request at face value. Scammers might pre- tend to be with the government, the police or a business. Hang up and call the organization directly to double-check (get the number from the official website). No government agency will ever ask you to wire money. 

Don’t donate by phone

If someone representing a charity calls you for a donation, ask him or her to send you information by mail instead. 

In a crisis, verify.

If a friend or family member calls, texts or emails for help, call the person back to confirm that the plea for aid truly came from him or her.

Have a code word set up with your loved ones or ask them a question only they would know the answer to!

If you believe a scammer has contacted you, report it to the FTC at 877-FTC-HELP or 


Can your doctor drop your Medicare Advantage plan?

I was recently asked an excellent question, and it was, “Can your doctors add or drop Medicare Advantage plans?”

This is a very important question because, as I talk about this time and time again, the most important thing, in my opinion, when it comes to making a Medicare decision, is that you can see your preferred doctors and hospitals. Knowing whether or not those doctors and hospitals accept the Medicare plan you choose is a critical first step.

I don’t believe that all doctors and hospitals are made the same, and so if you want your Medicare to work for you, I think it’s imperative to know that your doctor accepts it.

To the point of this question, yes, they can drop and add Medicare plans. So what if your doctor accepts it today, and they drop it in the future? Or vice versa?

The thing is, doctors can opt-in or opt-out of Medicare Advantage plans or even an Original Medicare plan. So there is a risk of that happening.

We tend to see the drops happen more frequently with Medicare Advantage plans than we do with Original Medicare.

Since we all don’t know what will happen in the future, my advice to those of you who want a Medicare Advantage plan is:

  1. Go into your Medicare decision knowing what Medicare Advantage plans your preferred doctor accepts.
  2. Ask yourself, if my doctor drops this, am I okay staying inside this Medicare Advantage network? If the answer is no, then am I better off on traditional Medicare that gives me a bit more wiggle room?

It’s important to remember that you can change Medicare Advantage plans once a year. And so there are times you can switch between plans if your doctor drops one Advantage Plan. However, the hard part is if your doctor drops the Advantage plans and you then want to go back to traditional Medicare with a Medigap Plan.

At that point, you may be subject to insurability rules and may not get a chance to switch from Medicare Advantage to Original Medicare.

So just be sure you’re looking at all the variables when making your Medicare decision. I don’t want you to regret it down the road.