Physical & Occupational Therapy FAQs

What should I wear to therapy?

Loose-fitting clothing—shorts for a lower-extremity or back injury, short sleeves for upper-extremity injuries. Please wear or bring appropriate footwear, i.e., sneakers.

How long does therapy last?

Your appointments may last between 30 minutes and one hour. The time depends on your diagnosis and state of progress.

Do your PTs/OTs specialize in specific body parts?

Our physical therapists are skilled in all musculoskeletal diagnoses. Our occupational therapists treat the upper extremities including the hand, wrist, elbow, and shoulder. All of our therapists have skilled experience, and our clinic emphasizes continuing education to improve their knowledge of various conditions and effective rehabilitation.

How much will each session cost?

The cost of each session will depend on your individual insurance benefits. On your initial appointment, the person checking you in will go over your physical or occupational therapy benefits with you. If you have any questions regarding them, please don’t hesitate to ask. We also recommend you contact your insurance company to verify your physical or occupational therapy benefits.

Do you take my insurance?

We have a list of the insurances that we accept on our website. When in doubt, please call our office with your specific type of insurance.

Can I or should I perform the same exercises that I do in the therapy clinic on my own at home?

Follow the Home Exercise Program that your therapist gave you/discussed with you and be sure to ask your therapist if it is OK to add or change any of those exercises for home use before attempting them on your own. This is because some exercises, even if you know them well and they seem “easy,” may require supervision for proper form and may cause more harm than good if performed without the assistance of a skilled therapist.

Do I need to worry about renewing my prescription for physical or occupational therapy?

No, our staff will stay on top of it, and be sure to contact your doctor when necessary.

Where exactly are your office locations and hours?
  • Ashburn: 44095 Pipeline Plaza, Suite 370 Ashburn, VA 20147
  • Centerville: 6201 Centreville Road, Suite 600 Centreville, VA 20121
  • Fairfax: 11166 Fairfax Blvd (US 50 West) Suite 400 Fairfax, VA 22030 (Physical Therapy is in suite 105)
  • Reston: 1860 Town Center Drive, Suite 300 Reston, VA 20190

Occupational & Physical Therapy Hours:
Monday 7 AM–6 PM
Tuesday 7 AM–6 PM
Wednesday 7 AM–6 PM
Thursday 7 AM–6 PM
Friday 7 AM–3 PM
Saturday/Sunday Closed

When should I arrive for my appointment?

Please arrive at your appointment 10 minutes early to go over any necessary paperwork prior to your visit.

Will I be doing exercises on my initial appointment during the evaluation?

Some of our patients will also perform exercises during the initial evaluation appointment. In addition, your therapist will always give you a Home Exercise Program during that first visit.

Can I start in Reston and then switch to Centreville, or vice versa?

Although there are times when our patients are seen in both offices for therapy, it is to your benefit that you stay in the same office. We like to have the same therapist treat you consistently throughout your time in therapy.

I’m a patient of one of the doctors at TCO. Do I have to fill out all of this paperwork again if I already did it for them?

If you have recently seen one of our doctors, you will not have to fill out any additional paperwork prior to starting therapy.

How many visits are required for pre-operative conditions like an ACL reconstruction, total knee replacement, or total hip replacement?

One to two visits are usually all that is necessary prior to surgery. This will depend on any restrictions or limitations that your doctor and therapist are concerned about.

Do I have to come to this facility to do therapy just because my doctor suggested it?

You are not required to have therapy at TCO. We have a list of other therapy locations that may be more convenient for you.

Will PT hurt?

PT generally should not be painful. However, depending on the nature of the problem being treated, sometimes uncomfortable stretching can be used to promote gains in mobility. Usually, we ask our patients to avoid painful movements or activities to allow their injury to heal.

What are heat and ice used for and when do I use them?

Heat is good to use prior to exercise and activity; it helps to warm up the muscle and/or joint in preparation for use. Ice is good to use after activity or when joints/muscles are in pain and swollen; it helps to decrease pain and inflammation.

What if my splint or cast feels uncomfortable, giving me pain or making my skin irritated?

Do not cut off the cast or dispose of your splint. Do not attempt to modify or alter the fit of the cast/splint. Call TCO ASAP and talk to your therapist to diagnose the problem and come up with a solution. Be sure you have an appointment scheduled and bring in the cast/splint to the next therapy session for reassessment.

If I had surgery on my fingers/hand/wrist, should I independently remove any staples, stitches, or buttons?

No. Call your therapist or doctor if you have any questions or concerns about your surgical repair.

Should I take my pain medication before or after therapy?

Take medication 30–60 minutes before therapy to let it work into your system.

We Are Here To Help

Set up a visit at one of our locations today.

Schedule Appointment
Join our Mailing List

TCO provides patients with orthopedic problems the trusted resources and patient-centered advice they need to “Feel Better. Move Better. Be Better.”