People look for physical therapists for variety of reasons, but usually, it’s because they seek for treatments for musculoskeletal conditions and minimize pain that affects their movement, mobility and comfort. However, physical therapy itself is quite a broad discipline, and different clinics and therapists provide different type of approach and treatments methods. Also, we all know not all physiotherapists are made the same. With tens, if not hundreds of physiotherapists and physical therapy clinics out there, how do you make sure you find the right one that suits all your treatment and needs?
Well, here are three basic factors you need to consider when choosing and tips to narrow for the best choices.
Check for Accreditation and Qualifications
As medical practitioners, physical therapists are required by law to complete a degree, be qualified and registered to practice. This is to ensure they meet the standards and can provide the best health practice. They can also get continuous education and further their accreditation, allowing them to provide excellent clinical care and professional accountability.
Area of Specialization
As said earlier, physiotherapy is quite a broad discipline, with many branches. Different physical and medical conditions may require different treatment methods, while some may require combinations of two or more of these treatments. Thus, depending on your condition, you should find the right physiotherapy with the specific you need.
Physiotherapists receive their degree after completing their education and training. Though many can provide generalized practice that treats wide range of conditions, some further their expertise by acquiring specialization in many areas. Some of the most common specializations include stroke and post-surgery rehabilitation, aged care, mental health care, sports injury, pregnancy, etc. If you think your condition is specific, then you definitely need to find a physiotherapist that specializes in the specific area that you need. You can always ask the help of your physician to refer you to a physiotherapist.
Know their Treatment Methods
Different physiotherapists coming from different schools, may prefer to use treatment methods different from others. Traditionally, they train for different types of exercises, movement, massage techniques, manipulation, electrotherapy, etc. Some are trained and able to provide alternative and complementary treatments for better and more efficient treatment, especially for pain relief.
The usual complementary methods many therapies use are hydrotherapy, reflexology, reiki, acupuncture; Bowen technique, neuro-structural integration, cranio-sacral therapy; and of course, different types of manual therapy and massages, such as shiatsu.
How to Narrow Your Choices
The best places to find information about licensed physical therapists and clinics is through Public Register. Naturally, physiotherapists register in their city and state to practice, and they’re registered with their colleges.
To comply to the mandate and protect the public, colleges share their registry to the public who wish for their treatment; and care services.
Some Physiotherapy schools and institutions provide Search Tool on their website to help the public get the needed information about the physiotherapists who have graduated from them; such as their contact details, clinic or practice address, qualifications, previous discipline history, languages spoken, etc.
The web obviously, has a handful of information and options for you. But before you jump to the seemingly best-looking clinic and respectable physical therapist; it’s always good to give them a call and ask questions. Determine whether their therapists can treat your condition; and how long will it take for you to get your initial appointment. If you can’t get your appointment in a week, then it’s best to go elsewhere. Specify the things you want to get treated, the pain you want to disappear, etc.
Of course, you should definitely consider location. Find a clinic or practitioner close to work and home. It should not be difficult for you to get your treatment sessions.
Lastly, make sure you know their cost of treatments and length of every treatment session. Also, you should definitely ask about their policies for cancellation and charges should you miss an appointment.