When you go car shopping, you probably spend a fair amount of time researching different makes and models. You might ask friends how they like their truck or consult with your mechanic about that new SUV you’ve been eyeing. You probably test drive a few sedans and compare the warranties. But what you don’t do is walk up to a salesman and buy the first set of wheels they show you.
So why would you ever do the same for a physical therapist?
Don’t just pick the first PT clinic that shows up on your Google search! When your health and well-being are at stake, you should know how to find the best physical therapist for your needs. But at the height of the Information Age, getting past those targeted ads and search engine algorithms can make researching your options more difficult. So here’s a few things you should consider when looking for a PT clinic.
While accessibility isn’t always the first thing that comes to mind when looking for a physical therapist, it should be! If parking is an issue and you have limited mobility, this could be a challenge. Imagine having to walk a block to your vehicle or around a parking garage after an intense PT session. Definitely something you’ll want to avoid!
Who Does What Best?
The field of physical therapy is vast, so finding a clinic that specializes in treatments specific to your condition or injury is a must. Most of the time your physician will recommend a physical therapist well-versed in the area of expertise you need. If not, you’ll want to do some additional research. Scope out a clinic’s website and see what kind of services they offer. Or try calling their office and ask if they specialize in the type of treatment you’re seeking.
Check Their Books
If you need to start your PT program as soon as possible, you won’t want to pick a clinic with a 4 week wait for an initial appointment. You should also consider the time between follow-up appointments, especially if your condition requires multiple sessions over an extended period of time.
Here for the Tour
Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, schedule a tour of the facilities you are most interested in. The atmosphere and environment of a clinic is so important! If you walk in and don’t feel comfortable, you may not get the most out of your PT. Pay attention to things like cleanliness and tidiness, how the staff interacts with other patients and each other, and what type of equipment is available.
Remember, this is YOUR rehabilitation journey! So be sure you pick the best physical therapist to guide you along the way.