When it comes to your health, you are your own best advocate. You can, and should, choose the very best healthcare professionals that meet your particular needs. Finding the right physical therapist is not any different. Even if a doctor has referred you to a particular PT, you have the right to choose for yourself.
To find a physical therapist that’s right for you, you may need to do a bit of research. To save you some time, we’ve pulled together this handy guide.
Here’s how to find a PT that will help you reach your goals.
Evaluate Your Condition
Patients turn to physical therapy to reduce pain, improve mobility, avoid surgery, and more. Before you can pick the perfect PT, you’ll want to assess the condition you’re looking to treat and determine whether physical therapy is the right treatment option to pursue. Here are just a few of the common conditions treated by physical therapy:
Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list. The right physical therapist will assess your physical symptoms during your first appointment and develop a highly personalized treatment plan to help you heal. It can be empowering to do a bit of research into how physical therapy has helped others facing the same condition and the types of physical therapists they worked with.
Determine Your Needs
The best physical therapy outcomes happen when patients are active participants in their course of care. That means that one of your top priorities should be to find a physical therapy solution that places you front and center and makes care as convenient as possible. Before you choose a physical therapist, take some time to consider your needs and what exactly you’re looking for.
Here are just a few questions to ask yourself to get to the core of your physical therapy needs:
- Do you prefer physical therapy to be conducted in the convenience of your home? Or are you willing to travel to a PT clinic for appointments? How far? How frequently?
- Will you be paying out-of-pocket? Or will your insurance coverage play a big role in your ultimate selection?
- Does your state require a physician’s referral? Or will direct access allow you to get started with treatment sooner? In California, for example, there is Direct Access which means you don’t need a prescription to start PT.
- Will I be seen by the same PT at each visit? How much one-on-one time will I get with him/her? Will a PT manage my entire course of care or will I be passed off to an aide?
- If I don’t get along with a particular PT, are there others you can match me with?
Before you choose a physical therapist, know your rights and make sure all of your needs are being met. You deserve it.
Find a Specialist
To find a physical therapist that’s right for you, your first order of business should be to find a board certified physical therapist who has earned their license from the American Physical Therapy Association. Here is a quick breakdown of different physical therapy designations and what you should be looking for.
Once you confirm that the physical therapist is licensed, you can also look for physical therapists who are APTA Board Certified in a specialization related to your needs. Many PTs specialize in treating specific conditions or areas of the body. The American Board of Physical Therapy currently offers board-certifications in nine specialty areas of physical therapy, including:
- Cardiovascular and Pulmonary
- Clinical Electrophysiology
- Women’s Health
There are also many physical therapists who have devoted their career to treating specific areas of the body (spine, hips, knees, etc.) or certain life events (pre or post-operative care, strokes, postpartum, etc.). Finding a physical therapist who is passionate about treating your particular condition can be highly beneficial and increase your chances of success.
Let Luna Come To You
Are you looking for the best physical therapist in San Francisco? Or maybe you need the best physical therapy in Los Angeles. Luna offers an easy way for patients to get matched with highly qualified physical therapists who are experts in treating your particular condition. To keep things convenient, we offer at home physical therapy. That means your therapist comes to your home or office and you never need to fight traffic or waiting rooms to get the care you deserve.
Ready to learn more? Want to schedule your first appointment? We can’t wait to serve you!