Physical Therapy Questions

What is physical therapy?
The American Physical Therapy Association defines physical therapy as:


  • Examining individuals with impairment, functional limitation and disability or othr health related conditions in order to determine a diagnosis, prognosis and intervention.
  • Alleviating impairment and functional limitation by designing, implementing and modifying therapeutic interventions.
  • Preventing injury, impairment, functional limitation and disability including the promotion and maintenance of fitness, health and quality of life in people of all ages.
  • Engaging in consultation, education and research


While this model definition provides a glance at the generic scope of physical therapy practice, it provides only a glimpse into the practice of a physical therapist in the 21st century.  The physical therapists at Wenger Physical Therapy have kept pace with the changes occuring in our health care delivery system including the rapid advances in science and technology.  This allows our staff to provide the most effective patient treatment possible.


A physical therapist is specially trained in the examination and treatment of musculoskeletal and neuromuscular problems that affect the ability to move and function.  Given the vast array of problems that can affect movement, function and health, all physical therapy educational programs offer a clinical doctorate in physical therapy.  All physical therapists must pass a national examination in the state in which they practice.  Some physical therapists opt to seek advanced certification in specific areas of interest such as orthopedics, manual therapy, neurology, sports physical therapy or geriatric physical therapy.

What diagnoses can be helped with physical therapy?
Abilities and functions can be impaired due to various causes and can significantly impact one's quality of life. Physical therapy can provide effective treatment for injuries to the muscles and joints from sports injuries, work related injuries and injuries sustained in motor vehicle accidents.  Following joint replacement, physical therapy can restore normal motion, strength, gait and function.  Wenger Physical Therapy has had great success with total ankles, knees, hips and shoulders.  Many individuals have difficulty with chronic irritation of tendons such as plantar fasciits/fasciosis, lateral and medial epicondylities (tennis and golfer's elbow) that respond well to augmented soft tissue mobiilization, a technique practiced by all clinicians at Wenger Physical Therapy.  Clinicians at Wenger Physical Therapy are trained to evaluate each individual and design an custom treatment plan to allow each patient to return to activities important in their lives.

What makes Wenger Physical Therapy different from other physical therapy offices?
All of our clinicians have graduated from universities with strong reputations in orthopedics.  After accepting a position at Wenger Physical Therapy, all therapisits are required to complete a one year orthopedic manual therapy mentorship program.  This allows consistency between therapists in evaluative skiils, treatment skills, thought processes, patient management and philosophy of care.

How much time should I allow for my appointment?
The initial physical therapy appointment will last approximately one hour.  Subsequent appointments are 30-60 minutes in length and are dependent upon the specific needs of the patient.

What should I wear to my physical therapy appointments?
Wear clothing in which you will feel comfortable exercising.

What do I need to bring to my first physical therapy appointment?
To your first appointment bring your insurance card, completed medical history form and medication list (see Patient Forms) and the order your health care practitioner may have provided you.  If applicable, please plan to pay your copay at each visit.

What insurance policies do you accept?
Most insurance are accepted at Wenger Physical Therapy and we are a Medicare provider.  Please contact our office and our staff will verify your coverage.  Self pay discounts are available for those without insurance coverage.  Wenger Physical Therapy accepts checks, Mastercard, Visa, Discover and Care Credit.

How often do I need to come to physical therapy?
Treatment frequency is determined jointly by the patient and therapist.  It is dependent on your situation and is determined after the initial evaluation with the physical therapist. 

Do I need to see a physician before I can receive physical therapy?
Many insurance companies recognize the expertise physical therapists offer in the area of musculoskeletal injury and treatment and will allow you to seek physical therapy without first seeing a health care practitioner.  Our staff are willing to contact your insurance company to make certain that you may self-refer.  Wenger Physical Therapy accepts referrals from physicians, podiatrists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, dentists, oral surgeons and chiropractors.

What can I expect when I come to Wenger for physical therapy?
You may expect treatment in an upbeat, friendly environment with staff who will treat you with respect and courtesy.  You will receive a thorough musculoskeletal examination upon which a treatment plan will be designed specific to your needs.  Your involvement in setting the treatment goals is critical to the process.

How do I choose the right physical therapist for me?
Every physical therapist has developed their specific approach to patient care, which is influenced by their education, experience and clinical environment. You will get a sense of your therapist and their style of practice during your initial evaluation. You should feel comfortable at the clinic and confident that you will receive the best care.

What types of physical therapy treatments does Wenger offer?
Wenger Physical Therapy offers a full spectrum of physical therapy services.  Our expertise lies in the areas of orthopedics and manual therapy, but post-graduate programs and focused training allows effective treatment of balance and falls issues, vestibular disorders and temporomandibular joint disorders.  A therapeutic pool is available to patients and therapists as they design a treatment approach.  Please see Specialized Services for a complete description of specialty services.

How many visits will I need?
This is highly variable. You may need one visit or you may need multiple vists. It depends on your diagnosis, the severity of your impairments, your past medical history, your committment to self -management, etc. You will be re-evaluated regularly and a note will be provided to your referring health care practitioner when you return for a follow-up visit with our recommendations.


1681 Commerce Drive
North Mankato, MN 56003

507.625.8017 | Email Us

Newsletter Sign-up