You just left the doctor’s office with a script in hand to see a physical therapist for an injury or illness that’s preventing you from moving properly. Even though the physician shared some background information on the services, you have never been to physical therapy before and don’t know how it all works. What’s the next step?
Select a Physical Therapist:
Deciding where to go for physical therapy can be a daunting process but with a little guidance, you can easily find the best fit for you. Start by talking to friends and family members about where they’ve gone for physical therapy, ask your doctor for a few recommendations, and search online for locations in your community.
Once you have compiled a short list of potential physical therapy clinics, call each location to request more information. Narrow Down the Playing Field. Making an informed decision about your rehabilitation will ensure you find the best physical therapist for your specific condition. Conducting a quick phone interview of a potential rehab professional is the best way to know what to expect from physical therapy.
Here are a few essential questions you should ask a physical therapy clinic:
• What will a typical PT session involve? Each physical therapy clinic conducts sessions just a little bit differently so it’s important to settle on a place with practice policies that make you comfortable. For example, you may want to choose a clinic that allows you to work with the same physical therapist each time, or to know whether your care is
provided by a physical therapist or physical therapy assistant. Others may select a physical therapy clinic based on session length or whether manual therapy is performed.
• What will be expected of me? Each physical therapist will have slightly different expectations for the role you play in your own recovery. However, all will expect you to participate in a home program to carry over goals established in your therapy sessions.
• How will you help me reach my potential? You’ll want to be sure that the treatment philosophy of the physical therapist you select meshes with your needs. Just like expectations vary from one physical therapist to another, so does the approach.
• What experience/training do you have in treating my injury/illness? No matter what brings you to rehab, you’ll want to find a physical therapist who specializes in treating your specific circumstance. Physical therapists may specialize in neurological or orthopedic conditions, for example, based on interests, experience, continuing education, and professional influences.
• Do you accept my insurance? Physical therapy is often covered by insurance but some locations may not accept your plan, or may not accept insurance at all. Asking in advance can save a lot of headaches down the road and is an opportunity to find out if you need to contact your insurance company before your first visit.
Prepare for the First Day. Having a clear sense of what to expect on the first day of rehab can help avoid any confusion and ensure a successful initial meeting. The clinic you have chosen will likely provide information on its website or over the phone but have these questions handy just
• What time should I arrive?
• Where do I park/enter?
• What should I wear to rehab?
• What if I need to reschedule my appointment?
Asking a few questions in advance will ensure you settle on the right PT clinic to address your specific needs and position you for a successful recovery
OUR FOCUS IS ON QUALITY OF CARE
At Back Country Physical Therapy we only offer one on one care. You will be seen by the same highly experienced physical therapist from when you enter our clinic until the day your treatment is complete.
This ensures 100% continuity of care and no information is lost in the exchange between a PT and a PTA or Aide. No offense to the other clinics that do; we simply don’t. However, if we did, you would be seen by a multitude of folks and the first therapist who saw you might do a check in every 5th visit as required by law.
Seeing different people with different levels of education, will mean you having to explain your situation and re-introduce yourself. In fact, it is not uncommon for an ill-informed clinician who has or has not seen you to ask, “What did he/she do last time? Was it like this? So you’re not supposed to do that?”
One on one care translates to quality of care vs. handing you off to someone else to increase the clinics productivity (financial gain.) Remember this; you and your insurance company will receive the same bill regardless if you are seen by a highly skilled therapist or someone who just graduated from high school, working as an Aide.
Brett Jenks, PT, DPT, Cert MDT has Post-doctorate education and advanced certifications because he wants to provide the best, evidence and outcome based care possible. This in turn will help you get back to the things you enjoy doing faster! You really deserve nothing less!
Back Country Physical Therapy
The Question: Ice or Heat?
At my clinic a common question arises time and time again. Should I ice it or put heat on it? Great question! Depends on what type of condition or injury you have and when you sustained it.
Many people have heard the term R.I.C.E. or Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. R.I.C.E. is used primarily after an acute injury or within 48 hours after an injury has happened. For example, if a runner has a significant ankle sprain, he/she will want to ice the ankle to decrease the “carpet bombing” effect of multiple red and white blood cells scrambling to the site of injury for repair. This is the time to put ice on the ankle to decrease the inflammation in the area. The same goes for most acute injuries. Continue reading “Ice or Heat? What to do?”
It’s Your Right To Choose
Did you know that you have the right to choose where you want to have physical therapy? After talking with people, it is astonishing to me to find out how many patients don’t know this. Most have been handed a predetermined referral from their primary or referring physician and told where to go get physical therapy.
Continue reading “Get The Physical Therapy You Deserve”