Frequently Asked Questions


Questions About PHYSICAL THERAPY

Click on a question to view the response

What do Physical Therapists do?

Physical Therapists are experts in movement and function, so they do not confine their talents to only treating people who are ill. A large part of a Physical Therapist’s program is directed at preventing injury, loss of movement, and even surgery. Physical Therapists work as consultants in industrial settings to improve the design of the workplace and reduce the risk of workers overusing certain muscles or developing lower back pain. They also provide services to athletes at all levels to screen for potential problems and institute preventive exercise programs. 


The cornerstones of Physical Therapy treatment are therapeutic exercise and functional training. In addition to “hands-on” care, Physical Therapists also educate patients to take care of themselves and to perform certain exercises on their own. Depending on the particular needs of a patient, Physical Therapists may also “mobilize” a joint (that is, perform certain types of movements at the end of your range of motion) or massage a muscle to promote proper movement and function. Physical Therapists also use methods such as ultrasound (which uses high frequency waves to produce heat), hot packs, and ice. 


Most forms of Physical Therapy treatment are covered by insurance, but the coverage will vary with each plan. Most states do not legally require patients to see their physicians before seeing a Physical Therapist (Direct Access). Most of the time all you have to do is ask your doctor if Physical Therapy is right for you. 


Reference: APTA

Why is Physical Therapy a good choice?

More than half of all Americans are suffering from pain. Whether it is a recent episode or chronic, an ABC News/Stanford study revealed that pain in America is a serious problem. However, many do not even know that Physical Therapists are well equipped to not only treat pain but also its source. 


Physical Therapists are experts at treating movement and neuro-musculoskeletal disorders. Pain often accompanies a movement disorder, and Physical Therapists can help correct the disorder and relieve the pain.

Why should I choose a private practice Physical Therapist?

Would you prefer treatment from a Physical Therapist (PT) who works for a physician or one that owns a private practice? We leave it up to you to draw your own conclusions but here are some facts from three different studies:


  • Results indicate there were more treatments, and the cost was greater for those patients that attended a physician-owned Physical Therapy practice vs. private physical therapy practice (visits per patient were 39% to 45% higher in physician-owned clinics; and both gross and net revenue per patient were 30% to 40% higher in physician-owned clinics)1.
  • Results indicate that licensed and non-licensed Physical Therapy providers spent less time with each patient in physician-owned clinics, and more often, Physical Therapy Assistants were substituted for Physical Therapists.2
  • Results concluded that “Therapists who had treated patients through Direct Access were significantly more likely to believe that Direct Access had benefited them professionally and benefited their patients than were Therapists who had not practiced through Direct Access.”3


At Agilus, we believe we can provide you with the highest quality of care available and do it in a cost-effective manner.4 You will work closely with your Physical Therapist and in most instances, your treatment will be managed by the same Physical Therapist from the beginning to the end of your experience with us.


  1. Mitchell, J., Scott, E., Physician Ownership of Physical Therapy Services: Effects on Charges, Utilization, Profits, and Service Characteristics, Journal of the American Medical Association, 1992.
  2. “Joint Ventures Among Health Care Providers in Florida,” State of Florida Health Care Cost Containment Board, 1991.
  3. Domholdt E, Durchholz AG. Direct access use by experienced therapists in states with direct access. Phys Ther. 1992 Aug;72(8):569-74.
  4. Federal Office of the Inspector General May 1, 2006 – This report calls into question billing processes done by non-physical therapist owned practices.

Is Physical Therapy painful?

For many patients, one of the primary objectives is pain relief. This is frequently accomplished with hands-on techniques, modalities such as ultrasound, electrical stimulation, and/or heat or cold therapy. Movement often provides pain relief as well. Your Physical Therapist will provide you with the appropriate exercises not only for pain relief, but to recover range of motion, strength, and endurance.


In some cases, Physical Therapy techniques can be painful. For example, recovering knee range of motion after total knee replacement, or shoulder range of motion after shoulder surgery, may be painful. Your Physical Therapist will utilize a variety of techniques to help maximize your treatment goals. It is important that you communicate the intensity, frequency, and duration of pain to your Therapist. Without this information, it is difficult for the Physical Therapist to adjust your Treatment Plan.

