It is your right to choose a physical therapist that will work hand in hand with your personal health care team or doctor. Here are the top 10 things you should know first prior to making a decision when selecting a physical therapist:
1. What is Physical Therapy?
Physical Therapy is an approach to treat problems of the bones, joints, muscles and nerves in order to eradicate or reduce pain, maintain muscle tone, enhance range of motion and other related purposes. Physical therapy involves therapeutic exercises, massage, joint mobilization, body manipulation and more.
2. Is physical therapy an individual treatment?
Physical therapy is one of the most important components in the treatment and recovery of people suffering from an injury or an illness that prevents them from performing normal body movements. It is part of your overall treatment, which means your physical therapist will collaborate with your physician.
3. Do I really need to undergo physical therapy?
Physical therapy is usually indicated to patients who suffered from accidents (sports, automobile, forces of nature, etc) and are experiencing body injuries that affect their normal functioning in their daily lives. The need for physical therapy will be determined by your physician. He will be making the recommendation for you to undergo physical therapy if ever it is needed. Physical therapy is a vital part in recovery from many kinds of surgeries. Rehabilitation can take place as inpatient care or as an outpatient. Sometimes you have the option of receiving physical therapy in your home.
4. Who Is a Physical Therapist (PT)?
A physical therapist is a professional in the health care field who is responsible for assessing, diagnosing and treating people suffering from health-related problems that involve lack or limited ability to perform their activities of daily living through body movement.
5. What are the qualifications of a PT?
A legitimate PT must have graduated from a physical therapy program that is accredited by the state or the provincial bureau for education and also recognized by the state or the provincial board. He must have acquired a professional license after successful taking the state licensure examination.
6. What is an ideal physical therapist?
An ideal PT must have finished master’s degree or better yet, a doctor of physical therapy degree.
7. Can I choose my own physical therapist?
Yes, it is your right to be under the care of your preferred physical therapist. Many patients don’t know their right as the head of their own health care team – to choose whoever they want to be included in the team as long as they are qualified for the roles needed. Your doctor might recommend a physical therapist for you, so it is your choice whether you will accept his suggestion or get another PT.
8. Can I go directly to a physical therapist?
No, you must get a referral from your physician before going to a physical therapy. In other words, you should not go directly to a physical therapist without consulting your doctor. You cannot do this simply because you are under the care of a doctor, and he knows what kind of physical therapy you need. Also, you must know that physical therapists are not doctors so they cannot diagnose your injury and treat it with physical therapy at once. You should receive a physical therapy script, similar to a prescription for medication from your physician detailing the specifics regarding your treatment.
9. What type of physical therapy should I undergo?
Your doctor will recommend the type of physical therapy appropriate for your condition. He may collaborate with your physical therapist regarding this. Some forms of physical therapy are aquatic therapy, postural correction therapy and joint manipulation therapy.
10. How should I pay for the therapy?
It is ideal to choose a physical therapy clinic that can accept payment using various modes, such as cash, credit card and insurance. Most medical insurance plans cover some type of physical therapy.