For a person who has never attended physical therapy, the first time can bring many questions. One question I hear or have been asked in the past is how do I choose a good physical therapist? Although there are no hard or fast rules when it comes to picking a physical therapist below are some suggestions that may assist you in your search.
- Ask your doctor if he or she has a go to therapist they prefer to refer to. Doctor’s work with a wide range of therapists from different companies and locations. Over time they often observe some that communicate better than others, particular names that patients rave about again or again, or even certain therapists that have consistently good outcomes so don’t be afraid to ask your doctor for a recommendation.
- Talk to valued friends, neighbors, or coworkers. Lots of people attend PT at some time or another during their life. Word of mouth from someone you know and trust is a great way to find a skilled physical therapist near you.
- When you call a clinic ask if any of their clinicians specialize in treating your injury. Therapists are trained and capable of treating many different problems but if a specialist exists you know you have someone with advanced skills to meet your individualized needs.
- Head to online sites. Some therapy techniques require special certification and they list these certified therapists on their websites for you to find. For more information on clinicians with advanced clinical knowledge or skills in different physical therapy specialty areas you can also head over to the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties to find certified professionals near you.
- Therapists new and old receive excellent training but some patients are apprehensive with a newer graduate. If this is the case for you let your scheduler know this when you make your appointment and they can place you with a more experienced therapist for your care.
- Rely on your own instincts. You may be with the best and brightest therapist but sometimes your personalities do not click and that is ok. There is no harm in politely requesting a new therapist that better gels with your personality.
- In addition to strong clinical skills a good physical therapist should be inquisitive, attentive, a good listener, caring, and creative in their ex progression to help you best meet your needs.
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The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.