Things to Consider When Choosing a Physical Therapist

No two physical therapists are the same! The world of physical therapy is broad, and each physical therapist has different techniques, experiences, and specializations. You spend a lot of time with your physical therapist, making it important to choose the right physical therapist for you. We have 3 crucial things to consider when choosing a physical therapist.


Do They Specialize in What You Need?

Each physical therapist has different specialties. Depending on your injury, you may want someone who has experience dealing with the condition. An Occupational Therapist may be better suited for a person who needs help getting back to the basics. For example, taking out the trash, feeding yourself, etc. A physical therapist will help you get back to doing what you love, playing with your grandkids, running, and more.

Some physical therapists will have more experience with different kinds of people. Find out if the physical therapist works with people like you. If you are an athlete, find a physical therapist who helps athletes get back on the field every day. A physical therapist who understands your goals and successfully helps other athletes achieve them is the best option for you. On the contrary, if you are more of a weekend warrior and just want to get back to work, you may not want a physical therapist whose personality is more athlete-minded.  


Are They Easily Accessible?

Most likely you will be coming to physical therapy multiple times a week. You may want your physical therapist to be close to your home and easy to access. You may also benefit from your physical therapist being close to your work, that way you can come on your lunch break!

Easy access does not always mean location-wise; it is also important to find a physical therapist who is easy to communicate with in times of need. Your physical therapist should be able to answer any questions you have regarding your at-home physical therapy over the phone (within reason), and offer additional sessions if you need extra time/rehab. Having a physical therapist who is there for you when you need it and easy to schedule an appointment with makes all the difference! Remember, especially after having surgery, you want this process to be convenient.


Do You Have Similar Personalities?

As mentioned, you spend a lot of time with your physical therapist. They are there for you at a vulnerable time in your life. Often patients are in pain or uncomfortable due to surgery or a recent injury. It is your physical therapist's responsibility to know how to handle these feelings and get you through the process physically as well as emotionally.

Though your physical therapist may know how to get you back from your injury, they may not be the perfect personality match. If you are an extroverted, highly motivated athlete it is important to have like-minded people in your corner. You wouldn’t want a physical therapist who may be more reserved and unlikely to push you the way you may want.

How do you know their personality? We encourage patients to check out our physical therapists’ bios on our website. You can see a list of our physical therapists’ specialties hobbies and certifications here to help you make the best choice!


Know What Your Insurance Covers

It is always important to know what your health insurance covers. If you plan to have surgery your deductible may be met, but that does not mean that every service you receive during physical therapy is covered. It is up to the patient to be informed on what their insurance does or does not cover. You can find out more information by contacting your insurance provider.

Cassie Whittaker Cassie is the Communications Coordinator for Elite Sports Medicine + Orthopedics. She has been writing and reviewing medical content since 2020.

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