11 Dec How To Choose the Best Physical Therapist Near You
You are reading this probably because you or a loved one has a problem you know physical therapy (PT) might help with, or probably your doctor has recommended it. Once you wholeheartedly commit to PT and get an equally committed therapist to take you through your treatment, you have just made the first step towards your recovery.
Reasons That May Lead Your Doctor to Recommend Physical Therapy
There are varied reasons why your doctor might refer you to a therapist. They include:
Therapy does not only treat pain, but its source as well. This is worth exploring if you have chronic pain. For some kinds of pain like lumbar spinal stenosis, which is sometimes treated with surgery, PT has proven to work just as well. You have a chance to alleviate your symptoms and avoid surgery.
Prevent or Recover From a Sports Injury
If you are a sports fan, this is a familiar term. Every so often your favorite player will be benched due to a sports injury. You might even occasionally suffer one yourself. These range from sprains, tears, and splints to the relatively more serious knee injuries. In such cases PT will not only help manage the pain, but it also helps regain and improve muscle health as well as movement. It’s also a great idea for sports teams and athletes to engage therapists to aid in designing exercise programs specific to the sport to reduce the possible injuries players might get.
Rehab After a Stroke, Accident, Injury or Surgery
One of the things to be wary of after surgery is scar tissue. Over time, scar tissue can hinder your range of motion and flexibility. This is something PT can address by designing stretches that improves your range of motion, flexibility and overall muscle strength.
A stoke or accident can cause paralysis, loss or muscle function or impair your movement-especially on one side of your body. Therapy will help you regain strength, coordination, and control of movement. This will go a long way in helping the patient be more independent and ease the caregiver’s burden.
Managing Women’s Issues
Women have health concerns as relates to pregnancy and post-partum issues. Your doctor might recommend PT to offer specialized management of issues, ranging from bowel incontinence, fibromyalgia, lower back pain, pelvic organ prolapse and so on. In this case, aside from the management of the root cause, it gives you back a sense of confidence and physical competence to be a mom, a wife, a daughter-everything you need to be.
So How Do I Choose the Best Physical Therapist Near Me?
Some physicians may refer you to a PT. Some do not. This should not worry you. We will show you how to pick the best therapist possible. You should work with a PT you feel is the best fit for you.
We have outlined the 6 things to look out for to help you in your search.
Before embarking on anything else, we must ensure to engage a certified professional. These are some of the major stipulation in the Physical Therapy Practice Act. Each State has a licensing body that oversees Physical Therapists. This is a good place to start. You can do this online by checking online. You can also rely on the good old yellow pages, or ask for referrals from family and friends. This will give you a list of possible therapists you can engage. And you can narrow it down to as close to your home or office as you can for the convenience of attending your sessions.
2. Supporting Information
From this list, you can narrow down to 3-5 possible ones, and you can look up more information on them, for example, how many years of experience do they have in this field? Do they accept your medical insurance cover and to what limit? Make sure you follow this up with your insurer just to reconcile all these information to ensure you do not get blindside mid-treatment.
You can also look at their area of expertise in case you have a specific issue. For example, if you have a sports injury, a therapist who has experience, or better still, one who specializes in sports injuries would be great. If you are unable to get this information online from the facilities’ websites, then save these questions for your initial visit.
3. Your Initial Visit
This is very useful. You do not want to commit to a treatment in a place you have not evaluated-or liked. Most facilities will be happy to schedule a visit for you to go and discuss your possible treatment. During this visit, have a list of questions you would like to ask and any information you would like to know.
4. What You Might Ask
Do you get one therapist for the course of your entire treatment or different therapies will be scheduled for different sessions? One therapist means you have continuity and get to develop a relationship with them, on the other hand, different therapists can expose you to different methods of treatment that might be beneficial. It’s good to know this and see how to go about it. If you prefer one therapist, can you request one? If you would like to change your therapist mid-treatment can you do this? What is their cancellation policy?
5. Its Environment and Facilities
What is the facility like? Look out for cleanliness, how friendly the staff is. Again, consider the facilities they have. If you require special facility such as a pool, find out if one is available. Does the staff look warm and friendly? Observe interactions with patients and see what you make out of it.
6. Evaluate Their Interaction with You
Facetime with health professionals has shortened considerably over the years due to reimbursement rates, patient volumes and so on. Your treatment should however not suffer in any way due to this. Evaluate how your therapist interacts with you. Do they take their time to assess and discuss their treatment plan with you or do they rush you through what feels like a treatment template? Do you feel empowered and involved in the discussion, or just like an outsider looking in? You must feel comfortable enough with your therapist to be able to discuss your treatment, alternatives or even to be able to discuss with them when you feel your treatment is not progressive.
How many patients are they handling at a given time? If you feel they are spreading themselves too thin and you are not getting the attention you require, then it’s time to go back to the drawing board.
7. Realistic Timelines
Your life is there waiting for you to live it, whether its school, work, playing with your kids or grandkids. There is more to life than making the trips to the therapist’s office indefinitely. For this reason, a good therapist should be able to set realistic goals and as you move along your treatment, check the set goals against where you are. This will also inform their decision to change the treatment, intensify, increase or decrease sessions- anything to get you on track.