Providing personalized, one-on-one, hands-on care by a licensed physical therapy staff.


Trust in our experience for your

physical therapy needs.

What is Physical Therapy?

  • In practical terms, physical therapy has been defined as a form of healthcare that looks at the body as a whole and identifies how a disease, injury, or impairment affects the body from operating at its normal full potential, and then assists the patient to prevent, correct, or alleviate the source of their problem.
  • People frequently seek physical therapy to address movement dysfunction of musculoskeletal and neuromuscular origins involving the spine, joints, and their surrounding muscles and soft tissue.
  • A detailed physical therapy examination will assist the patient in identifying the underlying cause of their movement dysfunction, and will aid the physical therapist in development of a specific treatment plan aimed at assisting the patient to correct or adapt to their movement dysfunction.
  • Physical therapy also strives to promote optimum health and function through prevention and rehabilitation.

How can I get physical therapy treatment?


There are two ways to obtain physical therapy treatment in Pennsylvania:

  • Physical therapy is facilitated by a prescription from a physician or nurse practitioner, and is continued with frequent communication and interaction between the physical therapist and physician.  When your physician prescribes physical therapy, let them know that you would like to be referred to Schafer Physical Therapy, PC.  It is your right to choose your physical therapy provider.
  • Mr. Schafer, the owner and therapist at Schafer Physical Therapy, PC, is specially licensed as a "direct access practitioner in physical therapy," whereas individuals may "self refer" themselves for a physical therapy examination, evaluation, and up to 30 days of care.  Should any questionable conditions or "red flags" become evident during your examination or treatment, Mr. Schafer is then required to refer you to a physician before continuing physical therapy.

When I come in for my first appointment, what should I expect?

  • After a thorough and detailed physical therapy examination (as described above), Mr. Schafer will assist the patient in goal-setting customized to their specific diagnosis and problems.
  • Treatment will be based primarily on exercise and functional training, but the therapist may also choose to utilize ultrasound, heat, cold, electrical stimulation, and massage techniques in order to attain the patient's treatment and functional goals.  Patient and, if appropriate, family education will be used to ensure proper and safe performance of assigned home exercise programs and therapeutic activities outside of the patient's clinical treatments.
  • Mr. Schafer also frequently utilizes mobilization techniques for the patient's joints, spine, or soft tissue, while also emphasizing treatment within the patient's "pain-free" tolerance.
  • Patients should plan to wear loose fitting clothes to allow for proper examination of the injured area.  Gowns are provided for examination and treatment of the spine.  Athletic or similar shoe wear is recommended.

Does physical therapy hurt or cause more pain?

  • When most individuals present for therapy, they are usually having some type of pain.  Mr. Schafer emphasizes as "pain-free" treatment as possible with his gentle manual and exercise treatments.
  • With a personalized treatment plan, direct communication with the therapist, and treatments provided ONLY by a licensed physical therapist, the patient's care can be modified to maintain as "pain-free" treatment as possible.
  • It should also be noted that, as with the initiation of any new exercise or activity, some post-activity soreness is expected.

Does my health insurance cover physical therapy?

  • Most health insurances include physical therapy coverage.
  • Please click on the "Insurance Info" tab to the left for a partial list of insurances for which we are participating providers.
  • Please refer to your health insurance policy manual for your specific physical therapy/ physical medicine benefits or call our facility to see if we are a Network Provider for your specific plan as we are regularly being  credentialed with additional health insurance plans.
  • We frequently also see patients on an out-of-network basis, however those individuals usually have a slightly higher financial responsibility as mandated by their health insurance carrier.
  • Schafer Physical Therapy, PC IS NOT a participating provider with UPMC Health Insurance, however some plans allow the patient to be seen out-of-network.