How to Find the Right Physical Therapist

How to choose a Physical Therapist

Choosing the right PT for your rehab needs can be a challenge. Most people referred to PT have never been and/or don’t know what Physical Therapy is. Our patients constantly ask us for referals for their friends/families in other cities. Below are a few things to consider when choosing a PT.

What kind of Physical Therapist do I need?

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Physical Therapist’s practice in a variety of clinical settings. Some of which include orthopedics, neurological, vestibular, geriatric, and pelvic health. Each specialty has a subset of skills that enable practitioners to best serve the specific needs of each patient. If you are unsure about what specialty your injury falls under contact a local PT and chat about your symptoms to see if they’re the right fit for you.

You should also ask what the clinic’s average patient population is like. The patient population should roughly resemble yourself. If you are younger, fit and active, your therapist should have a lot of experience treating patients like yourself.

Finally, you can inquire about certifications and or specialties the clinic utilizes.

What is the clinic’s patient care model?

Some clinics emphasize one to one interaction between the patient and the therapist. In our opinion, the amount of time you spend with the physical therapist (not the assistant, aide or trainer) is one of the most important factors to consider when finding a Physical Therapist. It would also benefit you to make sure your therapist won’t double book you with other patients, or groups of patients.

What does the clinic look like?

There are many different approaches clinic owners take when designing their clinic. The clinic design strategy often depends on the patient population the clinic serves. If you are an athlete, no matter what level, the clinic should have enough space and equipment to properly challenge your limitations.

Will they take my insurance?

Insurance can be confusing. For more info on how insurance works check out our previous post “A Quick Guide to Health Insurance”. If you inquire, most clinics will verify your insurance benefits for you before scheduling.

Reputation

Ask friends or relatives about their experiences at the clinics you are interested in. Find out what they liked and disliked. Browsing through a few review websites can help too. Don’t just look for 5 stars - read the input the patient’s gave.

To Summarize

Unfortunately, there’s no gold standard way to find a quality physical therapist. But it is worth your time and effort to do your homework and find the best practitioner, or clinic, you can. Use a few of the tips we provided and go try someone out. If it’s not the right fit, don’t be afraid to try again.

Lastly, your effort as a patient is just as important as the effort/skill/knowledge of the pracitioner. Work hard!

-Tiara Dunson PT, DPT