Physical therapy is a series of treatments ordered by your physician to restore health to patients who have lost mobility due to illness or injury. Treatment provides specific targeted therapy that will include exercises to reduce the patient’s functional limitation and to improve endurance, strength and flexibility. Physical therapists use passive motion machines (which lift the extremity for you), active exercise machines, massage therapy, electrical stimulation and more. Many physical therapy centers also provide occupational and speech therapy.
Patients who have had open heart surgery, hip or knee replacement or a stroke typically benefit from physical therapy. Sports medicine, a growing segment of physical therapy providers, focuses on treatments to prevent or alleviate injuries occurring from exercise or sports.
Patients can receive physical therapy in many settings from clinics to the comfort of their home. A physician will recommend an appropriate setting depending on a patient’s needs and condition.
With over 20,000 physical therapy offices nationwide, choosing the right one can be overwhelming. The key is to research your choices so you find a physical therapist that fits your needs and provides quality care. Below is a list of factors to consider when selecting physical therapy:
Physical therapy can be conducted in many settings, from clinics and offices, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, to private homes. Speak with your physician; he will recommend an appropriate setting depending on your needs and condition. Physical therapy can often be conducted several times a week, so if you are commuting to your physical therapy sessions, you should pick a location close to your home or work. If you decide upon an inpatient rehabilitation center, be sure to choose a location close to family and friends.
Quality is often overlooked but extremely important. WhereToFindCare.com is the only place that gives you a quality score to assist you in choosing a physical therapist: the consumer quality score.
The consumer quality score is the percentage of people who rated their physical therapist on WhereToFindCare.com and said they received quality care. This experience-based physical therapy satisfaction score cannot be found elsewhere today except by word of mouth.
Have you had experiences with physical therapists in your area? Share your experiences with other users by rating the physical therapist
on WhereToFindCare.com. Your feedback is invaluable to others in your community searching for physical therapy.
Word of mouth recommendations can tell us whether we can get along with providers on a personal level. Ask friends, family, and other associates if they have had experiences with the physical therapists on your list. You can also find word of mouth recommendations on WhereToFindCare.com.
Verify the physical therapist is licensed. Licenses are regulated by each state individually. Physical therapy can be administered by the physical therapist (PT) or a physical therapist assistant (PTA) under the PT’s direction.
5. Consider what each physical therapist offers:
Once you’ve narrowed down the list of physical therapists, you should consider all the other things each facility has to offer. You can use the physical therapist search tool above to locate physical therapy in your area. In your search results, click on the name of a provider to see more information. Review the hours of operations to see if it fits your schedule. See if the physical therapist specializes in the specific area of physical therapy you need. Check out the types of equipment they have available. Review insurance information and costs. Be sure to check out photos, video tours, amenities, contact information and much more.
If you have any questions, you should contact the physical therapist. If possible, tour the facility. Please visit the physical therapist's provider page on WheretoFindCare.com to find address and contact information, and to get driving directions. Some physical therapists have contact forms on their provider page, so it may be possible to email your questions to them. When contacting the physical therapist, please be sure to mention you saw them on WhereToFindCare.com.