How to pick a good physical therapist
If you are recovering from surgery or an injury you may be spending a lot of time with your physical therapist.
Continuity is key.
When I graduated from physical therapy school I worked in a clinic that required that the same physical therapist treat the same patient each time. I strongly believe in this because of subtle differences in treatment technique. For all the best intentions and thorough documentation the nuances of treating a patient are not always conveyed in enough detail and are just not easily copied to be reproduced by another physical therapist. One physical therapist “firm pressure” is different from another.
When I was in school at the at University of Miami’s physical therapy program I injured my medial collateral ligament. A ligament located on the inside of my knee. My fellow classmates saw me as a perfect lab specimen. All of us attended the same program and had the same instructors and clearly had different ways of performing the same evaluation and treatment. The care just improves when the same physical therapist or doctor follows your care each visit.
My first word of advice is to find out if you would be treated by the same physical therapist each treatment and that therapists hours of availability. If your schedule varies a lot it will be harder to get the same physical therapist in a larger physical therapy clinic as compared to a solo practitioner. In routine injuries it is not as important. Certain injuries where there are more commonly accepted treatment philosophies it doesn’t matter as much. By definition they do not require as frequent changes in treatment. Herniated, bulging discs, or sciatica can be more complex to treat and can require more modifications.
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