For people who have never been to physical therapy or have tried physical therapy in the past only to be let down, the first visit is a crucial stepping point to finding the right physical therapy and treatment for you.
The truth is, not all physical therapy or doctors of physical therapy are treated the same. There are different methods, treatments, specialists, pessimists, and optimists, those who are wanting to break down the traditional drug-enforced medical model and others who are content.
There are better doctors, lawyers, and surgeons than others in their field. Physical Therapists are the same!
The initial visit or consultation is perhaps the most important. It’s time for the doctor to ask you questions to get a better sense of your problem and how they can get you back to feeling normal again.
But very much like a job interview, an open dialogue is strongly encouraged that allows the doctor to understand and answer your concerns making it easier for the doctor to develop a treatment plan, and in turn, you will have peace of mind knowing you are in the right hands.
We don’t want to do all the talking. We want you to be an active participant in your own rehabilitation.
This article will focus on 5 essential and important questions to ask your physical therapist prior to treatment so that you know you are in the right hands and getting the best treatment possible.
#1 What is your philosophy on diagnosis & treatment of my condition? In other words, what will my treatment entail?
This is a very important question as I said above, not all physical therapy clinics or therapists are treated the same. Each has its own preferred treatment methods, philosophy, and diagnosis.
For example, here at Back In Motion Sport & Spine Physical Therapy, our philosophy is looking at the body holistically to get to the root cause of your pain, injury, or stiffness so that you don’t ever have to deal with it again.
All of our Doctors of Physical Therapy are Gray Method™ practitioners which is a method our owner and founder Dr. Scott Gray invented that pinpoints the cause of your pain easier and faster so that you can return to your active lifestyle and avoid taking painkillers, surgeries, or injections.
It’s important you know what you are looking for in a treatment plan so that you pick the clinic or therapist that is right for you.
#2 Will my care be 1 on 1 and with the same providers?
In most conventional physical therapy clinics you see a Doctor for about 15 minutes and then get sent off with a PTA or an assistant to help you with your exercises or put you on a bike for thirty minutes.
If that is what you want then go for it but 1 on 1 time with just the Doctor would be most ideal.
This allows you to build a relationship with your doctor and your doctor is able to quickly spot or change up and modify your exercises as they see fit so that you can get better, faster!
#3 What are your specialties or areas of interest?
Depending on the reason you need physical therapy in the first place, it’s always best to visit a specialist in that specific injury or area in pain.
It’s not essential for the doctor to specialize as we want doctors of physical therapy who look at the body holistically as your back pain may be caused by your feet which they would need to specialize in feet mechanics as well.
It’s beneficial for the doctor to be a specialist or have an interest in your pain area but it’s not crucial.
#4 Do you provide any services after discharge or am I just on my own?
At Back In Motion our vision is the lead the advancement of better health and wellness services. This means going beyond just your rehabilitation.
We want you to continue to stay pain-free by continuing to move that body and staying fit. Movement is truly medicine and once your rehab is over doesn’t mean you stop moving!
We offer personal training services to all of our discharged patients as it’s the best way to keep them living their healthy active lifestyle as pain-free as possible!
It’s important to ask this question as to what you’re doing after rehab is just as important as what you are doing during it.
#5 What can I do to help myself beyond what we are doing during my sessions?
You will have and should have homework! Don’t go to a clinic that doesn’t have homework as it’s a crucial part of any rehabilitation to continue exercises or modifications in everyday life beyond the clinic!
This is truly the best way you will get better and stay better!
So there you have it, 5 important questions to ask your physical therapist prior to treatment!
If you are determined to get out of pain and stay out of pain, these questions will help you get there!
Give these questions a go at your next physical therapy appointment and you are one step ahead of everyone else.
Most importantly keep moving and stay moving beyond your rehab!