How does one find a great Physical Therapist?
Physical Therapists (especially great ones) can make a big difference in your life by helping you heal from a variety of issues including pain, injury, and weakness. A great Physical Therapist can spare you from agonizing surgeries and save you money that would be spent on expensive tests or drugs and instead, improve your health with natural and safe methods.
But how to select the right one for yourself and your specific problem?
I will give you a few tips to help you set apart the good and the great.
Passion for helping people and making a difference
A great Physical Therapist will have a passion for not only their profession, but for making a difference. They will truly care about you, listen, and work hard on helping you heal. They will be a kind, open and caring person who enjoys working with people and will unlock your healing potential more than anything else. Passion is the driving force for growing, learning, keeping up with research, and finding solutions for you even after everybody else gives up. Caring professionals walk an extra mile to push you forward including finding out of the box solutions, providing resources, and being available after hours for emergency consultations.
Artist versus body mechanic
A great Physical Therapist is less of a body mechanic and more of an artist who provides you with right choices and therapeutic experience that unlocks your body’s healing potential providing you with fast results. They are able to apply science, and critical thinking to pick the right therapeutic interventions in a way that fits your condition the best. They then can apply them with the skill to make your body respond quickly, which is simply not short of an art.
Providing you with fast results
Is a therapist who spends an extensive amount of time with you the best for you? I would say, not necessarily. Volume does not equal quality, more is not always better, and lengthy treatments do not always provide value. However, making wise treatment choices, doing what makes a difference, and treating the root cause of the problem in most cases equals value and positive outcomes. Physical Therapy sessions guided by an experienced Physical Therapist, is packed with fast acting techniques that target the root cause of the problem unlocking your body’s healing potential in a short amount of time. Doing “fluff” (unnecessary interventions and modalities) will provide you with a lengthy but not necessarily productive treatment session.
Special care and complex conditions require special training. All Physical Therapy graduates have general knowledge but just some of them get special training in Orthopedics, Sports, Pediatrics, Cardiopulmonary, Neurology or Women’s Health. If you have shoulder pain, most Physical Therapist’s will have enough general knowledge to help you but if you have pregnancy related pain, incontinence, pelvic pain or prolapse, Physical Therapists who specialize in Women’s Health conditions are the best choice.
Experience counts in the art of healing. It matters if you are the first patient in the line or one of many. Evaluating and treating for many years gives the practitioner time to learn from experience, specialize in certain areas, and build confidence and knowledge through continuous education. An experienced practitioner has the ability to create an efficient plan of care, project outcomes, apply complex interventions, and deal with difficult situations. The confidence of an experienced practitioner brushes off the patient and creates improved positive outcome expectations. This on it’s own creates better results.
Hands on help healing
Manual therapy is a powerful modality since it improves results dramatically. Soft tissue release, such as massage, myofascial work, joint mobilization, and muscle energy techniques, are great ways to normalize tissues, improve muscle and joint health, increase circulation, promote tissue regeneration and remodeling, and speed up healing. My experience tells me that manual work in conjunction with other therapeutic choices gives much faster results than models that exclude hands on approach.
Addressing cost of care
And finally, a good Physical Therapist will address the cost of care with you the very first visit and offer solutions so you can relax and focus on getting better. Financial concern is very often overlooked despite its increased importance in today’s environment of insurance coverage limitations, high co-payments and deductibles. Financial ambiguity and concerns is causing patients to suffer unnecessary stress, and sometimes drop off from Physical Therapy leading to unfavorable outcomes. Eliminating financial concern so the patient can focus on getting better is one of the things that sets a great therapist from others.
At Lilly Physical Therapy, we pride ourselves in these attributes. We make our patients comfort and well being our number one priority. If you or a friend have any symptoms of pain, injury, or weakness, call today to start your healing journey!
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