If you’re searching for a physical therapist to help you work through your pain, there are a few things you should know before making your selection. The first issue to focus on is that of direct access. In many states, you can simply make an appointment with the physical therapist of your choice and begin pursuing a regimen to improve your function. However, other states require you to first consult your primary care physician and obtain a recommendation before you continue to a physical therapist. This requirement helps prevent unnecessary expenditures by the patient and limits the time wasted by therapists, but it can make choosing your physical therapist a bit more challenging. Once you determine whether your state allows direct access, you can decide how to proceed.
Choosing A Physical Therapist
Begin by speaking with some therapists in your area or by conferring with one that your primary care physician has recommended. Remember that asking important questions now can save you from later headaches. For example, be sure to check if your insurance will cover the costs of your physical therapy before you commence treatment, as out-of-pocket expenses from continual treatment can add up very quickly. By keeping in mind how much you’ll need to pay, you can help better control your health care expenses.
Check The Insurance Policy
In addition to asking about your potential therapist’s insurance policy, you’ll also want to inquire about any specialties he or she might have, just as you might when seeking out any other type of medical specialist. For example, if you’re looking into therapy to treat a problem with your knee or back, you might want to find a therapist who has extensive experience addressing these specific parts of the body. Ask candidates to discuss their experience with your particular condition as well as any board certifications they have.
With this information in hand, you can turn your attention to aspects that can affect day-to-day treatment. Ask your potential therapist about whether you’ll be seeing the same person or team every time you come in for treatment. Often, it is more comfortable for patients to stick with the same therapist throughout their course of treatment because it allows for the development of a rapport. Many physical therapists rely on physical therapy assistants or aides to provide complementary care, so it may be a good idea to meet these members of the team as well.
No matter what approach a therapist takes, keep in mind that treating issues through physical therapy often involves months of strenuous and potentially painful exercises to get you back into peak condition. If you don’t believe that a candidate would properly motivate you through these tough times – or worse, if you think he or she would intimidate you – move on. There’s no sense in searching for a therapist only to choose one who might turn you off of therapy halfway through your course of treatment.