In-Clinic Appointment FAQs: Top Questions and Answers for Physical & Occupational Therapy Visits

If your question is not answered here, please call 212-759-2282 or email us at info@spearcenter.com.

How clean is your clinic?

Spear has always kept immaculate standards and nightly cleaning of its clinics. Then, when the Coronavirus pandemic began, Spear added an additional sterilization process in its clinics, using an EPA-registered disinfectant that qualifies under the EPA’s emerging viral pathogen program for use against SARS-CoV-2, a coronavirus that causes COVID-19. We also implemented patient and therapist screening, as well as many more tactics you can read about here, which ensure we are well beyond the CDC’s recommended sanitization levels for a service that the Federal and State governments have identified as an essential service.

What do I need to wear for my initial appointment?

Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing and a pair of rubber-soled sneakers – something you can move in. Every treatment course begins with a comprehensive evaluation.

Should I bring any X-rays and MRI reports with me?

Yes, please do. Although we can request these from your doctor or lab facility, it is better if you provide them for us during your first visit so that we can perform a more complete and accurate evaluation. You will be asked to fill out some basic paperwork, so don’t forget to bring your prescription for physical therapy.

What types of treatments do you perform?

We perform various types of treatments, and will customize a program combining the best techniques specific for your particular injury. The modalities and techniques we use include soft tissue massage, joint mobilization, electrical stimulation, stretching, therapeutic exercises, and ice. The treatment program will be performed in a private treatment room as well as a gym setting using a variety of athletic and rehabilitation equipment.

What type of equipment do you have on the premises?

Because we focus on rehabilitation as well as performance enhancement, we have a full gym on the premises, including a variety of equipment intended solely for rehabilitation.

Do I always see the same therapist?

You will always see the same physical therapist that you start with, except for special circumstances such as scheduling conflicts or special diagnoses.

How long does each session last?

Generally, your initial visit will last over 1 hour since the therapist will need to evaluate your condition, provide treatment, and give home instructions. Following visits may last from 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on your injury and level of activity.

How often will I come?

Most prescriptions and treatment schedules are for 2-3 visits per week, but this will vary based on your condition and physical ability. Physical therapy sessions typically last an hour. Treatment plans usually are from 6-12 weeks with periodic re-evaluations and regular follow-up visits with your doctor.

Important tips:

  • Arrive 15 minutes prior to you scheduled appointment to check in.
  • Bring all necessary insurance verification, physicians prescription, list of medications, radiographs (MRI’s, X-rays), etc.
  • Bring or wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing and a pair of rubber soled sneakers.

Now that the Coronavirus pandemic is keeping patients at home, telehealth physical & occupational therapy is in high demand. However, it is still an unknown service to many patients. Therefore, to help you understand what to expect with online, virtual therapy, we have compiled the most frequently asked questions about our telehealth physical & occupational therapy service, Spear Live. Watch and read below!

Frequently Asked Questions about Spear Live: Online, Telehealth Physical Therapy




What is Telehealth Physical and Occupational Therapy?


What exactly is telehealth physical and occupational therapy?

Telehealth physical and occupational therapy is the use of electronic telecommunications technology to provide physical and occupational therapy services, instead of being performed in-person. Telehealth therapy utilizes online audio and video (very similar to FaceTime or Facebook Messenger, or any of the other video communications platforms available to the masses) to allow the patient and the therapist to be in separate locations and still conduct an appointment. Telehealth goes by many names and is often referred to as “online” or “virtual” therapy.


Will the telehealth visit be the same as an in-office visit?

Telehealth physical therapy visits will of course not include manual, hands-on treatment. The sessions are meant to fill in whatever gap you’re currently facing. Our Physical and Occupational Therapists are here as your resource! They are also typically around 30 minutes long. And, just like you’re used to, we will guide you through the exercises, give you new exercise progressions, or answer any questions you might have about your current issue (or any new issues)!


