If you’ve been injured, you may need physical therapy to properly heal and get back to your everyday life. Physical therapy can also be extremely beneficial when trying to prevent an injury from occurring. If you have never been to professional physical therapy before, you might be wondering what to look for when choosing someone to help you rehab an injury. Here are some things to check into when selecting a physical therapist.
What Certifications Do They Have?
As a baseline, your physical therapist should be licensed. This means they have gone through the required schooling and training to be awarded the title of Physical Therapist or, more officially, Doctor of Physical Therapy. Every licensed physical therapist will have a bachelor’s degree plus a post-graduate degree for a total of six years of college study. Post-graduate degrees in physical therapy were once only available at the master’s level, but now ALL post-graduate physical therapy institutions exclusively provide doctoral degrees, so most physical therapists are a DPT, or “Doctor of Physical Therapy.”
Do They Have Any Specialties or Advanced Certifications?
Depending on the issue you are seeking professional physical therapy for, you may want to consider someone who has a specialty that suits your needs. Often, physical therapists will specialize in treating certain body parts, such as the spine, hands, shoulders, neck, or knees. They may also specialize in treating sports injuries, stroke rehabilitation, prenatal/postpartum care, or another area of physical therapy. Orthopedics, sports, geriatrics, cardiopulmonary, neurology, women’s health, pediatrics, and clinical electrophysiology are the eight specialties offered by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS).
Is The Clinic Well-Equipped?
It is critical to select a facility that is fully prepared to give superior services. While most outpatient physical therapy facilities offer basic treatments, others feature more advanced technology and exercise machines. That’s not to say you can’t get results at a clinic with minimal equipment, but you may see better progress if you have access to the best equipment at your physical therapist’s clinic.
Are The Hours and Location Convenient?
The clinic’s hours of operation are an important factor for most people who need physical therapy. You will surely have to work around the hours at your job, your family’s schedule, and other obligations. You may need to see your physical therapist a few times a week for several weeks, so if you have a busy schedule, look for a clinic that has hours that work for you and a location that is within a reasonable driving distance from home or work.
Do They Accept Insurance?
Chances are you will want to have your physical therapy bills sent through your insurance. So, before selecting a therapist, be certain that they are in network with your insurance provider. You will also want to check whether or not your insurance requires that you get a referral to see a physical therapist. It’s possible that insurance won’t cover your claims if you were not first given a referral.
Will You Get Individualized Care?
Physical therapy is not “one-size-fits-all.” Everybody is different, and every person’s needs are going to differ as well. Even if you and another person seek physical therapy for the same general reason, your treatment will likely look different. Getting a care plan that takes your individual goals into account is going to get you better results. Additionally, as you progress, your needs may change, and a professional physical therapist will know when to adjust your plan as time goes on.
Get Exceptional Care at PEAK Sport and Spine
Peak Sport and Spine Physical Therapy has over 30 locations throughout Missouri to give you access to superior professional physical therapy services. We strive to provide excellent, cost-effective care for a wide variety of conditions. As a 100% therapist-owned company, we have a truly patient-centered approach so that your recovery is directed by you and not a hospital or healthcare corporation. We accept all major insurance carriers and verify coverage with your insurance carrier before treatment. Visit the website to find a clinic near you or to schedule an appointment today.