Can I choose where I go for physical therapy?
Your doctor has just recommended physical therapy, and they’ve even provided their therapist of choice right on the prescription. Physicians will routinely recommend someone already in their healthcare system or located nearby, but that isn’t always the most convenient or best fit for you. While the therapy prescription is the first step to relieving those aches and pains, most patients aren’t even aware that they have a choice as to where they go for physical therapy.
By state and federal law, it is always your final decision where you go and which provider you choose to receive physical and occupational therapy treatment. When you start talking to friends and family, you might be surprised at how many of them have been to PT, for a wide variety of conditions – this is a great place to start. Beyond asking for recommendations, here are some things to take into consideration as you begin looking for the right physical therapist for you:
Do your research first
When looking for a new doctor or dentist, you ask friends, read reviews, and try to gain some knowledge about the provider first. Physical therapy is no different. In fact, most clinics offer a complimentary consultation with a therapist before starting treatment. That way, you can get a tour of the clinic and make sure the therapist is a good fit for you. The relationship you develop with your physical therapist is very important to the healing and recovery process.
As your search continues, ask if someone in the clinic specializes in your condition. Many of our therapists have extensive training and certifications in specialty areas such as back pain, sports medicine, orthopedics, oncology, vestibular, hands, and extremities. It’s a good idea to call the clinic or schedule a consultation to gather as much information as possible before making a decision.
Depending on your treatment plan, you may need physical therapy a few times each week. Think about the location and the clinic’s hours when choosing a provider. Many of our clinics offer early morning, late night, or even weekend hours to suit the varying schedules of their patients. Busy people have packed schedules, so also check and see if telehealth or virtual visits may be available after you are well on your way to recovery.
Clinical values and levels of excellence
Healthcare providers of all kinds should continue to expand their knowledge base throughout their careers to keep up with the latest changes and treatment techniques to serve their patients better. Feel free to ask your potential therapist how they, or other colleagues, go about maintaining high levels of excellence within the clinic.
You have a choice
When establishing a relationship with a new healthcare provider, it’s important to remember that you are the best advocate for your personal needs. You have a choice as to where you seek therapy treatment, regardless of what’s written on your prescription. Take some time to research your options, ask questions, and ultimately make the best decision for your personal health and wellness needs.
If you would like to speak with someone at a clinic near you, or inquire about a complimentary consultation, see our list of locations here.
The medical information contained herein is provided as an information resource only, and does not substitute professional medical advice or consultation with healthcare professionals. This information is not intended to be patient education, does not create any patient-provider relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis, treatment or medical advice. Please consult with your healthcare provider before making any healthcare decisions or for guidance about a specific medical condition. If you think you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. IvyRehab Network, Inc. disclaims any and all responsibility, and shall have no liability, for any damages, loss, injury or liability whatsoever suffered as a result of your reliance on the information contained herein.