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Physical Therapy Services

Sometimes injuries or illnesses leave lasting effects that make it difficult to move and interfere with our ability to function and enjoy the things that we are passionate about. Should a situation like this make it hard to carry out daily tasks, you should seek out the care of a physical therapist. This branch of rehabilitative health uses specially designed exercises and equipment to help patients regain or improve physical abilities and movements - and it's a beneficial line of care that we are proud to offer!

The East Suburban Sports Medicine Center (ESSMC) has more than 35 years of experience providing physical therapy and other supportive rehabilitation services Pittsburgh’s east suburban neighborhoods. Through our services, our team of licensed professionals spend every day helping people with injuries and illnesses get on the road to recovery. If you are searching for physical therapy in the Pittsburgh area, our staff of physical therapists, occupational therapists, and certified athletic trainers can help. Contact us to meet us in one of our 7 convenient office locations - ESSMC Monroeville, ESSMC Murrysville, ESSMC North Huntingdon, ESSMC Penn Hills, ESSMC Penn Township, or ESSMC Plum.

To receive your evaluation and begin discussing your care needs, please call us at (412) 856-8060 or submit an online appointment request form.

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Woman getting physical therapy treatment

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How ESSMC Can Help

The therapists at East Suburban Sports Medicine Center have over 35 years of experience helping patients with orthopedic injuries achieve independence and restore their function. Our team evaluates each patient’s individual abilities, assesses their environment, and uses assistive technology and equipment to ensure proper healing. Ready to get your life back? Request an appointment with one of our therapists today!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Exactly Is Physical Therapy?

Physical therapy, sometimes referred to as PT, is a method of rehabilitative care that aims to optimize a patient's quality of life through prescribed exercise, hands-on care, and patient education. It’s often prescribed following surgery, an injury, or an accident that raises concern regarding a person’s risk of future injury.

Ultimately, PT helps restore the quality of life by helping people regain or improve their physical abilities, particularly related to motion and pain management. It's also used to promote the benefits of movement therapy, which can prevent muscle stiffness and atrophy, as well as the loss of tendon flexibility.

How Does Physical Therapy Work?

Through specific physical therapy manual techniques and exercises, PT practitioners help patients improve their strength and mobility. With targeted exercises, PT can relieve pain, reduce swelling, decrease muscle spasms, and improve circulation. Supportive techniques and tools such as electronstimulation, heat/ice therapies, Game Ready cold compression, traction and anti-gravity exercise via the Alter G treadmill are often part of the plan of care.

I’ve Never Suffered An Injury. Could Physical Therapy Still Be For Me?

Yes! Physical therapy is beneficial to anyone looking to address or prevent musculoskeletal conditions. Outside of traumatic injury, this can include but is not limited to osteoarthritis, chronic back and neck pain, fractures associated with bone fragility, and systemic inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.

At ESSMC, we even recommend annual PT “Check-Ups” to individuals. We do so because the cumulative effects of things today - such as poor posture or a muscular imbalance - can take a toll on your body and inhibit your ability to move properly in the future. Similar to an annual physical with a primary care doctor, annual PT visits can catch the musculoskeletal problems that put you at risk for injury or limit your ability to function down the line. We can then help you address your health issues before they become painful and debilitating.

Do I Need A Prescription For Physical Therapy In Pittsburgh?

Not necessarily! In recent years, legislation has been amended to allow Self Referrals. This means patients can now access our services directly without a prescription. Some plans do not recognize Self Referrals yet, however, if your specific plan requires a referral, our competent staff will facilitate obtaining one from your doctor. 

How Long Do Appointments Last?

Please expect your initial visit to take 60 to 90 minutes, which allows sufficient time for the therapist to perform a thorough evaluation and get you started on treatment. Typically, you will be given home instruction on the first day as well. Future appointment lengths may last 60 - 75 minutes. You are welcome to confirm these times with your physical therapist during your visits.

Do I Need A Prescription For Physical Therapy In Pittsburgh?

We pride ourselves on getting patients scheduled very quickly. Often, same-day appointments are available - especially for a severe, acute problem. Rarely will you be asked to wait more than 1 or 2 days for an appointment at ESSMC. If your condition is urgent, be sure and convey this to the scheduler when you call so that we can prioritize your case.

How Often Will I Need To Come In?

We typically ask patients to come in 2-3 times per week, depending on the severity of the symptoms. Your therapist will inform you of the desired frequency based on the evaluation findings, the severity of your condition, and the suggestion of the referring physician.

I Have To Do Physical Therapy Exercises At Home, Too?

Yes! Exercising during your visit will not be enough to help you properly recover and improve. PT stretching and strengthening exercises are really something that has to be done almost daily. That’s why we prescribe a physical therapy home exercise program, and expect our patients to adhere to it to support their recovery. We even use a robust digital exercise program that provides you with videos of each exercise so that you can perform perfect exercise every day! 

Will Insurance Cover My Care?

Physical and occupational therapy is covered by most insurance companies. ESSMC staff will verify your benefits after you have scheduled an appointment and we will explain this to you in great detail so that you understand how claims will process and what you may be responsible to pay. You may be responsible for a deductible or co-pay, and some require pre-certification before treatment. 

You can also find out more general information about the insurance companies we participate here.