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How to pick a good physical therapist

physical therapy session

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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Tom Willemann

Tom Willemann

Tom Willemann is a premier physical therapist based out of Bergen County, New Jersey. He holds an MS in physical therapy from the University of Miami, is credentialed in the world-renowned McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT), and holds an OCS (Orthopedic Clinical Specialist) certification. As of 2018, there are approximately 14,000 ABPTS certified specialists in the nation and less than 400 of them are located in the state of New Jersey. Tom is the owner and director of Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation in Paramus. He opened the clinic, which specializes in spine and sports injury prevention, in 2004 after many years of experience in the field. Tom’s caring interest in others and his strong belief in continuity of care, combined with his clinic’s ability to find solutions for the most difficult orthopedic problems, have earned Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation its excellent reputation with patients and medical professionals in northeastern New Jersey and beyond. A true “family man,” Tom takes pride in his clinic’s warm and welcoming environment.
Tom Willemann

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