How will our sessions be as effective as in-clinic sessions?

We will structure the sessions however you’d like. I will make sure your home exercise program is updated and clear so you know what to do each day! These sessions have the potential to be even more effective than our in-person appointments by helping you independently manage your condition.


What are we going to do during the sessions?

We can do whatever you’d like during the session as we want it to be as meaningful as possible. We can go over home exercises, discuss modifications as you adjust to this new lifestyle, answer questions, progress exercises, and/or go over specific techniques.


What does the therapist do during the session?

Your therapist will base it off of what you prefer by asking you beforehand. Some patients are uncomfortable with the idea of a PT constantly watching them do the exercises. To make them feel more comfortable therapists do the exercises with them while providing cues. Other patients prefer that their therapist watch and provide concurrent feedback on their form.


How will I be able to still make progress in physical therapy without coming into the clinic?

You and your physical therapist will work together to come up with an integrated plan to manage your symptoms at home. The online sessions will be a means of communication about how you are doing so far and what else you can be doing to improve your symptoms during this time.


I don’t have much equipment or space at home, is that a problem?

Not a problem at all! You would be surprised how effective these sessions can be with little to no equipment. Your physical therapist will work with what you have in your home. We can get creative with household items and body-weight exercises to ensure the session is still challenging and progressing you towards your goals. Your PT can also provide links to purchase equipment if needed.


I’m worried I’ll disturb my neighbors and roommates

Your therapist will let you know ahead of time what your treatment will be, so you can decide the best date and time to avoid disturbing neighbors. Many sessions will not require exercises or stretches that make any noise at all!




What Technology is Required for Telehealth Physical and Occupational Therapy?


What technology do I need for a Spear Live telehealth appointment?

We have intentionally made this the easiest process and technology possible! At the time of your appointment, you will simply receive an email with a link to click. Make sure you use Google Chrome or Firefox as the browser!


What devices are supported by Spear Live? 

Any device that has a camera, internal microphone and can run the Google Chrome or Firefox browser will work! This includes virtually all smartphones, tablets and desktop or laptop computers


Do I have to download a new app on my computer? I’m nervous I won’t be able to figure it out!

No worries—getting started is easy! You won’t need to download anything—simply follow the link in the email we send you! The video and audio will automatically launch in your browser.

How Does Telehealth Physical and Occupational Therapy Work?


How do I schedule a Spear Live telehealth physical therapy appointment?

To get scheduled, you can request an appointment online, or give us a call at 646-518-5554. One of our Care Coordinators will be in touch to get you started!


Will Spear Live work for me? 

The answer is most likely, “Yes!” Reach out to us with more information and we’ll be able to assess if this form of therapy is right for you.


I am in a different time zone—can you accommodate my availability? 

Reach out to us with your preferred date and time and we will work to accommodate you.


How long does a typical session last? Is the appointment length different depending on the type of session (e.g. initial evaluation versus a follow-up appointment; body part)?

Most sessions are about 30 mins regardless of condition to be treated.


I only have “x” number of visits in my calendar year plan, should I wait for in-person appointments?

Definitely keep your insurance benefits in mind to maximize the amount of sessions. We can decide the optimal frequency after evaluating you on your first telehealth session. The most important thing is setting you up so you continue to progress and build off of all of previous treatments.


How long will you be offering telehealth physical and occupational therapy?

As long as is needed! We want to make sure we can continue to provide physical therapy services until we are able to continue with in-person visits. And even after that, many patients appreciate being able to maintain treatment remotely for numerous reasons, including business or leisure travel.

Let this also be a reminder that our offices are still open should you wish to make an appointment in the clinic. We are going above and beyond CDC guidelines and ask that all in-clinic patients do the same!




Have additional questions not answered here? Reach out to us by completing this form, emailing us at spearlive@spearcenter.com or calling us at 646-518-5554!

Named the nation's top physical therapy practice (twice).
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