Are you one of the 39 million people who have suffered an unintentional injury this year? Depending on the nature of your injury, working with a certified physical therapist can be one of the best things you can do to get back to feeling like the best version of yourself.
The only problem is that there are so many different options out there. So, how can you find the best physical therapist for your specific needs? It’s not as hard as you think.
Keep reading to learn tips on how to choose a great physical therapist so you can prioritize your health and wellness.
Ask for a Physician Referral
The best way to start narrowing down your search for a physical therapist is by asking your doctor for a referral. When you get your injury diagnosis from your physician, ask them if they have a recommendation for a PT who has experience helping to treat injuries like yours.
Many times, your doctor will have connections with local physical therapists, so they can at least give you a place to start your search.
Ask Friends and Family for Recommendations
Aside from asking your doctor, you can also ask your network of friends, family members, and colleagues if they have a recommendation for a physical therapist they’ve personally used.
This is especially helpful if you know someone who has suffered from a similar injury and worked with a physical therapist to help them recover. Working with a PT that someone you personally know has also worked with can help to give you peace of mind that you’ll also have a good experience, taking the guesswork out of choosing the right PT for your needs.
Do Some Online Research
If you don’t know anyone personally that has used a local PT, then it’s a good idea to turn to the internet. Do a quick search for physical therapists in your area and look at the websites for a few of the top results.
From there, you can do a deeper dive, looking for a few specific items on their sites to help you narrow down your search.
The reality is that you can find the best physical therapist in the state, but if they’re located 2 hours away from you, it’s not sustainable to go there for treatment. When you’re researching potential physical therapists online, check to see where their physical offices are, so you ensure that you choose a PT that’s in a convenient location.
Another important thing to pay attention to when doing online research is to see if the site talks about any specialties. Depending on your injury, you may need special care and treatment by a PT who is familiar with patients like you.
Take Mobilize Physical Therapy, for example. On their website, they clearly list out the services they provide and the conditions they treat. This makes it easy to see exactly what you can expect if you visit their physical therapists for treatment.
Let’s say you’re dealing with a concussion due to a sports injury. Working with a team of PTs that has years of experience treating concussions can help give you peace of mind that you’re in good hands.
Finally, during your online research, be sure to pay attention to the clinic’s hours of operation. In many cases, you’ll need to attend physical therapy several times a month or week. If you have a busy schedule, then you need to find a clinic with hours that complement your availability.
Some clinics even offer extended or weekend hours to accommodate more patients. If that would work best for your schedule, it’s worth using that to help you make your decision.
Check Your Insurance Specifications
Once you’ve been able to narrow down your search to a few options, you’ll want to check to make sure any potential PT takes your health insurance.
Some physical therapists will have a list of the insurance plans they accept on their website. But, you should also be able to look for in-network physical therapists right from your insurance’s website. Unless you’re comfortable paying out-of-pocket for your treatment, it’s worth it to find an in-network provider.
By this point, you should have 2 or 3 potential physical therapists that you’re interested in choosing. Now is a good time to call each office and ask a few questions to help you make your final decision.
We recommend asking the following questions to help you determine whether a provider is a good choice for your needs.
- What kind of experience and qualifications do your providers have?
- How many physical therapy sessions will I need?
- How long will each session be?
- Will I see the same PT during each session?
- What can I expect to happen during a typical session?
- Will the treatment be painful?
- How long will it take before I can expect to see results?
- Is there anything I need to bring with me to my sessions?
- Will I need to do additional work outside of my sessions?
By asking these questions, you can get a better sense of what to expect from a provider.
Don’t Be Afraid to Try Different Physical Therapists
Finally, even after doing all of this research, you might attend your first session and realize that you don’t have a good rapport with the PT or it’s just not a good fit. That’s ok!
Don’t be afraid to try out different physical therapists or different offices until you find something that feels like a good fit. As a result, you’ll get more out of your treatment and you’ll be more likely to continue going until you’re back to feeling your best.
Find the Best Physical Therapist
By following the tips we’ve outlined in this guide, you should be able to find the best physical therapist for your needs. Time to start your search so you can back to optimal health.
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