Core Fitness and Physical Therapy FAQs

IMG_7153What is Pilates?
Pilates is an exercise method developed in the 1920’s in Germany by Joseph H. Pilates, which focuses on strengthening the body’s core – the deep abdominal, back and hip muscles that support the spine. The exercises are designed to build long, lean muscle while improving body awareness and posture. The practice of Pilates assists in connecting the mind with the body and focuses on the following principles:

  • Awareness and Concentration
  • Balanced Breathing
  • Centering
  • Control and Precision
  • Efficiency & Flow of Movement
  • Harmony & Well Being


How do I get started?
Contact us and we can assist you in the process. Physical therapy sessions are by appointment only. A physician’s prescription is recommended prior to your first evaluation visit.

How should I dress?
You should wear loose fitting clothing so you can expose the area that will be evaluated and treated. Examples include: if you have a knee problem, it is best to wear shorts; if you have a shoulder problem, a tank top is a good choice, and for low back problems, wear a loose fitting shirt and pants, in order for us to perform a thorough examination.

How long will each treatment last?
Treatment sessions typically last 45 to 60 minutes per visit.

What happens during my first visit?
During your first visit you can expect the following:

1. Arrive at your appointment with your paperwork completed (you can easily download it from our website – see the Forms page) . If you are not able to complete your paperwork ahead of time please arrive 10 minutes prior to your appointment in order to do so.

2. You will provide us with your prescription for Physical Therapy

3. We will copy your insurance card.

4. You will be seen for the initial evaluation and treatment by the therapist.

5. You and your therapist will discuss the following: Your medical history; current problems/complaints; pain intensity; what aggravates and eases the problem; your functional limitations/how your condition is impacting your daily activities; current medications, tests, and procedures related to your health; and your rehabilitation potential, goals, expectations, and treatment plan.

6. The therapist will perform an objective evaluation, which may include some of the following: manual muscle testing; range of motion assessment; functional activities analysis; postural assessment; mobility testing; neurological testing; and specific tests for special conditions.

What do I need to bring with me?
Make sure you bring your Physical Therapy prescription (provided to you by your doctor), your insurance card, and your payment information.

What is the next step?
The therapist will formulate a list of problems you are experiencing, and the plan for addressing and treating those problems. This plan relies on your goals and input. It will specifically state the frequency and intensity of your Physical Therapy program with long and short-term goals. The plan will also identify expectations after discharge from therapy. Throughout your therapy program, you will receive home programs and patient education so that you may incorporate the principles learned at CORE into your daily life. The Physical Therapist will also rely on input from your doctor and provide your doctor with updates regarding your progress.

How many visits will I need?
This is highly variable as it depends on your diagnosis, the severity of your impairments, your past medical history, and your specific functional needs for activities of daily living. You will be re-evaluated on a monthly basis and when you see your doctor, we will provide you with a progress report with our recommendations and treatment plan.

What do Physical Therapists do?
Physical Therapists focus primarily on relieving pain, promoting healing, restoring function and movement, and meeting the challenges associated with injury. Therapy also focuses on the education of clients in the areas of body mechanics, fitness and wellness. Many people are familiar with Physical Therapists’ work helping patients with orthopedic problems, such as low back pain or post surgeries, in order to reduce pain and regain function. Others may be aware of the treatment that Physical Therapists provide to assist patients recovering from a stroke (e.g., assisting them with recovering use of their limbs and walking again). Because Physical Therapists are experts in movement and function, they do not confine their talents to treating people who are ill. A large part of a Physical Therapist’s program is directed at preventing injury, loss of movement, and even surgery. They also provide services to athletes at all levels to screen for potential problems and institute preventive exercise programs.

Why are people referred to Physical Therapy?
You and others may be referred to Physical Therapy because of a movement dysfunction associated with pain. Difficulty with moving part(s) of your body (like bending at the low back or difficulty sleeping on your shoulder, etc.), very likely results in limitations in your daily activities (e.g. difficulty getting out of a chair, an inability to play sports, or trouble with walking, etc.). Physical Therapists treat these movement dysfunctions and associated pains in order to restore your body’s ability to move in a normal manner.

Who pays for the treatment?
In most cases, health insurance will cover your treatment. Currently, we are in-network providers with Blue Cross/Blue Shield and accept Worker’s Compensation claims. We also accept self-paying clients. Don’t hesitate to talk to a member of our office staff so we can help you clarify your insurance coverage and Physical Therapy benefits.

Who will see me?
You will be evaluated by one of our licensed and highly trained Physical Therapists. At CORE, we approach every patient with the same goal in mind: to provide rehabilitation that not only resolves your specific injury, but improves your overall wellness. To achieve this we believe that working one-on-one with each patient during every treatment session is critical to achieving an integrated whole-body approach to rehabilitation.

Is Physical Therapy painful?
For many patients, reduction or elimination of pain is one of the primary objectives. This is frequently accomplished with hands-on techniques, modalities such as ultrasound, electrical stimulation, and/or heat or cold therapy. Movement will often provide pain relief as well. Your Physical Therapist will educate you with a program consisting of appropriate exercises not only for pain relief but to restore range of motion, awareness, strength, and endurance. In some cases, Physical Therapy techniques can be painful. For example, recovering knee range of motion after total knee replacement or shoulder range of motion after shoulder surgery may be painful. Your Physical Therapist will utilize a variety of techniques to help maximize your treatment goals with as little pain as possible. It is important that you communicate the intensity, frequency, and duration of pain to your therapist. Without this information, it is difficult for the therapist to adjust your treatment plan.

