Often, the need to choose a physical therapy practice arises quickly. You may feel pressured into choosing a practice associated with your doctor, or you may find that you’re at a loss for how to begin to find a clinic. By assessing these elements, however, you can quickly find a physical therapist that you can work with as you recover.
Consideration #1: Geographic Convenience
When you’re choosing a physical therapist, you need to know that you’re going to be able to get to the office easily and that it will be convenient for you. Visits with your therapist may take place several times a week, making it necessary for you to fit them into your regular schedule as conveniently as possible. Carefully consider whether it is more convenient for your physical therapist to be close to your home or to your office, especially for long-term care.
Consideration #2: Experience
You need a physical therapist with experience rehabbing the type of injury you’ve sustained, but more than that, you need a physical therapist who has experience working with someone like you.
- Seniors may find that they’re more comfortable working with a therapist who has previous experience in senior care, especially if they have other injuries or pains that need to be considered when developing their routines.
- Athletes may discover that working with a sports therapist who has experience with athletes will help them recover faster, putting them in a better position to come all the way back from their injuries and get back to their sport of preference.
- Parents will want therapists with experience working with children, since children bring their own unique set of considerations to the table.
Finding a therapist with experience working with people like you will help ensure that you’re satisfied with the level of care you receive throughout the course of your treatment. Talk with the therapists you’re considering to ensure that they not only have the knowledge to provide adequate treatment, but also the experience you’re looking for.
Consideration #3: Scheduling
You’ve listened to reviews from plenty of people, and there’s one physical therapist in town that really stands out from the rest. It seems as though everyone you know goes to visit them when they’re injured, and they have just the experience you need. There’s just one problem: you can’t actually get in the office for a visit. Scheduling a visit with your chosen therapist is like trying to coordinate military maneuvers. Every time you go in, you have to completely rearrange your schedule for the day.
Obviously, having to rearrange your entire schedule to make it to a physical therapy appointment is highly inconvenient—and if you’re still juggling work, school, or other responsibilities, it may make scheduling a nightmare. Look for an office with enough therapists that you can reliably schedule appointments at a time that works for you.
Consideration #4: Personality
Working with a physical therapist will help you get back on your feet and return your body to normal as soon as possible, but that works more effectively when you’re able to develop a strong relationship with your therapist. Take the time to meet the therapist you’ll be working with most often. A great personality fit will make it easier for you to work with your therapist.
For example, you may find that you respond better to a therapist who makes gentle requests, while someone else might prefer a therapist who will push them hard when they’re struggling to complete a particular exercise. Knowing that you have a great personality fit will help you get the most out of your therapy.
Consideration #5: Reviews
It’s easy to simply accept the physical therapist associated with your doctor’s office, but that doesn’t necessarily make it the best choice for you. Instead, look for reviews from others who have recently dealt with similar injuries and the physical therapists they’ve chosen to use. You’ll often find that personal recommendations are more effective than the ones that come straight from your doctor, since doctors may have arrangements with a specific practice. If you aren’t able to get personal recommendations from people you know, consider checking online reviews to get a better idea of what a long-term relationship with your physical therapist could look like.
Finding the right physical therapist is one of the most critical components of your recovery. You want to be sure that you’ve chosen a therapist who will meet all of your needs in order to get you back to your preferred activities as soon as possible.