Can I Answer A Question For You? (847) 257-5172

Here’s some answers to the most common questions…

Is physical therapy right for my issue?


This is an easy question to answer…If you can check off any of the symptoms or issues listed below, then you can be confident that physical therapy is right for you:

(Important:  The symptoms and problems listed below is NOT the specific name or diagnosis of your issue…the issue is described as you see it and feel it.  See What Injuries Do You Treat?” for specific types of injury.)

  • Sports injury
  • Post-operative rehab
  • Pain or stiffness during exercise (lifting weights, jumping, running, etc)
  • Pain or stiffness during daily activity (walking, standing, sitting, driving, etc)
  • Back pain or stiffness
  • Achy pain in your leg
  • Numbness or “pins and needles” in your leg
  • Hip pain or tightness
  • Knee pain
  • Sprained knee
  • Sprained ankle
  • Ankle / Foot pain or tightness
  • Neck pain or stiffness
  • Achy pain in your arm
  • Numbness or “pins and needles” in your arm
  • Shoulder pain or tightness
  • Elbow / Wrist pain or tightness

This is a list of common problems that patients ask us to help fix. 

If your problem isn’t on the list above…or if you’re still unsure if physical therapy is right for you…then please take the opportunity to speak with Todd on the phone (he’s a sought-after Physical Therapist and Movement Specialist and especially good at getting questions answered)…

Will physical therapy cause me more pain?

If it helps reassure you, the motto “No Pain, No Gain” is NOT one of the mantra’s at Modern Athlete PT!

That being said, physical therapy will be a physical experience for you, so there may be some discomfort to the treatment process (primarily during manual treatment).  But you are in control at all times — your feedback is a key part of the treatment.

We make every effort to ensure that exercises you perform are pain-free (or at the very worst the pain is much less than you typically experience).

And we’ll discuss helpful tips (in addition to your homework!) that will aid in keeping you as comfortable as possible as your body is making improvements.

What injuries do you treat?

Here is a list of the common diagnoses we see:

(These diagnoses may be a result of a sports injury, accident, or daily “wear and tear”)


  • Sciatica
  • Low back pain
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Disc bulge or herniation
  • Degenerative disc
  • Sacroiliac (SI) joint pain
  • Core weakness
  • Post-operative rehab


  • Muscle spasm and tension
  • Disc bulge or herniation
  • Degenerative disc
  • Post-operative rehab

Shoulder / Elbow / Wrist

  • Impingement syndrome
  • Rotator cuff tendonitis or tear
  • Labral tear
  • Lateral or Medial epicondylitis
  • Elbow / Wrist strain
  • Post-operative rehab

Hip / Knee

  • Patellofemoral pain syndrome
  • Iliotibial (IT) band syndrome
  • Meniscus tear
  • Knee sprain
  • ACL tear
  • MCL or LCL sprain
  • Groin strain
  • Hamstring strain
  • Quadriceps strain
  • Post-operative rehab

Ankle / Foot

  • Ankle sprain
  • Calf strain
  • Shin splints
  • Achilles tendonitis
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Post-operative rehab
How will physical therapy help my injury?

The human body is truly remarkable — and yours is no different.  It’s designed to “help itself” through adaptations and natural healing (part of which is the inflammation process).

We have two goals in physical therapy…First is to reduce your pain, and second is to “reset” your healing process.

The first part (reducing pain) is probably what’s most important to you right now.  We want to turn off the “alarm” signal of pain so your body can relax…both physically and emotionally!

The second part (resetting your healing process) is what makes treatment at Modern Athlete PT unique to most other PT clinics.  We target the role your nervous system has in controlling movement so you don’t hold on to the “adaptations” your body has made that keeps you at risk for another injury (or never getting over your current injury).

We use a combination of manual therapy (hands-on treatment) and exercise therapy that targets how your brain controls and produces efficient movement (WAY more effective than just strengthening or stretching your muscles).

Do I need a doctor's referral?

Yes and no…

No referral (aka prescription) is needed to have your questions answered.  This is why we recommend taking advantage of our Free 15-minute Phone Consultation or Free 30-minute Discovery Visit!  Getting questions answered can save you from wasted time, money, and energy with treatment a treatment plan you aren’t “on board” with…

However, a referral is required (practice acts in Illinois require it) in order to receive treatment in physical therapy.  In most cases, this is an easy step but will typically require you to make an appointment with your physician first (family doctor, orthopedic surgeon, back specialist, chiropractor, Immediate Care physician, or dentist).

Modern Athlete PT also offers non-therapy services designed around improved performance (aka Movement Analysis services).  If you have questions regarding the type of service that’s best for you — physical therapy vs. performance-related services — then talking to Todd may help you decide…

Will physical therapy help me improve performance during sport or exercise?

