Choosing your physical therapist is as important as choosing a dentist, or a primary care doctor. Like other medical professionals, physical therapists treat and help prevent injuries and issues that can wear on your body. They can not only help you improve mobility but also help prevent side effects of chronic conditions, increase strength, or gain flexibility. However, like doctors, physical therapists are not one-size-fits-all — some have specialties for your specific condition or can treat certain ailments better than others. You might have a bunch of recommendations from friends and family, or even online, to sift through — but how do you know what to look for? Check out these six important factors to consider when choosing your physical therapist:
Do They Take Your Insurance?
One of the most obvious things to check for when choosing a physical therapist is whether they take your insurance, and how high the deductible is for the expected level of care. If they’re not affordable or under your insurance, forget it! There are others that will better suit your needs.
Are They Considerate?
You will spend a lot of time with this physical therapist, and so it’s important to know whether they are compassionate and willing to listen to you. Do they hear what you have to say about your injury, or jump to treatments first? Are they willing to consider multiple options, and tailor this to your strengths and needs? Their tried-and-true method might not work for you, and it’s important to keep that in mind.
Do They Specialize in What You Need?
Each physical therapist has a different technique they have expertise in, whether that’s stretches, soft tissue work, strength, or flexibility. Make sure that the physical therapy they work best in matches what you need for your issue.
What is the Clinic Quality Like?
Don’t just book a trainer online — physically visit the clinic before you commit. Is the clinic old and musty, or bright and welcoming? Is the equipment yellowing and old, or state-of-the-art and well sanitized? It’s important to check that the space you will spend a lot of time in for the next couple of months is up to your standards, and will be a healthy, welcoming place to work on your recovery.
Are They Accessible?
It is important to check whether your physical therapist is easily accessible and that they can communicate well. How quickly do they respond to emails? Do they pick up when you call on the phone, or does it often go to voicemail? The first communications with a potential physical therapist are a good sign of how available they will be to you once you start your sessions with them.
Is It Convenient?
Is the clinic easily accessible to you, or is it very far out of the way? Weighing the expertise of the personal trainer against the convenience of location might be something to consider, especially if the location of your personal trainer will put a strain on your finances. It’s also important to make sure they have availability during the times that work for you — whether that’s after work, during lunch, or on the weekends.
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