Have you ever seen those Fidelity commercials where a green line appears on the road and all the person has to do is follow it to achieve financial independence? Unfortunately, life is not as easy as it is portrayed in commercials. However, we decided to create our own “green line” that you can follow to help you find a good physical therapist. In order to do that, we must first answer the question, “What makes a good physical therapist?”
Your physical therapist will perform an initial evaluation to learn more about your condition and help set goals and expectations for future treatments. During this evaluation, you will be asked a number of questions about your medical history and what brought you to see a physical therapist. A good physical therapist will be able to ask the right questions to gather as much information as possible, while conveying knowledge and confidence in their own ability to treat your condition. Additionally, a good physical therapist may also be bilingual, or at least be able to communicate effectively in your language. During treatment, the therapist will have to provide instructions about how to move or stretch, and educate you on the best way to take care of your body going forward.
What Makes a Good Physical Therapist? Experience.
When picking a physical therapist, it may be helpful to find out if the therapist or practice has experience treating your specific condition. They may have the information listed directly on their website or a phone call may be needed to help determine if they offer the kind of treatment that you need. If you were hypothetically injured playing sports, an Internet search may present an endless list of physical therapists that offer “sports rehabilitation”; however, your injury may require experience in specific treatments that can only be found at select physical therapists. A good physical therapist will be open about what types of treatment they offer and whether they have experience and are equipped to treat your condition.
After an injury or a major surgery, your physical therapist may need to help you move your body in ways that you are unable to move yourself. A quality physical therapist is going to be the one guiding your body to improve range of motion and strengthen the surrounding area to prevent future injury or pain. A hands-on approach is a key component of physical therapy and therefore a good physical therapist should be well equipped in this area.
One on One Care
A quality physical therapist will make you their top priority during your therapy sessions. Some physical therapy practices have multiple patients working with a single therapist during their appointment. The physical therapist may rotate around patients that are completing stretches/exercises or receiving treatment from an assistant. Some practices may pair you with a different therapist each visit. When picking a physical therapist, it is a good idea to confirm that you will be able to work with the same therapist at each treatment session. A good physical therapist will personally monitor and assess your progress so that treatment milestones can be recognized and new goals can be set.
Comes Highly Recommended
Satisfied patients can help you find a good physical therapist! While not every physical therapist is listed on Facebook, those that are may provide a little insight into whether or not they have done a good job treating their patients. Patient reviews may also help you determine if the physical therapist is offering personalized services or communicates well with their patients. Therapists that offer the ability for their patients to rate them publicly are often very confident that they will be able to maintain a very high customer satisfaction rating.
Finding a good physical therapist can be a very daunting task. However, If you look for a therapist that exhibits the qualities listed above, you will be in good hands as you start to recover. If you have any questions about our approach to physical therapy or how we can help you, please contact us!