The Next Steps
If all goes well during your intake evaluation, you’re ready to start with the therapy process. Set an appointment to begin therapy, and try to book a set of appointments. Because some physical therapists can be very busy, it is always recommended that you book in advance so you can be sure to meet your scheduled needs (weekly, biweekly, monthly).
Throughout this process, you’ll want to check in with your primary care provider. They should know all information regarding your treatment, your appointments, and your schedule of planned actions. From there, they may also be able to recommend supplemental assistance to help with your condition until the first signs of improvement are seen. If necessary, sign paperwork to have your physical therapy records sent to your doctor’s office so they have access to any and all information they need to ensure that your medical and overall health needs are being met.
Here’s a video that can help you understand more about the next steps with physical therapy
This concludes my series on how to find a physical therapist, and what to expect on your visits. I am telling you from experience, finding a good physical therapist and sticking with it, if you have pain, is one of the best decisions you’ll ever make.
It’s not an easy road, but it’s a very rewarding one. If you have any questions, send me an email and I will be happy to answer them.
Your First Visit Considerations
After finding a physical therapist that both takes your insurance, and is licensed, you’ll go in for an intake evaluation. This is a necessary step to choosing the right physical therapist because it gives you a chance to see what it will be like to work with this particular provider, as well as give you a chance to see what they will offer you.
This evaluation will begin with a sit-down between you and the physical therapy provider. During this sit-down the physical therapist will discuss the medical condition for which you sought care. They’ll want to look into the condition, as well as any potential issues that may arise through continued daily activities, as well as through therapy. Next, they’ll set up a plan of action and care. This plan should include details on your specific problem(s), the measures they’d like to use to address these methods, and an estimated length of time that treatment should take in order for results to be seen. If you don’t agree with, or don’t like something that is said or done during this initial evaluation, don’t feel like you need to go forward. You have the option to choose another physical therapist, so do so! Above all, you have to be comfortable with your physical therapist, the office they practice in, and their billing process. If you are unsure about any part of this process, discuss it with the physical therapist. It is also generally helpful to direct questions and uncertainties to your primary care providers because they are more objective, and they can tell you what is normal and what isn’t.
I cannot emphasize enough that if you’re not comfortable with the physical therapist, or any part of the process, move on and find a new provider. There are plenty of providers out there that will be a better match for you, so be sure that you take the time to find someone you truly feel comfortable with, trust, and would like to work with.
This is a series of blog posts about finding a physical therapist. Stay tuned to this site for the next posts in this series
Choosing a Physical Therapist
Just because you were recommended to a physical therapist doesn’t mean that you don’t have a choice in which one you see. In fact, you should play a roll in choosing your physical therapist. After all, you’re the one that is going to have to work with them for an extended period of time. The real question here is, how to go about choosing a physical therapist. What should you look for? What is most important?
46 of the 50 states allow you direct access to a physical therapist. This means that you don’t necessarily have to go through a physician to get a referral to see one. While this is great, and it widens access to physical therapy, some insurance companies still insist on your visiting a physician to get confirmation of the necessity of the visit. Additionally, you’ll need to find a physical therapist that accepts your insurance, or that is among the “preferred” providers. Be sure to do a little research to find out what requirements your insurance has on physical therapy prior to delving into the actually physical therapy providers available in your area.
Once you’ve looked into your insurance requirements, the next step is to look into the physical therapists in your area. Make sure that your physical therapist of choice is licensed. If you’re seeking reduced cost care through a physical therapy assistant, or a physical therapist in-training, be sure that they are supervised by a licensed physical therapist. This is meant to protect your health and well-being, so don’t scrimp in this area!
It’s also beneficial to choose a physical therapist who specializes in your specific need. For example, if you’re seeking help for a running injury, seek a physical therapist who specializes in sports medicine. This will help them to best target your needs and address them. Read reviews on specific providers and find out what current and previous patients have to say. You want to see results, so be sure that others are mentioning positive experienced and resolved issues.