People see a physical therapist for many reasons. Most commonly it is because they are recovering from an injury or surgery. If at all possible, it is important to ask a few questions of your physical therapist before undergoing treatment. You will be developing a relationship with your physical therapist for many weeks and in some cases several months. You want to make sure that you have the same philosophy in treatments as well as a good understanding of their expertise and specializations. You want to ask a few questions beyond what insurance they take and when they are available to work into your schedule for treatment. These are important, but finding the right therapist is just as important. Here are five questions to help you get started.
What is their expertise?
Physical Therapy covers a broad range of treatments. While most therapist will be able to treat most general aliments they also probably have an area that they specialize in. Some work primarily with knee surgery recovery. Others may focus more on younger sport injuries. If you have a specific surgery or issue it would probably be wise to find a Physical Therapist that will cater to your specific needs.
What is their philosophy on treatment?
Every Physical Therapist has a philosophy on the type of treatment they recommend. Sometimes there are a few different ways to get the same results. It is important to find a therapist that is in alignment with your views and goals. For example, you may want to take a more holistic approach to your treatment. In that case you wouldn’t want to find out a couple of weeks in that the therapist was completely against that and vice versa.
Will you see the same physical therapist on each visit?
Some practices have many therapists on their team. This can be beneficial in getting different points of view during your treatment. On the other hand, if you are looking to develop a relationship with a particular therapist within the office it is important to make sure you understand their policies up front. You don’t want there to be any surprises. Once you have clarified their policies and you want to only work with one person, be sure to make your request clear.
Will they give you exercises after each treatment?
This is something you can ask about even before you choose a therapist. Find out what their plan would be for your situation. Once you have decided to move forward with a therapist keep asking the questions. It is easy to get caught up in the therapy and leave after a visit. Before you go, you should always ask what exercises you should be doing before the next visit. Doing the recommended exercises, getting the proper rest and taking any prescribed medication as directed will help to ensure a speedy recovery.
Does the physical therapist offer ongoing services after recovery?
Daily exercise is an important aspect of a healthy life. Once you have recovered from your injury or surgery you will want to keep up the routine of exercise. Find out if the therapist will offer support for you once you are back to normal. This is important to maintaining your strength after your recovery. There are many advantages to continuing to work with your physical therapist because they know what you’ve been through, they know your limits as well as where to encourage you to grow.
As with most things in life, it is important to do a little due diligence when making a big decision. Finding a physical therapist should be no different. Ask some questions and get to know them as much as possible. Hopefully you’ll make a great connection that will be a major asset to you for years to come.