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How to Prepare for Your Therapy Visit at UPMC Centers for Rehab Services

COVID-19 Update: A Message to Our Patients

UPMC Centers for Rehab Services is working hard to make sure we can continue to provide excellent care to our patients as the novel coronavirus COVID-19 continues to make headlines. We are taking steps every day to protect our patients and our staff from this virus. Get more information (PDF).

We recommend coming to your first therapy session at UPMC Centers for Rehab Services fully prepared. Below you will find a list of frequently asked questions patients often have before receiving therapy.

Before Your Therapy Appointment

Do I need a referral from my primary care physician before making an appointment?

No, in most cases you do not need a referral from your doctor for treatment at Centers for Rehab Services. Direct Access permits patients to begin care for up to 30 days. After your first visit, we communicate with your doctor so that she/he is informed and your records are updated. 

How do I schedule my first appointment?

To schedule an appointment at a time and CRS location that is convenient for you, please call us at 1-888-724-4277. You can also e-mail CRS with questions about scheduling or to pre-register for an appointment at

What should I bring to my appointment?

For an initial physical or occupational therapy session, it is important to bring proper documentation and medical records including:

  • Up-to-date insurance information
  • A list of medicines you take
  • Referral for therapy (if referred by a physician)
  • X-rays, MRIs, or any reports related to your condition
  • Assistive devices such as a cane, splint, or walker
  • Completed medical history form
  • A list of questions or concerns for your therapist

How should I dress for a physical or occupational therapy session?

We recommend wearing loose-fitting, comfortable clothing and comfortable shoes.

When should I arrive for my first appointment?

Please plan to arrive at least 30 minutes early so you have time to complete your medical history forms. If you have questions, feel free to ask at any time. Helping you understand your condition, your insurance coverage, your customized exercise plan, and anything related to your in-office therapy sessions is part of our mission.

During Your Therapy Appointment

What should I expect from my first therapy session?

During your first appointment your therapist will complete a thorough evaluation and provide a recommended treatment plan. Be prepared to describe your condition and pain level and answer any questions your therapist may have, such as the goals you would like to achieve.

How long are typical therapy appointments?

The length of an appointment may vary depending on the activities your therapist has planned. A typical session can last anywhere from half an hour to one hour. Our clinical team will work with you to be efficient and assure that you receive an understanding of your recovery plan and value at each appointment.

After Your First Therapy Appointment

Do I need to perform any at-home maintenance while receiving physical therapy?

While you are participating in physical therapy, your therapist will establish a customized at-home exercise plan for continued improvement in-between appointments. The best way to recover and reach your recovery goals is to thoroughly understand your exercise plan and create time to complete it per your home exercises.

At any time if you experience pain or do not understand how to perform an exercise call, call or ask your therapist. We are here to educate and guide you and help you reach your goals.

How long will I need to continue therapy?

Everyone is unique and heals at a different pace. Depending upon your condition, needs, and set goals, your therapist will provide you with an estimated timeline, which may be revised based upon your progress.

We understand that time is one of our most valuable resources. With that in mind, we will work together as a team to help you progress at your pace. Your in-office therapy sessions, diligence with your customized home exercise program, and teamwork all play a role in a proper and timely recovery.

When do I make my next appointment?

Following an initial appointment, your therapist will provide you with an estimated timeline of care including a recommended number of sessions, which you can use to make the appropriate follow up appointments.

Keeping your appointments and adherence to your customized home exercise plan on the front end of your recovery timeline is vital. Managing your visits/appointments moving forward becomes easier as you progress.

Will my insurance cover therapy treatments?

UPMC Centers for Rehab Services accepts most major insurance plans and can provide services under your workers' compensation.

Who can I contact with further questions?

For more information about who to contact regarding your visit at UPMC Centers for Rehab Services, visit the Contact Us page.

You can also contact your most convenient UPMC Centers for Rehab Services location directly at any time with any question.

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Check out this article on What to Expect During Physical Therapy to learn more about physical therapy appointments at UPMC Centers for Rehab Services.