Deciding on a Physical Therapist can be challenging especially if you are new to Physical Therapy, and don't know what to look out for. There are a large number of professionals claiming expertise in this field, however, the best and most qualified of those is a Physical Therapist. Finding the right physical therapist can put you on the path to reducing pain and restoring your mobility following an injury, accident, surgery, or illness. Before choosing your Physical Therapist, there are some important things you need to know to ensure you maximize your chance for a full recovery and return to pre-injury function.
The most important factor in choosing a PT is to ensure that he/she is a licensed Physical Therapist. To practice, all Physical Therapists need to have a degree from an officially recognized physical therapy program and must have completed their national licensure examination. Make sure that you receive Physical Therapy from a certified Physical Therapist.
Here are some tips to find the right Physical Therapist for your health needs.
ASK FOR A REFERRAL
You may need a referral from your Primary Care Doctor for a recommendation to a Physical Therapist or Facility, you can also ask Family, friends, and coworkers for recommendations.
CHECK THE PHYSICAL THERAPIST'S EXPERIENCE
You can ask how many patients the physical therapist has worked with who have your specific condition. The more experience they have the better your results will likely be. Make sure they are licensed and check to see if they have any advanced certifications or credentials
CHECK IF THEY ARE SKILLED AT YOUR SPECIFIC ISSUE
It is important to know that not all Physical Therapists can treat all sorts of issues relating to Physical Therapy, there are Specialists in each field of Physical Therapy. If you are into sports, it is advisable to seek out a Physical Therapy specialist in Sports, or if it's for your kids, check out a pediatric Physical Therapist. Just as you would see a Cardiologist for your Heart Conditions, make sure your Physical Therapist has the right training to treat your condition.
DO THEY PUT YOU AT EASE?
Trust is key in any Doctor-Patient relationship, you need to be comfortable with your Physical Therapist. That's why qualities such as kindness, empathy, and relatability are key. Remember that you're going to be spending a lot of time together, so you should make sure that you get along easily. They must be a good listener.
DO THEY LET MACHINES DO ALL THE WORK?
If your Physical Therapist relies solely on Machines, this is a sign that you may need to change your Physical Therapy. Your PT should be involved in each session and not repeat the same exercises during your visits. They should be able to continually reassess your status and progress.