7 things you need to know about physical therapy
If you’re about to embark on a physical therapy journey, there are 7 things you need to know if you want to see results and recover successfully.
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- Physical therapy is not just about rehabilitation services. In fact, there are specialized areas of expertise that include pelvic health, orthopedics, sports medicine, geriatrics and pediatrics, amongst many others. Henceforth it is strongly advised that you get an evaluation from a physician who can refer you directly to the physiotherapist that your specific condition requires.
- It is important to explore your options and take your time to choose your therapist carefully. Most physical therapy centers have websites their therapists are listed along with their backgrounds and their pictures, which gives you the opportunity to get to know who will be treating you even before you make an appointment. Remember to ask about cancellation policies, and keep in mind that most organizations have a strict policy regarding missed appointments.
- A physical therapy team can be made or broken by their manners, atmosphere and attitude. Kindness and a good relationship is important for any doctor – patient interaction but it is also important amongst team members. Pay attention and evaluate the quality of the level of attention and patient treatment they offer. Are they kind? Do they listen to their patients and colleagues? Do they answer your questions and encourage you to get more engaged with the process? Are they dedicated? Is their work environment warm and welcoming? Believe it or not, all of these factors may have direct impact on your therapy and progress. If you don’t feel better than you went in when you go out, that might not be the best place for you.
- Therapists must maintain close communications with the physician who referred you as a patient and try to provide you with solutions as they improve your situation through treatment without referring you to any other outsourced services, since that could dramatically increase the costs of your recovery process. But more importantly, physical therapy should not only promote and further your recovery but it should also help you prevent injuries and physical problems before they manifest or worsen.
- Highly-skilled physical therapists take continuing education courses to advance their knowledge and techniques. Their main goal should be helping you become a healthier and stronger version of yourself, enough to avoid surgery. Your therapist can measure your progress and refer you back to your referring physician for further testing and other options, if you haven’t reached the progress milestones according to your therapy plan.
- It is a wise decision to begin with physical therapy until you and your provider have exhausted all avenues of improvement. With health care costs increasing at a rapid rate, PT is a logical place to start. Successful PT does not require any outside, costly testing such as X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans).
- A well run physical therapy clinic will provide an initial appointment within a timely manner, usually within 24-48 hours. If you have to wait over two weeks for an appointment, then their schedule is too full. If it is over two weeks, move on to another facility that can see you faster for an initial evaluation.