Why Pilates and Physical Therapy?
The advantage to this approach to conditioning is that people with painful conditions, who might be at risk during traditional forms of strength and stabilization training, are able to return to optimal levels of fitness, health and well-being without the likelihood of further injury. Clients become acutely aware of how their body feels, where it is in space, and how to control their movement in correct alignment while using good body mechanics. Our approach is to look for integrity and emphasize the quality of movements as opposed to the number of repetitions. Another appealing aspect about Pilates as a form of exercise is its intrinsic nature of prevention or rehabilitative training. Programs are developed with particular attention to the specific needs of the individual. In addition, our therapists emphasize patient education so clients can carry over their knowledge to all aspects of their daily lives.

What is unique about Core Fitness and Physical Therapy?
Core Fitness and Physical Therapy meets the growing demands of patients who want individualized treatment and hands-on care. We specialize in combining “traditional” therapeutic interventions such as ultrasound and massage with Pilates based whole body conditioning. Pilates equipment utilizes spring resistance in order to effectively balance muscle strength and flexibility. This method of muscle balancing treats not only the injured area, but also the body as a whole. This allows for quicker recovery and decreased chance of re-injury.

Who can benefit from Pilates-based Physical Therapy?

  • Sports, work or recreational injuries
  • Low back or neck pain
  • Chronic pain: Fibromyalgia, headaches, TMJ, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Osteoarthritis and other degenerative diseases
  • Postural problems/pain
  • Women’s health issues/incontinence
  • Adolescents with neurological, orthopedic, or developmental problems
  • Cancer and Surgeries

What should I expect after I am discharged from Physical Therapy?
The goal of Physical Therapy will be to improve your overall health and well-being while also reducing pain and improving daily function. In addition, you should have improved awareness of your body and improved efficiency in movement. Some patients will need to continue with home exercises while others may choose to continue with Pilates-based activities. Others will complete their rehabilitation program and return to normal daily activities. In order to assist you with your post-rehab health and fitness lifestyle, we offer 3 Pilates mat classes, free of charge, to be used within 30 days of your discharge.

What other programs do you offer in addition to Physical Therapy?
While we provide physician-directed Physical Therapy services at Core, we also believe strongly that in order to maintain optimal health and well-being, a balance between the mind and body is integral. Regular participation in fitness Pilates will increase your muscle strength and tone, as well as improve your flexibility, coordination and posture. At CORE, we offer a Pilates-based fitness program with workouts and routines designed for all levels and abilities. Our program is led by certified Pilates instructors with years of training and experience. Private and semi-private Personal Training sessions are offered by appointment. We also offer equipment classes, which are limited to small groups and are done in pre-registered sessions. Our mat classes use small props and are taught at a variety of levels on a walk-in basis.

Some of the classes offered at Core include:

  • Pilates Mat and Fusion
  • Springboard
  • Core Circuit
  • Introduction to Pilates
  • Modified (Post Rehab) Pilates Mat

View a current schedule and class descriptions.

What are the benefits of Pilates-based fitness?

  • Strengthening and flattening of abdominals while increasing flexibility
  • Decreased exercise time and increased results with long, lean muscles
  • Entire body engaged…..not just isolated body parts
  • Assisting growing adolescents by improving posture and increasing body awareness
  • Improved sports performance and injury prevention
  • Decreased stress
  • Facilitation of proper breathing
  • Enhanced mind/body/spirit connection in daily living

Are there any other services offered at Core?
Yes. In order to address the whole body, we have Licensed Massage Therapists on staff who work closely with our licensed Physical Therapists and certified Pilates instructors. We also have several therapists and personal trainers trained in Level I and Level II Be Activated technique.


What is the background of the owner?
Diane Fidler, MPT, is the owner, CEO, and Director at Core Fitness and Physical Therapy. She has a Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy and a BS in Exercise Physiology. She has been treating patients with orthopedic conditions and chronic pain since 1993 and teaching group fitness classes since 1986. Diane has certifications in Mat and Reformer Pilates, which she uses extensively in patient rehabilitation and personal training. Diane’s background includes serving as a consultant to Rush University Medical Center/Midwest Orthopedics, as well as the Pain and Rehabilitation Clinic of Chicago.

Diane also teaches continuing education seminars and lectures nationally to other therapists on the Principles of Pilates and its effectiveness in rehabilitation. As a multiple marathon runner, triathlete and mother of five, she is able to offer an integrated approach to people with injury or pain, as well as athletes and fitness enthusiasts by combining the Pilates method with traditional Physical Therapy.

What is the background of the other therapists and instructors?
Each of our Physical Therapists are licensed to practice in the state of Illinois and are highly-skilled and bring a wealth of background and experience to our clients. Each of our Pilates instructors is certified through our Core in Training program (or other comparable program) and have years of experience. All of our therapists and instructors have been trained in-house using Diane’s unique combination of Thai Yoga Massage, Physical Therapy, and Pilates techniques. Visit the bio pages to learn more about our Therapists and Instructors.