Checklist: What You Should Ask When Choosing A Physical Therapist

Physical therapy is a great resource for people who want to achieve recovery from an injury or surgery, better management of pain or a chronic condition, or prevention of injury or a fall. Physical therapy done with a qualified expert can help you regain the highest level of pain-free functioning that you are capable of—in some cases, it can even help you avoid surgery!

If you are looking for relief from pain or help in one of these areas, there are many physical therapists to choose from. How do you know who to trust for the best care?

It’s always good to do your research ahead of time so you can find a physical therapist who will be a great fit for you. The following is a checklist you can use as you search for a physical therapist. By asking these questions, you’ll be able to get a better idea of how well suited the physical therapist is to provide you with the quality of care you deserve:

1.     Are you in-network with my insurance? Many people ask the question, “Do you take my insurance?” A physical therapist may answer “yes” to this question, and still end up charging you a huge bill, because they could take your insurance as an out-of-network provider. The better question to ask is “Are you in-network” with my insurance?” A yes to this question ensures that you will be getting the best rate and the best usage of your medical benefits.

2.     Do I need a referral? Many physical therapists are associated with hospitals or have a structure that requires you to get a referral from your primary care doctor or a specialist. However some physical therapists, like the experts at Core 3 Physical Therapy, are Direct Access Certified, which means that you would not need to go through the hassle and expense of a physician appointment to get a referral to receive physical therapy.

3.    What are your credentials? In order to become certified, physical therapists undergo extensive training and study that includes hands-on experience. You will want to be sure that the physical therapist you are considering has achieved this level of certification.

4.    Do you specialize in anything? Some physical therapists will specialize in certain conditions or areas, like women’s health, geriatrics, or specific parts of the body like the spine or the hand.

5.    What modalities do you use? A good physical therapist will have a range of modalities that they can use with you, from manual joint and soft tissue manipulation to ultrasound and electric stimulation, and will tailor the techniques they use to best help you achieve your particular goals.

6.     What should I bring to my initial evaluation? When you begin working with a physical therapist, the first thing you will do is have an initial evaluation to assess your needs and come up with a care plan for how to meet your goals. Be sure to know in advance what you need to bring with you, and how you should prepare. For example, you may be asked to bring your insurance card and identification, and to dress in comfortable clothes like sweatpants and a t-shirt.

Physical therapy can be a game changer when it comes to regaining or maintaining your independence and quality of life—but only if you are working with someone you trust and who has the expertise to help you with your specific goals. To talk with a certified physical therapist about your health needs, reach out to the professionals at Core 3 Physical Therapy today!

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