Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Physical Therapist

Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Physical Therapist

Posted in Orthopedic News, Physical & Occupational Therapy, Orthopedics, Pain Management on Thursday, 16 March 2017

If you are suffering from an injury or illness that results in a loss of functional mobility, physical therapy can help you return to your daily activities. But before scheduling your physical therapy evaluation, it is important to speak with your potential clinic and therapist to make sure they are the right choice for you. Be sure to ask our 5 questions below to ensure you are receiving the best care possible! 


1. Which insurances do you accept?

While this question may seem obvious to some, many patients attend physical therapy without even thinking about their insurance coverage. Before scheduling your appointment with a physical therapist, be sure to ask if his or her office accepts your insurance. This will help save you from any headaches and a large out-of-pocket expense. You also can contact your insurance company to check your physical therapy benefits and for an approximation of how much your copay may be.


2. Do you specialize in treating my condition?

Some physical therapists specialize in a specific type of injury or body part while others are generalists. If your child needs physical therapy, you may want to see a certified pediatric specialist. If you suffer from a neurological condition, you may want to see a neurologic physical therapist. For orthopedic conditions, a generalist is fully trained to help you. No matter which one you decide to see, be sure to ask your physical therapist how many patients he or she has treated with your specific problem and approximately how long it took to progress toward their goals. You also can ask your physical therapist if a specific goal (for example, functional independence) is reasonable for your situation. He or she will be happy to answer all of your questions to ensure you are comfortable during your recovery period!


3. Will my therapy be just exercise?

Treatment should not come only in one form. Rather, it should be a combination of exercises, hands-on manual therapy techniques, patient education, balance and flexibility activities, and pain-relieving treatments. Taking this type of approach will help you have a safe and faster recovery. While exercises are an important part of your rehabilitation and should be followed strictly, it is only one part of complete patient care.


4. How long will the sessions last?

Most initial evaluations take anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half, while typical appointments last about an hour. Your sessions may be shorter or longer, depending on the complexity of your treatment. Most patients attend physical therapy for 12 to 24 visits over the span of 4 to 8 weeks. Be sure to ask when scheduling, so that you have enough time blocked out in your schedule!


5. Will I be seeing the same physical therapist at each visit?

Many patients may assume that they will be seeing the same physical therapist for their appointments, but that is not always the case. Some clinics schedule your appointments with the first available therapist, meaning you will see multiple therapists throughout your recovery period. This can allow you to experience different treatment strategies and see which ones are most successful for your body. However, some people prefer to stick to the same physical therapist to help develop a therapeutic relationship. If you would prefer seeing the same physical therapist for each of your visits, be sure to ask the clinic if it is possible to do so!


Physical Therapy in Illinois

Here at Illinois Bone & Joint Institute, we offer rehabilitation for all ages and most conditions. We are experts in helping people who are suffering from chronic pain from a bone or joint condition, as well as people recovering from surgery or a sports-related injury. From your first visit with us, we will work with you to establish goals and then come up with an individualized treatment plan for your body. For more information or to schedule your appointment with one of our physical therapists, please contact us today. 

Tags ibji physician, physical activity, physical therapy

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