Choosing a Physical Therapist: What You Need to Know
Physical therapy is a proven method of relief and possible remedy to loss of functional mobility due to illness, injury or disease. Over time, the right physical therapist can make a dramatic improvement in your quality of life. There are lots of physical therapists to choose from; it’s choosing the right one that makes a difference in your recovery.
What to Ask a Physical Therapist
Before you make your final decision about any particular physical therapist, you’ll want to ask certain questions. The answers to these questions will help you make the best choice for your individual needs.
What Insurance Do You Accept?
This is the first question you should ask. The success of physical therapy depends on regular, consistent visits with the same physical therapist. If you’re struggling to pay because they don’t take your insurance, you risk having to quit therapy or needing to change therapists in the middle of treatment.
Do You Have Experience Treating My Condition?
It’s important to choose a physical therapist that understands your particular condition and has experience treating it. This is especially true if you have more serious medical diseases such as multiple sclerosis or something similar. This is also a good time to ask about the success rate of previous clients the therapist has treated.
What is Your Facility Like?
Physical therapy treatment facilities vary widely. Some may have pools offering aquatic therapy, some facilities have private treatment rooms, while others might have more of an open gym-like environment. Be sure the facility you choose is equipped with the technology needed to successfully treat your condition.
What Treatment Types Do You Offer?
The treatments you receive from your physical therapist will ultimately depend on the nature of your affliction. However, there are some treatments that are more effective than others for treating any condition. Ask about treatment options and how they may relate to your malady. Here are some to look out for:
- Manual Therapy – involves deep massage, soft tissue massage, stretching, myofascial release, joint mobilization/manipulation
- Trigger Point Dry Needling – fine needles used to decrease muscle spasms and trigger points in the muscle tissue.
- Hot and/or Cold Therapy – hot and cold packs/cups used to improve circulation
- Electrical Stimulation – used to reduce pain, increase strength, increase range of motion, etc.
- Ultrasound – Used to promote healing of soft tissue
- Traction – often used on the cervical spine and lumbar spine and can be done manually or by mechanical device
- Aquatic Therapy – low resistance therapy to increase muscle strength and increase range of motion
There are many other types of physical therapy available. You may not need access to all of them, so it’s important to have a consultation with any potential therapist about what they might prescribe for your needs. Finally, wellness through physical therapy consists partially of having a good working relationship with your therapist. When choosing a physical therapist, evaluate the rapport you have between you. You’ll be working with this person for many hours. Be sure you choose someone whom you trust and can communicate with on a personal level. Find a physical therapist who will listen to your concerns and develop a treatment plan designed to achieve your specific goals.
At Kleinpeter Physical Therapy, we give you expert care with a personal touch. For more information about your physical therapy options and choosing the right physical therapist for your needs, please contact us today.