Have a question about Physical Therapy? Find your answer here!

As with starting anything new, often questions arise. Here you will find answers to our most frequently asked physical therapy questions. Still have questions? Contact us- we'll be happy to help!

How often and for how long should I come to therapy?
In some cases symptoms can resolve in only a few visits, however it is often important to establish a plan of care that incorporates enough education, foundational strengthening, coordination, and mobility work to ensure continued success after therapy is concluded. It is our goal to meaningfully impact our patients’ quality of life and functional independence. Every patient is evaluated and assessed as an individual. The frequency of treatments can be anywhere from 1 to 3 times per week and typically for 4-8 weeks but up to 12 depending on the scope of need and the circumstances of that case. The initial determination will be made during the first evaluation and the plan of care will be re-assessed at regular intervals to ensure a custom and personal experience.
My knee hurts, why are we working on my hip?
The human body is ‘constructed’ in such a way that there are many dynamic relationships with adjacent structures (muscle, tendons, connective tissues) that affect each individual structure’s ability to function properly. It is often the case that the body expresses symptoms far away from the underlying reason for those symptoms. In the case of the knee, a person's ability to control their external rotation and lateral hip stability will greatly affect their ability to maintain stability at the knee. There are also muscles and other structures that can ‘refer’ pain far away from the immediate environment of that structure. This referral pain can not be resolved properly if we are only treating the area that the symptoms are being expressed.
What does breathing have to do with back pain?
The primary muscle responsible for breathing is the diaphragm. This very important muscle plays an additional role in stabilizing the low back as a part of its role in “the core”. There are many consequences to modern living, specifically due to the amount of time we find ourselves in a sitting position. This compresses the diaphragm and inhibits its ability to contract. Over time we train ourselves to underutilize the diaphragm and in doing so we see a detrimental effect on the ability to maintain a stable spine. This tendency often leads to an increased likelihood of low back pain.
How can shoulder and arm pain come from the neck?
Every area of the body is “innervated” by nerves that originate at specific locations in the spine. These nerves act as a highway of information to and from the brain which then provide the body with signals in order to create movement and to allow for the interpretation of sensory information. Sometimes the nerves can become compressed at their originating spinal segment or somewhere along the path towards their innervated structures. When this happens we can have pain, numbness, tingling and loss of strength at a location far away from the nerve being compressed.
What should I do if I have pain during my home exercises?
Firstly, ask yourself, “Am I performing the exercise to the specifications which were prescribed to me, by my therapist?” It is sometimes the case that we speed through movements or perform them in such a way that can be detrimental to the goal of that exercise. Increasing our awareness of body mechanics is often the biggest hurdle in the process of physical therapy. If making subtle adjustments in slowing the pace of your movement, tuning into your breathing and ensuring proper form isn’t enough to decrease your symptoms, then hold that exercise for the time being. Be sure to do all other exercises prescribed until you see your therapist next, and talk to them about your experiences so that the two of you can make sense of your specific situation.
Should I eat or drink anything before I come to therapy?
Yes, It is important to be well hydrated and to have something to eat at least 45 min to an hour before your session. Exercises can have a sometimes dramatic effect on dropping your blood sugar which can give you symptoms of dizziness, lightheadedness or or nausea.
Is it normal to have more pain the day after therapy sessions and exercises?
Yes, It is not unusual to be sore following your initial evaluation or any given session depending on the degree to which your system and individual structures have been challenged. Be sure to communicate any painful or unexpected symptoms to your therapist along with any concerns you may have to ensure that we facilitate the very best care for that we can.


We accept most insurance plans including Medicare and Medicaid. Good Life Physical Therapy is working hard to become "in-network" with Grand Rapids' wide range of insurance policies.

  • Aetna (PPO, HMO, Medicare)
  • ASR
  • Auto / Worker's Comp Claims
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Blue Care Network
  • Cigna
  • HAP (PPO)
  • Health Net of West Michigan
  • Healthscope
  • Mclaren
  • Medicaid
  • Meridian
  • Meritain
  • Molina Medicare & Medicaid
  • Priority Health
  • Tricare
  • United/Optum
  • Wellnet

If you do not have insurance, Self Pay Rates are available as well!
Good Life Physical Therapy takes pride in offering health care to people who need it. If you're having trouble affording physical therapy or you're not sure if your insurance will cover the services being provided, please give us a call. Payment plans and scholarships can be arranged for those who need it. We are here to help you take charge of your health care!