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Physical therapy dilemma

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Smallpotatoes, May 14, 2015.

  1. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    Back in February, I strained my distal bicep tendon in my right arm doing heavy barbell rows.
    In the following weeks, I cut back on the weight but the pain persisted. Almost five years ago, I had the distal biceps tendon on the other arm repaired after a complete tear.
    In the years that followed it's held up pretty well. I was back to deadlifting and benching as much, if not more than I had before the injury, but now, all of a sudden, the other arm was causing me problems.
    I saw the doctor who repaired the other arm and she ordered an MRI. The MRI turned out OK, showing no tear. The diagnosis was tendinitis. We decided I'd rest it for a while and maybe it would get better on its own.
    Obviously, I haven't been training my right arm for the last six weeks. I've been doing dumbbell work for the left side of my upper body and safety bar or belt squats for my lower body (though loading the bar is a little tricky with one good arm).
    It still bothered me, however, so I called the doctor and asked if she could prescribe physical therapy. She prescribed twice a week for 4-8 weeks. The problem is that my insurance has a $1,000 a year deductible. I'm on the hook for everything up to that amount each year. Today, I went to a PT for an evaluation. I had a $50 gift card. The therapist did an evaluation and some ultrasound and soft tissue work. She also showed me a stretch.
    It turns out I owe another $70 for the evaluation. Additional treatments, because of my insurance, would be $92 each. Even with one treatment a week, that's more than a quarter of my take-home pay. I was also told I could handle it without insurance (the money I paid would not go toward the deductible) for $65 a visit. Still a pretty good chunk of my income, almost as much as my monthly car payment for one visit a week.
    In my situation, what would be the best thing to do? Just get one more appointment and see what I could do on my own at home? Just accept that I'm stuck with a bad arm? Suck it up and pay for it and go broke?
  2. Vombatus

    Vombatus Well-Known Member

    You might be able to do some research online for stretches and exercises to help it out. Plus ice afterwards. I would recommend going very slowly and working your way up.
  3. RecoveringJournalist

    RecoveringJournalist Well-Known Member

    I had a similar experience. I broke my back in a car accident, had surgery and had to have physical therapy. I told them, I will come in as long as the insurance completely or almost completely covers it and I was basically told, "You won't be billed for anything beyond the insurance."

    Two months later, after going three times a week, I get a bill for $968. I flipped out. I was told, "The insurance stopped paying after a certain number of visits." When I asked why I was never told, I was told that 60 days was the normal business cycle. We went back and forth for awhile, and when they threatened to send it to collection, I had an attorney call on my behalf. He got the bill completely dropped.

    Honestly, I would type exactly what your pain points are into google and you'll find stretches that you can do on your own and save the $$$.
  4. sostartled

    sostartled Member

    Damn man, I'm sorry to hear this. I've been going to PT two times a week for about 2 months for a broken fibula and tibia and I've only had to pay the $25/visit co-pay (a visit is about $400 according to the insurance statements I receive). The co-pay adds up, and my injury has cost me well over $1500 when you factor in surgery costs, xrays, dr visits, etc., but I also can eat the financial hit without too much issue. I don't know if I could do $100 twice a week though.

    One thing I will say is if you get exercises from them or find some online, do them consistently. I had to cancel my appointments this past week and most of the week before, and I haven't stayed up on my exercises. It feels like I've gone back 4 or 5 weeks in my progress. Ankle hurts like hell, and I've even had to take pain meds to deal, which is something I hadn't done for about a month.
  5. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    Are there any hotels nearby that have jacuzzis? Some hotels allow non-guests to come in for a day fee, and jacuzzis can help relax your muscles.
  6. Webster

    Webster Well-Known Member

    Go once and have them show you how to do the exercises. Be forthcoming with them that you can't afford the treatments right now.

    My PT place gave me printouts of each exercise and even links to how the stretches should be done.
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