How to Find Good Physical Therapy

Finding good physical therapy is important for many reasons. The point of physical therapy is to help those with medical conditions or injuries that limit their ability to move or return to as normal a life as possible. This could be fully functioning or a modified version of functioning depending on their individual condition. The journey towards a manageable or pain-free life is so very important in this way.

Physical therapy is nearly always a part of any back or neck pain issue. It can help to pinpoint where the specific bodily issue is rooted or begin rebuilding strength and alignment where it is needed. Just like everyone else, however, some physical therapists are better — or more suited — than others. It’s important to talk about what good physical therapy looks like and how to know if it’s working for you.

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In this video, Dr. Thomas Schuler, President of the NSHF Medical & Scientific Board, and Spine Specialist Thao Allen discuss what qualities to identify in a good physical therapy practice.

Good Physical Therapy Tips

  1. A facility that has a good reputation. Look up reviews online and ensure that the place you are going employs actual physical therapists and has good reviews.
  2. Good communication with the therapist. You should feel comfortable discussing your needs and concerns with your PT. They should make you feel welcome to express any discomfort and welcome your feedback. You should also be speaking directly with the PT, and not an aide.
  3. They start with the basics. When starting a physical therapy program, patients usually need to start with the basic, foundational exercises for their issue. If something seems overly complicated or too advanced, you may want to consider another therapist.
  4. You should be making progress. Even if a practitioner is nice, the important thing is that you are actually getting a benefit and making progress. If you go to therapy three days a week for two weeks without any results, you should consider a second opinion.
  5. They should include manual therapy. Manual therapy is when a therapist puts their hands on you to help mobilize the tissues and understand the issue better.
  6. They may add in other modalities to supplement. This may include dry needling, lasering, injections or other acts to help with things like strength and flexibility.

“It’s critical to understand that even if we are athletes, and we feel very competent in an area, that we need to get to the basics again. It’s kind of like spring training every time,” said Dr. Schuler in the video.

Entering physical therapy with humility may be important for new patients. It can be a blow to the ego to be given simple exercises, but dedication to the treatment plan can make all the difference for a successful physical therapy experience. Ensure that your physical therapist meets the standards above and commit yourself to the plan that will get you back to the life you love.

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