Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How to choose a physical therapist

Date:
July 20, 2014
Source:
Hospital for Special Surgery
Summary:
After an injury or surgery, rehabilitation is often a critical factor on the road to recovery. Since physical therapy is usually a weekly commitment and may be for an extended period of time, convenience is an important consideration. It's important for people to do their homework before deciding where to go for physical therapy, according to experts.

After an injury or surgery, rehabilitation is often a critical factor on the road to recovery. Since physical therapy is usually a weekly commitment and may be for an extended period of time, convenience is an important consideration, according to JeMe Cioppa-Mosca, vice president of Rehabilitation at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. "However, many other factors should also be taken into account when deciding where to go," she says. "Not all facilities provide the same type or level of care."

Related Articles


"It's important for people to do their homework before choosing a facility," says Robin Benick, clinical supervisor of the Hospital for Special Surgery Rehabilitation Network. The network, which marked its 20th anniversary this year, is a resource for individuals looking for a facility in their community that meets high standards of care. Information about PT practices in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Florida that belong to the network is available at www.hss.edu/rehab-network.asp.

"Many people don't realize the importance of choosing the right therapist and the right facility for their needs," Cioppa-Mosca says. "Recovery from an injury is hard work. Although most physical therapists are well-trained and provide good care, practices are not all the same. Falling into the wrong hands can do more harm than good."

"Physical therapy is a balance between science, art and experience. Certain physical therapists have special areas of interest and additional training in certain techniques," explained James Wyss, M.D., a physiatrist at Hospital for Special Surgery and at the hospital's Physician Office on Long Island. A physiatrist is a medical doctor specializing in nonsurgical treatment of muscle and joint problems.

"The right therapist can make all the difference between failure and success," he says. "But patients also need to understand that they are responsible for their recovery, as well. They need to work together with their physical therapist, communicate openly, and follow their advice, as well as the advice of their physician."

It's important to find a physical therapist with whom you have a good rapport, according to Benick. "Communication is key. It's a partnership," she says.

People may receive a recommendation from their doctor or from a friend who had a positive experience. But it's up to many individuals to find a rehab center on their own. Practices may have areas of special expertise, and some physical therapists have additional credentials. Some may focus more on sports medicine, while others may specialize in rehabilitation for neck and back problems or after joint replacement. Certified specialties range from pediatric to geriatric physical therapy

Cioppa-Mosca and Benick offer the following tips when choosing a physical therapy practice:

• Choose the right practice for your needs. Call the facility and ask questions to make sure there are physical therapists with expertise in treating your particular problem.

• Ask who will be treating you and how much experience the therapist has. Once you begin physical therapy, make sure you're receiving care from a licensed physical therapist or a licensed physical therapy assistant.

• Choose a location that is convenient to where you live or work.

• Try to set up a time to take a tour of the facility before beginning therapy. A reputable practice should have no problem arranging a quick visit.

• Note if the facility is clean and well-maintained. Are therapists washing their hands between patients?

• Consider what the atmosphere is like. Are therapists and therapy assistants actively working with patients, or are people standing around waiting to be treated?

• Are people working there wearing a name badge with their job title? They are required to do so in many states, including New York.

• Inquire about the cancellation policy. Some facilities charge a fee for cancelling an appointment.

• Consider how quickly you can get an appointment. If you need to wait more than a week or two, you may be better off finding a facility where you can start sooner, especially if you've had recent surgery.

• If health insurance is an important consideration for you, make sure the practice accepts your insurance.

• If you require special equipment, such as a pool, make sure it is available at the facility.

Once you begin physical therapy, the experts stress that you'll do best with someone with whom you get along well. They also point out that you should be evaluated and treated by a licensed physical therapist. Physical therapy assistants are also trained, licensed professionals, and your therapist may work with an assistant to provide your care.

You should not be receiving treatment from an unlicensed physical therapy aide or technician, according to Benick. Aides help physical therapists with tasks such as basic administrative duties, getting treatment areas ready and escorting patients within the clinic, but they are not legally permitted to provide treatment or instruct patients in exercises. If you're not sure of the credentials of the person treating you, you have the right to ask.

If you feel the physical therapist is not spending enough time with you, appears distracted, or is bouncing back and forth between you and other patients, you may want to find someone who offers more personalized care and attention. The experts say that if you ever feel uncomfortable or if an exercise or treatment is painful, you should speak up.

You should also receive instruction on exercises to do at home. The therapist may provide handouts, a link to a video demonstrating the correct movements, or another form of instruction to ensure you are performing the exercise correctly.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Hospital for Special Surgery. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Hospital for Special Surgery. "How to choose a physical therapist." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140720203427.htm>.
Hospital for Special Surgery. (2014, July 20). How to choose a physical therapist. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140720203427.htm
Hospital for Special Surgery. "How to choose a physical therapist." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140720203427.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

AFP (Oct. 25, 2014) — An American nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for a Liberian patient in Texas has been declared free of the virus and will leave the hospital. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) — The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins