Today, we’ll be answering the question, “What is good physical therapy?” When looking to purchase an item or service, consumers often search for the most superior product. Why should choosing a physical therapy provider, or any other healthcare related service provider, be any different? As a healthcare consumer, you deserve the best service available delivered by the most highly trained professionals available.
When choosing products or services of any kind, people often search consumer reports or read consumer reviews. The companies that receive high marks are usually deemed the best. People want the best for themselves and their families, and finding a good physical therapy provider is no different. That said, we wanted to put together a consumer guide of things you should consider in choosing a good physical therapy provider.
Therapists with Advanced Certifications/Training – Physical therapy school is great, but it is really only the beginning of a long, post-graduate training/specialization process. Since Manual Therapy (the specialized field of physical therapy that uses hands-on techniques to assist patients in a faster recovery) has been shown to be the most effective method of getting a patient better, we strongly encourage you to look for a PT provider with therapists that have advanced certification in manual therapy. A few of the acronyms that indicate advanced manual therapy certifications include: FAAOMPT, MCMT, MTC, and NAIOMT.
One-on-One Time With a Licensed Physical Therapist – Another critical question in finding a good physical therapy provider is, “Will I be spending most of my treatment time with my physical therapist or with non-licensed staff?” If you go to physical therapy, you should be treated by a physical therapist that has been trained to continually evaluate your performance and modify your treatment plan as needed. It’s safe to say that a good physical therapy provider is one that will have you see a licensed therapist for the majority of your treatment, using unlicensed personnel to help you transition from one exercise to another during your treatment, or set you up on modalities such as heat, electrical stimulation, or ice.
Evidence-Based Treatment Approaches – Is your therapist providing you with the most up-to-date treatments available? How do you know? Therapists should educate you about what they are doing, why they are doing it, and give you an explanation of how research supports the use of the recommended treatment for your condition. If you aren’t sure why your therapist has chosen a certain treatment, ask why they chose the treatment and if it is backed by recent research. It’s easy to understand why good physical therapy clinics use treatments that are proven to be most effective by research; we want to get you better as efficiently as we can.
Tailor-Made or Customized Treatment Programs – Are each of your treatments linked to a specific problem area your therapist identified as a cause to your symptoms? Are your treatments guided by your goals? Treatments should be customized specifically for you, aimed at your problem areas, and tailored toward your goals. No two people are alike and although they may have the same symptoms, the causes are likely very different. Your therapist should include you in the goal making process, and you should expect to have your own individual program; made for you, based on your problems and goals.
Great Customer Service From the Entire Staff – Is the physical therapy staff friendly or do you show up to your appointments on time, only to find yourself sitting in the waiting room for long periods? Obviously, the staff at a good physical therapy clinic should be friendly, and you shouldn’t expect to wait longer than 10 minutes for your appointment. A good physical therapy clinic should meet all of your customer service needs and make you feel like a member of their extended family.
Now that you know what Good Physical Therapy is, you just need to find out where you can get it. If you need physical therapy and you’re not in the San Antonio area, use the guidelines above to find the clinic that’s right for you. If you are in the San Antonio area, our team at Momentum Physical Therapy & Sports Rehab is known for providing great one-on-one care, evidence-based treatments, tailor-made treatment programs, and the highest level of customer service available to our patients. Call us today if you’re ready to get back to doing the activities you love!