Are you in need of physical therapy? Finding a good physical therapist that suits your needs is crucial, but how can you ensure that you’re picking the right person?
You’re already taking the right first step by doing a bit of research.
If you want to have a good physical therapy experience, you need to find the right person for the job. There are a few things that you can look out for that can make the task easier.
Keep reading for a few factors to keep in mind when you’re looking for your new physical therapist.
1. Are They Certified?
In the United States, all physical therapists should be certified as a licensed physical therapist. They should have a doctoral degree in physical therapy, meaning that they’ve put a lot of time and effort into the work that they plan to do.
While anyone practicing legally should have this completed, it doesn’t hurt to inquire about degrees and certifications to make sure that you’re putting your body and health in good hands.
2. Do They Take Your Insurance
Physical therapy can be expensive. While insurance often covers physical therapy, it isn’t always considered an essential service, so you should check beforehand. Not all plans include it.
It’s also important that the physical therapist accepts the insurance that you have. Everyone works under different networks, and while many physical therapists do everything possible to accommodate, it isn’t always possible.
If money is an issue (and it often is), this might be the first thing that you look for. Don’t move forward until you know that you’re covered and you can afford it.
3. Do You Get Along?
A physical therapist isn’t like a GP or a dentist. This is someone who you’re going to be spending a lot of time with for the duration of your recovery, and you’re going to be getting (professionally) physical.
You need to pick a physical therapist that you can get along with to make this situation as painless as possible for everyone involved.
It’s also important that you feel comfortable. Many people prefer a physical therapist that’s of the same gender that they are for this reason.
Get a feel for your physical therapist first (either in person, over the phone, or even during a consultation if they’re offered) to make sure that you’re confident that this can be a long-term commitment for both of you.
In other words, talk to your PT before committing to their program. This is an investment in your long-term health, so you need to know that you won’t be clashing.
4. Do They Specialize?
Not all physical therapists work on the same things. While some physical therapists work broadly with many different kinds of conditions, some are more specialized. If you pick someone that has a specialization, is it the one that you need?
It’s not uncommon for people to pick specializations based on their interests. Some people are focused on helping with “women’s issues” after surgeries or difficult childbirth.
Others focus on the elderly community and restoring them to their greatest possible potential despite there age.
It’s also common for people to specialize in sports injuries.
When you’re looking for your physical therapist, don’t neglect to look into the work that they like to do. Even if they also treat broadly, you’ll be better served by someone who specializes in the condition that you’re aiming to treat.
5. Do They Have Good Reviews?
References and reviews are everything when it comes to finding a new medical professional in the digital age. It’s nearly effortless to find out what people are saying about your potential new physical therapist with a cursory Google search and a few clicks.
Try to gather reviews from a wide range of sources. There are websites devoted to reviewing healthcare professionals, and this is often a great place to start.
Be wary of reviews posted on their own website. These are most likely going to be curated to be in their best interest.
Reviews on Google or Yelp may be more accurate, but be wary of reviews that are all high or all low. The most honest reviews tend to be in the middle.
Also, keep in mind that everyone’s individual experience is different.
6. How Do They Measure Your Progress
When you’re seeing a physical therapist, your progress is going to be tracked over time. How does this physical therapist track your individual progress?
Are you looking to meet certain goals? Are you judging based on pain levels? Does the physical therapist measure your growth through your mobility?
However they do it, make sure that it aligns with your desires and personal goals. If not, see if they’re willing to work on a plan that suits you.
7. Do They Have At-Home Treatment Plans?
Your work isn’t done when you leave the doctor’s office. Physical therapy is a full-time commitment, so you should be given some kind of “homework” to complete when you’re not in the office.
Ask your potential physical therapist what kind of “homework” they suggest and help with for conditions like yours. A speedy recovery relies on work being done around the clock, not only in sessions, so if they’re unable or unwilling to give you suggestions you should proceed with caution.
Your New Physical Therapist Is Waiting!
Finding a physical therapist can be stressful. If your doctor hasn’t referred you specifically, how are you supposed to choose?
Consider the factors above when you’re making your decision. Remember, this is a long-term commitment and you want to be sure that everything goes smoothly for as long as possible. You want the quality care that you deserve.
Talk to your physical therapist before making your final decision, make sure you feel comfortable and confident, and you should be good to go. For more posts like this, visit the rest of our site!