Can my Physical Therapist provide me with a diagnosis?

In most states (including Louisiana), Physical Therapists cannot make a medical diagnosis. This is something that your Medical Doctor will provide for you.


While Physical Therapists are important members of your medical team, physicians are typically the healthcare providers that will provide you with a medical diagnosis.

Is my Physical Therapist licensed?

Physical Therapists (PTs) and Physical Therapist Assistants (PTAs) are licensed by their respective states.

What is Direct Access for Physical Therapy?

You may come directly to your Physical Therapist and receive an evaluation and treatment for any musculoskeletal injury. Your Physical Therapists can treat that acute or chronic shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand, neck, back, hip, knee, ankle, or foot injury right now!


Upon completion of your Physical Therapy evaluation, we will determine your treatment plan. If further diagnostic tools (e.g., x-ray, MRI, etc.) are needed to ensure proper care, Agilus will communicate our findings with the physician of your choice.


Learn More

Questions About Primary Care

Click on a question to view the response

What is Primary Care?

Primary care is the day-to-day healthcare given by a health care provider. Typically this provider acts as the first contact and principal point of continuing care for patients within a healthcare system, and coordinates other specialist care that the patient may need.


Primary care professionals – such as GPs, NPs, practice nurses or pharmacists – help take care of the basics of care, focusing on preventing illness, making diagnoses (working out what the problem is), and treating conditions that don't need hospital care.

What do I need to bring to my first Primary Care visit?

No matter how many times you've visited your primary care doctor, it's always best to bring your insurance card and any medications you're currently taking. Our office will let you know ahead of time if there are any forms you need to fill out and bring with you.

Can a Nurse Practitioner be called a "Doctor"?

Nurses who earn a DNP have met a significant milestone in their careers. The DNP is the highest degree a nurse can earn, and the title of "doctor" is a form of acknowledgment of the hard work and perseverance he or she has experienced.


Several roles allow for the title of "doctor," including those who have earned a Ph.D., lawyers, veterinarians, pharmacists, and DNP-prepared nurses. The answer to the question of if a DNP-prepared nurse can be referred to as doctor is yes.

Can I see my test/lab results online?

Yes. The time it takes to receive lab test results varies depending on the test. During your visit, ask your primary care doctor how and when you’ll receive your results. In many cases, you'll access your results and receive notifications of new results through the online patient portal. You can use the secure messaging feature to follow up with any questions or concerns.

How can I communicate my my doctor's office electronically?

Once you're part of the Agilus Health community, you can use the online Patient Portal-YourHealthFile.com (our secure online health management tool) to communicate with your doctor's office, request appointments, view upcoming and past appointments, manage prescription renewals and view your healthcare summary.

Which health plans do you accept?

We accept most insurance types, including Medicare. Contact our main office to make sure we accept your insurance. Bring your insurance card or other proof of insurance to every appointment, particularly if you change your insurance coverage.

May I speak with someone in person, not just over the phone?

Of course. You can visit our office Mon, Wed, Thurs, or Fri from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. 


The address is 1305 Texas Avenue, Alexandria, LA 71301 (inside the Agilus Health building)

Questions About Functional Nutrition

Click on a question to view the response

What is Functional Nutrition/Functional Medicine?

Functional nutrition is the practice of considering every aspect of one’s health, diet, and overall lifestyle when giving them nutrition recommendations.


In this way, functional medicine follows a systems approach to healthcare that takes into consideration how interrelated every part of the body is. This strategy seeks to look at the big picture of health by restoring physiological functioning.


With functional nutrition, symptoms are seen as clues for diagnosing your primary health problems, whether they are related to diet, illnesses, medications, lifestyle factors, exposure to toxins, antibiotic use, or other factors.


While standard healthcare will try to suppress these symptoms with medication, functional nutrition instead sees them as clues for understanding the underlying issues within your body. By considering the impacts of seemingly unrelated factors on your health, functional nutritionists will put together a holistic health plan that takes every aspect of your health into consideration.


For these reasons, functional nutrition is never one-size-fits-all. Instead, it is a highly customized holistic health perspective that takes your unique specifications into account to trigger healing from the cellular level.


Reference: AFPA

Do you only see clients who are sick?

No, we see clients concerned with prevention as well as clients with chronic health conditions.

