24 Oct Frequently Asked Questions
What are your Office Hours?
Monday 11:00 am-6:30 pm
Tuesday: 7:30 am-12:00 pm 2:00pm-6:00 pm
Wednesday: 7:30 am-12:00 pm
Thursday: 7:30 am-12:00 pm 2:00pm-6:00 pm
Friday: 7:30 am- 1:00 pm
What if I need to cancel or reschedule my appointment?
Our office requires a 24 hour notice for all cancellations and rescheduled appointments. This allows us to better accommodate our other patients.
Do I need a referral?
Chiropractic physicians are a portal of entry physician. Most patients do not need a referral to see us. Occasionally some patients may require a referral from their primary care physician if we need to order special diagnostic testing.
Do you take my insurance? We do accept some insurance. Many of our patients come to us out of network. As a courtesy, we will do our best to verify your benefits for chiropractic care and other physical medicine modalities. If you would like to have your insurance coverage verified, you can email us with your name, date of birth, insurance company name, group or policy number and we will do our best to verify what the benefits are. We do accept (HSA) Health Savings Accounts and Flexible Spending Accounts.
What are your fees for patients without insurance?
Our initial examination fee can depending on the severity and complexity of your condition and the level of examination that is needed. Our base fee for a typical office visit is normally $ 65.00 with additional charges if ancillary treatments are needed. We accept check, bank card, Visa, Mastercard. We can provide you with a detailed invoice that you can submit to your insurance company. Our charges should apply towards your deductible and many patients are reimbursed directly from their insurance company once their deductible for the year has been met. It is the responsibility of the patient to understand his or her policy including coverage, copay and deductible.
How long is initial visit?
We won’t take short cuts to your health. We schedule our Initial visits for one hour to allow time to complete intake forms and give the doctor ample time to take your history and evaluate your condition. Typically our examination times range from 30 minutes up to one hour, depending on the complexity of the history and number of conditions we evaluate.
A note on managing multiple regions of complaints
We understand many of our patients come to us with more than one issue at a time. But based on the complexity of most issues, we recommend patients prioritize their injuries in order of most severe/most limiting and we get to work on those first. Once we get some traction on a specific issue, we can then look to evaluating and managing other regions of complaints.
How long are follow up visits?
Follow up visits typically run between 15-30 minutes per treatment.
What forms do I need to bring with me on my first visit?
You can download our New Patient Intake Forms on our website. If you have any lab work or imaging reports(X-Ray, CT, MRI etc.) that are relevant to your condition, we ask that you bring them with you.
I have X-Rays/MRI’s. Do I need to bring them?
Yes. We prefer to have the actual films(they can be on CD or actual film). If you cannot obtain films before your initial visit, we ask that you provide copies of the radiology reports. Most Imaging centers will fax reports directly to us at your request.
I had imaging done but I don’t have my films. How do I get them?
You can call the imaging center where you had the study done, provide them with your information and request the films. They can provide you with a CD of the studies they did, along with reports.
Do I need X-Rays or an MRI before I can receive treatment?
According to the American College of Radiology guidelines, in most cases of low back pain and neck pain not related to acute trauma and without the presence of red flags, X-Rays or MRI are not warranted during the first four weeks of conservative care. The same guidelines hold true for most non traumatic musculoskeletal complaints. A red flag would be major acute trauma, motor weakness, severe radiating arm or leg pain, bowel and bladder changes, unexplained dizziness, and unexplained weight loss.
Do I need Active Release Techniques, manipulation or physical therapy?
“The latest evidence based research shows that the best outcomes come from integrating manipulation with soft tissue treatment and corrective exercise. That’s our approach at Potomac Physical Medicine.”- Dr. Matt Fontaine
We believe most patients require all three forms of treatment. Most conditions involve injuries to soft tissues and joints. These soft tissues often have adhesions which can reduce range of motion, cause pain, muscle imbalance and faulty movement. As such, we know the best treatment outcomes usually require a combination of soft tissue work, manipulation or manual therapy, and corrective exercise to rehabilitate the injured area and help prevent re-injury.
Is my condition something you typically treat and do you think you can help?
Our focus is Chiropractic with a special emphasis on Sports Medicine. We have advanced training in treating acute and chronic soft tissue injuries. We treat a wide variety of muscle and joint pain syndromes. We treat many conditions involving the extremities and spine, including complex spinal disorders. For a list of commonly treated conditions, see our homepage.
I have been diagnosed with arthritis, can you help me?
There are different types of arthritis and many benefit from conservative care management. For people with garden variety wear and tear degenerative arthritis, often the best approaches it to combine manipulation, movement, and exercise. What we attempt to do is to diagnose faulty movement due to muscle imbalance and poor joint motion. We correct these as best as possible to give you better range of motion and better movement so that you can engage in your activity of recreation or sport pain free. Motion is lotion for the joints.
It looks like you treat many athletes. I am not an athlete. Can you still help me?
True, many of our patients are athletes. However, athletes and weekend warriors share a common bond, SOFT TISSUE INJURIES. These soft tissue injuries can prevent normal movement, lead to joint problems and cause painful and impaired movement. Many of the same injuries we see in athletes occur in non-athletes as well. The difference is usually how the injury occurred, but once you have the injury, often times the treatment is the same. We focus intensely on functional rehab for all our patients, and athletes often receive special focused attention relative to their sport. Regardless of your sport or recreational activity, functional rehab will be a part of your treatment and will help you to move better, stabilize your spine and posture, and allow you to perform your activity of choice at a higher level.
***A Note about phone and email inquiries and consultations***
We live in a world controlled by technology and people want their information faster. Email and social media play a big role in how we communicate and the technology can help us to work more efficiently. That being said, when it comes to diagnosing a particular problem with your body’s engine or chassis, you need a mechanic to look under the hood. It’s hard to get a haircut over the phone. It just doesn’t work. A physician must evaluate your condition to accurately assess your specific condition. Often times a quick and efficient way to get a consult is to email us a brief history of your problem, including pertinent past medical history and current complaints. Once we receive that, our physicians can review it and have a better understanding of your problem when they contact you via phone to answer any specific questions. It is important to note again, that ultimately we need to evaluate the condition to know for sure what the problems are and how best to go about managing your condition.