How to Choose a Physical Therapist: Everything You Need to Know

May10th 2023

In 460 BC, Hippocrates, a Greek physician who is seen as the father of medicine, emphasized the importance of exercise to improve physical strength. Over time, physical therapy has evolved into the treatment form we know today. The goal of physical therapy is to strengthen weakened muscles, relieve pain, and help people move correctly in their everyday life.

Physical therapy has become a popular form of treatment, but it’s important to choose a physical therapist that is right for you. Some physical therapists specialize in certain areas of the body, so it’s important that you consider all your options before you book an appointment.

So keep reading to find out how to choose a physical therapist that is right for you.

Ask Your Healthcare Provider

Chances are you’re looking for a physical therapist because you’re experiencing pain or recently had an injury. Your first stop would have been your healthcare provider, so why not ask them for some recommendations?

Not only will your healthcare provider understand your needs, but they’ll also have a network of other healthcare providers in the area to call up from. This way, they’ll be able to put you in contact with a physical therapist that matches your needs and who is located in the same area as you.

Depending on your health insurance, your healthcare provider might also be able to recommend someone that is covered by your plan.

Read a Few Online Reviews

One of the best ways to scope out any new practice or company you’re considering going to is by reading online reviews. Reviews are the closest you’ll get to seeing how you’ll experience the session without having gone for one yet.

People are 63% more likely to trust companies with reviews. So unless you’re going to a brand new practice, you should be able to find reviews online.

When reading reviews, you need to try finding them from a few different sources. The reviews listed on someone’s website will almost always be handpicked and positive, so you need to dig a bit deeper. Google reviews tend to be a good starting place, as you’ll be able to find some impartial reviews there.

Another thing to consider is when the reviews were posted. If there are a ton of good reviews from years back and mostly negative reviews now, you can usually dismiss the older reviews completely. Over time things change, so management or the therapists working there might have left, which means the older reviews aren’t relevant anymore.

Take the time to sort find reviews that truly offer insight into the practice and ones that detail their experience. These reviews will be more helpful than one’s that just say, “it was good.” 

Ask a Friend

The best recommendations will most likely come from the people closest to you. Not only do they know about your situation, but they also know you personally. You’re less likely to end up with a physical therapist who you don’t like if you get a recommendation from a friend or family member.

If you get a personal recommendation, you can also ask them for more details regarding the practice and therapist. This way, you can get the insider scoop without having to reach out to the practice. 

Based on your friend’s experiences, you’ll be able to make a more educated decision about whether you should see the therapist or continue looking.

Compare the Costs

While you’re looking for the best possible physical therapist in Midtown, it’s important to consider your budget. It won’t help you to spend time researching a practice, reading all the reviews, and getting feedback from people who went there if you can’t afford to go there.

Comparing physical therapy costs is an important step in finding a physical therapist. You know how much you can afford to spend on healthcare issues. Depending on your health insurance, you’ll need to make sure the physical therapist you choose is affordable.

You also need to consider that you’ll most likely require multiple sessions. Very rarely will a single session fix your problem, so you need to budget for multiple sessions.

How Quickly Can They See You?

Depending on your issue, you might need to see a physical therapist sooner rather than later. If you’ve just had surgery or you’re recovering from an injury, it’s usually better to get started as soon as possible. 

You should also be aware of all the different cancellation policies before making an appointment. This way, you can cancel your appointment if you find a different therapist with availability.

Find Out if They Specialize in Your Issue

If you need to see a physical therapist for a specific issue, you should look for a specialist. In the same way you’d see a neurologist for any brain-related issues, you should look for a physical therapist that specializes in your issue.

While all licensed physical therapists receive the same training, specialists have continued their training and education to better assist you with specific problems. These physical therapists will also have access to tools and equipment that a general physical therapist won’t have.

Choose a Physical Therapist Today

Knowing how to choose a physical therapist is the first step in your recovery process. It’s important to consider all your options for physical therapists and your specific needs before booking an appointment.

If you’re ready to start your physical therapy journey, feel free to contact us today. At New York City Wellness, we want to get you moving while managing your pain.