Do You Need a Referral for Physical Therapy in Spokane Valley?

Do You Need a Referral for Physical Therapy in Spokane Valley?

Do you think you could benefit from physical therapy in Spokane Valley but haven’t visited your general practitioner yet? You’re probably wondering, “Do you need a referral for physical therapy?” 

As a reliable and effective provider of physical therapy in Spokane Valley, WA, Lighthouse Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine can help you recover from injury (without a referral). Keep reading to discover everything you should know about the process.

The Benefits of Spokane Valley Physical Therapy

What is the role of the physical therapist? Physical therapy services focus on healing the muscles and joints from injury, such as after a car crash. The idea is to help you regain or improve mobility and strengthen your muscles and joints against future injury. 

As such, physical therapy treatment has many benefits, including the following:


Physical therapy can help reduce or eliminate the symptoms of a wide variety of conditions. The most common conditions treated using physical therapy include the following:

  • Injuries sustained while playing sports
  • Joint pain in the neck, back, knee, and hip
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Pain or inflammation in the tendons
  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • ACL and meniscus tears (in the knee)
  • TMJ pain
  • Concussions and traumatic brain injury
  • Strokes
  • Injuries to the spinal cord

Often, this treatment occurs in conjunction with that of a chiropractor or physician.

Pain Reduction

One of the main objectives of physical therapy is pain management and pain reduction in patients. Through encouraging at-home treatments like ice, heat, and over-the-counter medicines, a physical therapist can empower you to accelerate your recovery at home. 

During your appointments, you’ll focus on reducing the stiffness in your joints. Treatments also reduce inflammation, which is the primary cause of muscle and joint pain.

Improved Mobility

After injury, or with certain conditions like arthritis, you’ll lose mobility in your joints. It might be painful to move. You might also lose some range of motion. 

By reducing the inflammation and strengthening and stretching joints, ligaments, and tendons, you’ll begin moving your joints more fully and with less pain.

Treatment Support

Physical therapy supports and strengthens the treatment you receive from other healthcare professionals. 

For example, it can help your chiropractor complete your treatment goals more successfully. 

Personalized Approach

When you see a physical therapist, you won’t receive the cookie-cutter treatment they use for every other patient. Your therapist will spend time learning about your injury, your recovery goals, and your lifestyle to offer you the best treatment. 

They may also customize the treatment by altering the following:

  • The frequency of your visits
  • The type of activities you practice during the appointments
  • The routines you perform at home to help your recovery

How to Self-Refer for Physical Therapy in Spokane Valley, WA

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a referral to gain access to physical therapy in Spokane or any other location. However, before you schedule your own appointment, consider the important role that a referral could play in your physical therapy.

Understand the Role of a Referral

You’ll most often receive a referral from your general practitioner, surgeon, or chiropractor. A referral to a physical therapist means your care provider believes your condition can benefit from this treatment approach. If you self-refer, you can still undergo successful physical therapy treatment.

However, if a doctor refers you to physical therapy, this also gives your physical therapist specific details about your condition and any treatment you’ve already undergone. ‘Often, a clearer picture of what you’re going through gives a greater chance of successful recovery. 

Of course, some physical therapists require referrals. However, you can find many physical therapists in Spokane Valley who don’t. You might also have an easier time covering your treatment plan with your insurance if you receive a referral first.

Tips for Self-Referring

Do you need a referral for physical therapy in Spokane Valley? No. 

If you want to self-refer (direct access), consider the following tips:

  • Ask family and friends who they’ve had success with and look at reviews.
  • Confirm your insurance covers physical therapy and find an in-network provider.
  • Alternatively, compare the non-insurance rates of physical therapists.
  • Give your physical therapist a detailed medical history, focusing on the nature of your injury and the treatment you’ve tried so far.
  • Work with your physical therapist to provide clear goals and expectations for your treatment.
  • Be honest about what exercise and treatment you’re willing and able to complete at home.

Advantages of Self-Referring

As opposed to obtaining a referral from a different healthcare practitioner, referring yourself to a physical therapist has the following benefits:

  • You’ll likely receive an appointment sooner when you seek direct access.
  • Even if insurance doesn’t cover the treatment, you may save money overall because your physical therapist won’t have to perform unnecessary treatments or appointments required by insurance.
  • With direct access, you can receive more personalized care, outside the restrictions of insurance or the limitations of the referring physician.

Advocating for Your Own Health

Seeking direct access to physical therapy is a great way to advocate for your own health, which everyone should learn how to do. For even greater success in taking control of your medical care, consider the following tips:

Don’t Fear Questioning

No matter what type of healthcare professional you’re visiting, ask them questions. Before you visit, write down a list of concerns you have and ask what expectations you can reasonably set for the treatment. 

Always ask about possible risks and side effects and how you can mitigate them.

Keep Records

While your doctor, chiropractor, and physical therapist all keep detailed records, you’d be wise to keep your own. More information helps, including the time of day your joints ache more, food that makes your condition worse, and home remedies.

Your Source of Reliable Physical Therapy in Spokane Valley, WA

In Spokane Valley, do you need a referral for physical therapy? You do not. Seeking direct access to physical therapy has some advantages, too. 

Whether you’re looking for physical therapy tips for injury prevention or need help regaining mobility, Lighthouse Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine can help. To speak with our compassionate and knowledgeable team of specialists, call (509) 928-3443!