Physical therapy services are geared towards resolving pain and putting the body in a better state of function in order to reduce the likelihood of re-injury.  So yes, that process will improve performance in the gym, on the field, and on the court as compared to your performance when pain was influencing how you moved.

Here at Modern Athlete PT, we are fortunate enough to work closely with people who aren’t in pain but still want their body to perform better.  Due to this unique situation, we offer a performance-related non-therapy service — called Movement Analysis — that’s focused on helping you make the most of whatever strength and conditioning or other training program you participate in.

Movement Analysis sessions are performance-driven.  Clients typically cite goals of improving range of motion, flexibility, core strength, leg or arm strength, power, endurance, and recovery.  Therefore, all activities in Movement Analysis sessions are aimed at “cleaning up” movement patterns so your body can demonstrate the appropriate control to make your goal a reality.

Movement Analysis sessions are considered non-therapy because they aren’t addressing a medical diagnosis (i.e., rotator cuff tendonitis, low back pain, or ankle sprain).  Therefore, sessions are not covered by health insurance like physical therapy sessions would be. 

If you have questions regarding the type of service that’s best for you — Physical Therapy vs. Movement Analysis — then talking to Todd may help you decide…

What should I wear?

If at all possible, wear “exercise” clothes.  The more layers the better (especially in colder months).

When hands-on treatment is performed, it is more effective when your skin can be accessed.  This means that tightness of a thigh muscle can be better treated if you’re wearing shorts or loose-fitting pants than can be rolled up. 

You’ll never be asked to remove any clothing that you aren’t comfortable removing!  You’ll always be asked first if an area of your skin can be exposed — you are free to make the decision that makes you most comfortable.

What should I bring with me to the first session?

Other than the appropriate clothing mentioned above, it will depend upon which type of service you’ll be receiving.

If Physical Therapy:  Please bring your doctor’s prescription (I’ll make you a copy if you’d like to have it for your records).  And please bring your insurance card so I can put the ID number and Group number on your itemized billing form.

If Movement Analysis or Sports Readiness Testing:  Just bring yourself.

In either situation, I suggest writing down the questions you want to make sure are answered.  And it can save some “brain power” to jot down the previous injuries and boo-boos you’ve had in the past because I’ll be asking about them!

What time should I arrive?

I don’t have a fancy waiting room…So plan on arriving right at the start of your scheduled session.

I block out extra time into the schedule for each and every one of your sessions, so if we need a bit of extra time then we have it.  That means there’s no need to show up early.  All that I ask is that you arrive on time so YOU aren’t frazzled!

For your first session, I have paperwork that typically takes less than 5 minutes (assuming you’ve already thought about your past injuries). 

If you’re running late, please give me a call so I don’t worry about you.  Of course, understand that it may affect how much we get done in that session if you arrive well after the start time.

Can I bring someone with me?


Absolutely!  In fact, we encourage it.  An extra set of eyes and ears will be beneficial in helping make sure questions get answered and understood.

We are big proponents of providing information (as much as you desire to learn).  We strongly feel that an informed patient is in an ideal position to make confident decisions of what’s best for them.

On occasion, there are some basic hands-on techniques that you may benefit from that a family member or friend can learn and help you with, too!

It’s always your decision if the person accompanying you joins us in the treatment room or not.

When do I pay?

Payment is expected at the time of service…after the treatment has been provided. 

Modern Athlete PT has a Risk-Free Guarantee — if you aren’t satisfied with the level of care or course of treatment then you aren’t charged. (Yes, you could say we’re confident in what we’re doing!)

If you’re happy with the care and attention provided to you, then you can make your payment with cash, check, credit card, debit card, or card associated with a Health Savings Account (physical therapy services only).

Why are you asked to pay at the time of service?  (Hint, it has everything to do with providing you the best possible care…)

Talk with Todd if you have any questions related to the cost of care.

How often will I need treatment?

That’s always dependent upon the nature of your injury (and the extent of your goals)!  Our aim is to return you to your full level of activity as quickly and safely as possible.  Todd will be in a better position to provide that answer following your initial assessment.

In general, pain that is impacting your daily life may require more sessions in a shorter period of time to get your life back to a manageable situation.  If pain is only dependent on certain activities, then treatment sessions are usually spaced out in a way that makes most sense to you being able to meet your goals — that may mean once a week or even once every several weeks.

Would you like to get a specific answer without having to shell out money first?  You may find it helpful to sit down with Todd to discuss your concerns…

Hi, I’m Todd

My hope is that you’ll notice the work we do together is more than just “physical therapy” or “improving performance”…

I want you to feel confident in avoiding or minimizing the compensations that used to cause breakdown and injury…

I want you to see your body and all its capabilities in a whole new light…

I want you to THRIVE, not just survive!


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