Do you offer lab testing?

Based on your unique health status, lab work may be recommended to determine the best nutrition recommendations for you. Depending on the complexity of your health conditions and your budget, we will decide together if lab testing should be ordered. Lab tests will never be a required part of your program as Julie Lavergne, PT is trained in using clinical signs and symptoms for nutrition assessment. However, labs can often provide very useful information for complex cases.

Are supplements recommended?

Yes, nutritional supplements are almost always part of the plan. Since the average person is nutritionally deficient, these deficiencies must be addressed in order to achieve optimal health and diet alone is often times not enough to accomplish this task.

How often will I need to see you?

This varies from client to client and is dependent on things like; how acute your symptoms or condition is, your protocol recommendations, test results, etc. We will assess this on an individual basis and ensure that it suits your needs.


Generally, we will see you for an initial consultation, then around a month later after testing to complete a results & recommendations session. From there, we typically catch-up monthly for a 3-6 monthly period of follow-up support.

Click on a question to view the response

What is Occupational & Environmental Medicine?

Occupational and Environmental Medicine (OEM) is a board-certified specialty under Preventive Medicine that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of work-related injuries and illnesses. OEM is the medical specialty ranked among the highest in satisfaction and lowest in professional burnout.

What is Worker's Compensation?

Workers’ compensation benefits are designed to provide workers who have been injured at work with medical treatment and supplemental payment as they rehabilitate for a return to work.

How can an Occupational Health Program help your company's bottom line?

Healthy workers are more productive! To help your workers be healthier, you should develop a preventive health program that includes:


  • Health Risk Assessments
  • Nutrition Coaching
  • Fitness Programs
  • Weight Loss Coaching
  • Health Coaching
  • Classes


Work-related injuries can also be very expensive. The direct costs of injuries that are easy to measure, like the cost of medical care and insurance costs, are small when compared to indirect costs associated with workplace disruption, retraining, lost productivity, and the like.


RETURN YOUR EMPLOYEES TO WORK AS SOON AS POSSIBLE


When injuries do occur, they need to be managed well to return the injured worker to a state of health and productivity as soon as possible. A skilled occupational medicine specialist will work with the worker, employer, workers compensation insurer, and the medical system to help the injured worker regain his or her functional abilities and return to work.

What do I need to bring for my visit?

If you are being seen for a work-related injury or illness, please bring your employers’ contact information and a photo ID.


If you are being seen for an employment related clearance exam, please bring any paperwork provided to you by your employer and a photo ID.

I need a copy of my employee vaccinations. Who do I ask?

If you need copies of your employee immunization records please contact Injury Management Specialists (IMS) at 318-445-1196. Please allow up to 72 hours for processing as a review is done for each request.

Questions About Osteopractic Care

Click on a question to view the response

What is Osteopractic Care?

Osteopractic Physical Therapy is an approach to care, a sub-specialty within physical therapy, and more accurately describes the kind of physical therapy services (rather than simply “physical therapy”) offered so the public, and colleagues alike, can identify the appropriate practitioner of choice for the condition in question. 


When you break a bone, you look for an orthopedist, not just a general medical doctor. When you have a skin condition, you go to the dermatologist. Or when your child needs medical care, you look for a pediatrician. Likewise, when you have neck pain, low back pain, headaches, tennis elbow, heel pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, knee osteoarthritis, shoulder impingement, or joint pain etc., it makes sense to look for a specialist–an Osteopractic Physical Therapist or Osteopractor–not a generalist, within physical therapy that is specifically trained and has advanced post-graduate qualifications to treat those conditions.


Reference: AAMT

How long will I need treatment?

There is no way to know how much treatment any one patient will need until an individual evaluation is conducted. Each patient and injury is different and is treated as such. Considering that you receive higher level treatment and much more of it due to the extended session lengths, it equates to roughly two times the results in half of the time vs. other providers.

What should I wear?

Dress comfortably with clothes that allow easy access for the therapist to examine your problem areas. For treatments, loose fitting clothes that are comfortable are optimal.

How long will my therapy sessions last?

Each treatment session is typically around 60 minutes. The amount of time will be based on your specific needs, and your therapist will discuss this with you.

Questions About Dry Needling

Click on a question to view the response

What is Dry Needling?

