Did you know that when your doctor decides to send you to a Physical Therapist, you can use that referral to go to any PT clinic that you want? In fact, many insurances don’t even require a referral in order to see a Physical Therapist. When you’re deciding where you want to go for Physical Therapy, there are a few questions to ask yourself to determine where you should go to get the most out of your visits.
What is the nature of my problem?
The first thing to determine is what kind of impairment you are trying to address. If you have dizziness and headaches, you may be looking for something different than if you just had surgery on your ACL. There are many specialties and sub-specialties in Physical Therapy, from Orthopedic and Pelvic Floor to Neuro and Hand Therapy. Finding a therapist who is familiar with the type of issue you are facing can be helpful for your recovery.
What are my goals for Physical Therapy?
Knowing what you want out of Physical Therapy can help direct you in your search for a Physical Therapist. If you have a sports injury and you want to get back to strenuous activity, then finding a place that has plenty of space and an appropriate gym-based setup would be in your best interest. If your goal is pain management, then a Physical Therapist with a manual treatment focus and experience with pain management may be the best option. Some clinics also have specialty equipment for diagnostics or treatment, and depending on goals, one Physical Therapy clinic may be better suited than another to help you.
What has worked for me in the past?
Have you had treatment for similar issues in the past that has been helpful? Do you respond well to hands-on treatments? Or do you do better with an exercise-based approach? Finding a PT who has strong manual treatment skills may be your priority, or looking for a clinic that has a strong exercise focus may better suit your needs.
Do I want one on one treatments and continuity with a single Physical Therapist?
Some clinics provide only one on one treatment time while others may have multiple people working with a single therapist at any given time. Also, some places may not have you see the same Physical Therapist each time you come in for an appointment. Seeing multiple Physical Therapists can be good because you get multiple perspectives during the course of your treatment, but it comes at the cost of continuity.
Choosing a Physical Therapy provider doesn’t have to be a difficult process. If you have a general idea about what you would like from Physical Therapy, the next step is to determine which treatment model works for you. Once you know those two things, you should be able to find a clinic that will provide you with the care you need. To get information about a clinic or a provider, their website is a good place to start. Or, give the clinic a call and ask any questions you may have. And remember, just because you start with one Physical Therapist, you can always find another if you feel they are not a good match.