Physical therapy. Therapist working with female athlete

How to Choose a Physical Therapist: Everything You Need to Know

Whether you’ve had surgery, an injury, or are ill, getting physical therapy can be a key step in your recovery.

A physical therapist can pinpoint your specific needs and target treatment to support your healing and recovery.

But getting physical therapy can mean the therapist is hands-on. How do you choose a physical therapist with whom you’ll have such close contact, often over many visits?

While there might be many options for physical therapists, you want someone who you feel confident with their skills and comfortable having them treat you.

Read for some tips on how to find a physical therapist for your treatment needs.

Credentials and Experience

You want to find a licensed physical therapist. Becoming a physical therapist requires a college degree and then becoming a doctor of physical therapy. It’s intensive schooling and training to make sure that when the PT starts to work on patients on their own, they already have experience.

Don’t be afraid when you call for a PT to ask if the PT is licensed and what certifications they hold.

Areas of Specialty

A physical therapist can treat any area needed for PT, yet they do specialize too. Some locations and therapists, for example, might focus on sports medicine like the clinic at¬†Others might focus on women’s health or geriatric needs.

If you’re a senior citizen recovering from surgery, you might not want to visit a location focusing on sports medicine. It makes sense to ask if there are areas of specialty from the therapists.

Comfort and Approach

The truth is most physical therapy is hands-on. You need to be comfortable with the therapist and their approach. This isn’t likely something you might recognize just from calling around for an appointment.

You’ll need to see how you feel after a few appointments. You can also ask friends and family for recommendations.

Unlike a doctor’s appointment, where you might see the doctor occasionally when you start physical therapy, it’s likely you’ll see the PT several times a week. You need to find one with whom you have a high level of comfort.


Again, because when you’re in physical therapy, it’s likely you’ll be going to therapy several times a week. You need to find a therapist who’s in a convenient location. If you have to travel a good distance each time you see the therapist, it’s not likely you’ll make the appointments.

Often a PT might work out of multiple locations for one business. Consider location and convenience when deciding.


You want to check with your health insurance company on insurance. They may require a referral from your doctor to get PT treatment. You also want to make sure the PT accepts your health insurance.

Choose a Physical Therapist for Your Therapy Needs

If you need to choose a physical therapist, you want to take your time and find a PT who can meet your needs and make you feel comfortable too. Make sure you consider their experience and credentials too.

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