5 tips to help you choose the right physical therapist
Your rehabilitation is an important part of your recovery process from either an injury or surgical operation. Physical therapy treatment involves doing certain exercises intended to reduce stiffness in the body and help repair muscle imbalance. It will help improve your strength, mobility, and endurance so you can live a happier, and healthier pain-free life.
Rehabilitation is hard work and requires the utmost commitment and dedication. Unfortunately, a lot of people fail to see the importance of choosing the right therapist and the right facility best suited for their needs.
Your overall health is very important and you must choose the best physiotherapist to help you meet your fitness goals. When attending any medical appointment, you are trading your money and time in the belief that the experience will help you feel better afterward.
Here are 5 things you should consider when choosing a physical therapist to make sure that you are making the best investment in your health.
1. How well do they interact with their patients?
Since you’ll be engaged with your physiotherapist once or twice a week, the one you choose to hire must be able to communicate well with you. This is perhaps the most important thing after their education.
Successful physical therapy will involve constant dialogue between you and your physiotherapist. As a patient, your odds of getting better fast are greater if you can establish a strong and trustful relationship with the physical therapist.
You wouldn’t step foot in an office or hospital that doesn’t offer good service to their clients or patients, right? So why would you hire a physiotherapist with a terrible reputation and expect them to have the best interests of your body?
You want a physiotherapist who will make you feel comfortable and safe. Try and do some research on the ideal physiotherapist and how well their past or existing clients rate them? Look up online reviews if there are any and check out their social media to see what people think about their services.
Orange County physical therapy specialists are spread out across the region so there’s little chance you’ll miss them. Physiotherapists also do not come cheap so you need to make sure you get your money’s worth.
2. Consider their education and experience
You should start with understanding and evaluating the educational background and professional credentials of your ideal physiotherapist. Physiotherapists used to work with either a Master’s Degree or a Baccalaureate but as recent as 10 years ago, almost all American physiotherapists began to receive Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) degrees.
Don’t confuse this doctorate with a PhD, although there are physical therapists with PhDs. The DPT degrees are a clinical doctoral degree, similar to the PsyD psychologists receive after their education.
DPT programs usually take 3 years to complete and the learning physiotherapists get to study courses on exercise science, physiology, the anatomy of the human body, and kinesiology. However, most of the training physiotherapists receive doesn’t come from school. It comes from practice so consider their experience as well.
What physical conditions do they have experience treating? Is it pain, sprains, or stiffness after a surgical operation? How much time have they been in practice? Do they have a specialty and if so, what is it? If you’re a runner, then get a physiotherapist who has specialized in running injuries. These are questions you need to ask your prospective physiotherapists before you make a hire.
3. How much time will each therapy session take?
You also need to consider how much time you will be getting with your physical therapist during each session. In such a case, more is not always better. However, sessions lasting less than 25 minutes may be inadequate to help your progress.
The truth is that not all situations are the same since different physical conditions require different approaches to treatment. Some patients may take more than twice the visits planned to help them achieve their goals. Others may require minimal one on one sessions for them to get better.
As such, it’s important that you find out just how much time you will need per session and for how long the sessions will proceed.
4. Evaluate the treatment program they will outline for you
Before getting started, you need to communicate with your physiotherapist what has prompted you to consider physical therapy and exactly what you need to get from the entire experience. To that end, your physical therapy should start with a full-body examination and create a program that is styled to suit your body, lifestyle, and objectives.
A good rule of thumb is to analyze both the passive and active techniques prescribed for you. Active techniques such as exercise should be performed with your physiotherapist’s guidance and supervision.
Passive techniques, on the other hand, will involve simple activities such as stretches to your joints and muscles. While passive techniques will feel better, active techniques will impact the most effective and longer-lasting results.
5. Consider their projected timeline for recovery
Make sure you outline what you intend to achieve from the interaction so your prospective physiotherapist can establish a recovery timeline according to your goals. Depending on the physical condition, the timeline may be as short as 4 weeks or longer.
If you feel your projected timeline will not be progressive and the physiotherapist is unwilling to make amends, take that as a red flag that you need to get a different one who understands your goals and has your best interests in mind.
Professional physical therapy practitioners in Orange County
It’s not so long ago that people would simply see a doctor when they experienced muscular pain or discomfort. The doctor would perform a diagnosis and maybe prescribe some stretches and that would be it. But that has changed.
Nowadays, people have many choices when selecting a healthcare provider to help relieve their pain and body aches. Some people choose to see a physical therapist while others get chiropractors or personal trainers. Orange County is known for top quality physiotherapists who can provide an exceptional therapy experience.