Dry Needling is a natural extension of quality hands-on therapy. To be effective, Dry Needling should not be performed as an isolated treatment, but as part of a comprehensive care plan; it is another very specific tool to reduce pain and help patients to better tolerate their physical therapy and tailored exercise plan.


Successful Dry Needling must be administered by a highly skilled manual therapist, with advanced training in anatomy and musculoskeletal function and dysfunction.

How can Dry Needling help me?

Dry needling can be used to treat a variety of musculoskeletal issues, including: neck, back & shoulder pain; arm pain (tennis elbow, carpal tunnel, golfer's elbow); headaches; jaw and dental pain; buttock and leg pain (sciatica, hamstring strains, calf tightness/spasms).

Are the needles sterile?

Yes, we only use sterile, disposable needles.

How long does it take to notice results?

Typically, patients notice a positive reaction within a few visits.

Is Dry Needling the same as Acupuncture?

While Dry Needling uses the same tool as acupuncture-it is with a different theoretical purpose. Dry Needling is based on traditional, studied and tested practices of Western Medicine to restore normal muscle function. Traditional acupuncture practitioners follow Eastern Medicine's key principle of holistic treatment, and is based on normalizing the energy imbalance, or Chi, in the body to cure syndrome.


Further, the amount of formal training received by an Agilus Health therapist is extensive. An Agilus therapist has undergone thousands of hours of training, successfully passed regulated board exams, and has a thorough knowledge of a patient's condition.

What is Direct Access?

You may come directly to your Physical Therapist and receive an evaluation and treatment for any musculoskeletal injury. Your Physical Therapists can treat that acute or chronic shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand, neck, back, hip, knee, ankle, or foot injury right now!


Upon completion of your Physical Therapy evaluation, we will determine your treatment plan. If further diagnostic tools (e.g., x-ray, MRI, etc.) are needed to ensure proper care, Agilus will communicate our findings with the physician of your choice.


Learn More

Questions About Billing/Insurance

Click on a question to view the response

What do Physical Therapists do?

Physical Therapists are experts in movement and function, so they do not confine their talents to only treating people who are ill. A large part of a Physical Therapist’s program is directed at preventing injury, loss of movement, and even surgery. Physical Therapists work as consultants in industrial settings to improve the design of the workplace and reduce the risk of workers overusing certain muscles or developing lower back pain. They also provide services to athletes at all levels to screen for potential problems and institute preventive exercise programs. 


The cornerstones of Physical Therapy treatment are therapeutic exercise and functional training. In addition to “hands-on” care, Physical Therapists also educate patients to take care of themselves and to perform certain exercises on their own. Depending on the particular needs of a patient, Physical Therapists may also “mobilize” a joint (that is, perform certain types of movements at the end of your range of motion) or massage a muscle to promote proper movement and function. Physical Therapists also use methods such as ultrasound (which uses high frequency waves to produce heat), hot packs, and ice. 


Most forms of Physical Therapy treatment are covered by insurance, but the coverage will vary with each plan. Most states do not legally require patients to see their physicians before seeing a Physical Therapist (Direct Access). Most of the time all you have to do is ask your doctor if Physical Therapy is right for you. 


Reference: APTA

Why is Physical Therapy a good choice?

More than half of all Americans are suffering from pain. Whether it is a recent episode or chronic, an ABC News/Stanford study revealed that pain in America is a serious problem. However, many do not even know that Physical Therapists are well equipped to not only treat pain but also its source. 


Physical Therapists are experts at treating movement and neuro-musculoskeletal disorders. Pain often accompanies a movement disorder, and Physical Therapists can help correct the disorder and relieve the pain.

SUBMIT YOUR OWN QUESTION HERE

Full Name:

Phone:

Email:

What's Your Question?:

CONTACT AGILUS HEALTH

  • Alexandria Clinic: 318-443-8278

  • Pineville Clinic: 318-640-0470

  • Text Clinic: 318-528-7868

  • Email: support@agilushealth.com

  • Alexandria Clinic: 318-445-1196

  • Pineville Clinic: 318-640-0296

  • Email: support@agilushealth.com

  • 318-704-6568

  • support@agilushealth.com

  • 318-704-6568

  • support@agilushealth.com