Frequently Asked Questions

Physical therapists are experts in movement, qualified to examine patients and develop treatment plans to improve mobility, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent injury. Treatment may include manual therapy techniques, various exercise strategies and patient education. Physical therapists are the healthcare practitioners with the most specialized education to help people decrease pain, improve motion and optimize function.
The state of Montana allows Direct Access to physical therapy services or “self referral”. This allows patients to be evaluated and treated by a physical therapist without first seeing a physician for a prescription. Direct access saves you time and money, expediting your treatment, relief, and recovery.
Fellowship training is a program that a physical therapist can chose to do after completing a residency program or becoming a board-certified specialist. Orthopedic manual physical therapy fellowships enable physical therapists to become recognized experts in the orthopedic manual therapy subspecialty. Less than 1% of physical therapists have completed such training. With the rapidly changing advances in physical therapy, seeing a physical therapist that is fellowship trained ensures that you receive the best and most up to date care for your injury or concern. Dr. Pakula is one of four physical therapists in the state of Montana who have completed an orthopedic manual fellowship program.
First, recognize that you play an important role in your own recovery. We encourage patients to act as full partners with their therapist in the treatment process. Physical therapy is an active process that requires your commitment and interaction with your therapist. Ask questions and be receptive to suggestions regarding exercise, lifestyle changes and adjustments or modifications of your daily activities.
The Maitland-Australian approach is world renowned, and the cornerstone of modern day evidence-based orthopedic manual therapy. First developed by the famous Australian physiotherapist, Geoffrey Maitland, the approach requires the development and continual refinement of clinical assessment skills and clinical judgment by utilizing a thorough and accurate evaluation. This dynamic thought process results in a more knowledgeable treating clinician. The Maitland approach has always been, and continues to be, concerned with the patient’s needs above all.

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