6 Questions to Ask a Certified Physical Therapist in a Consultation
Finding a certified physical therapy office and specialist that you feel comfortable with may not always happen on the first try. By visiting the facility, you can become confident in the doctors and their services.
Typically, a physical therapist will recommend a consultation first to get a better understanding of your medical history and current prognosis. During this consultation, it’s just as vital you ask some questions too.
Here are six questions you should ask a certified physical therapist!
1. What is causing my pain or discomfort?
After discussing the reason for your consultation, you’ll want some answers before jumping into treatment options. The physical therapist should be able to explain how to diagnose your condition and identify some common causes. Knowing the reason this is happening to you can help prevent future injuries or flare-ups. This is also an ideal time to discuss what assessments will be conducted to confirm your diagnosis. For example, you may need an X-ray or physical screening.
2. How can my condition be treated?
After discussing the diagnosis and causes of your condition, the follow-up question should be about treatment options. Although you are consulting with physician, physical therapy may not be the best course of action. Ask if there are alternative forms of recovery you should explore. A good physical therapist will recommend the best treatment, even if that means going to a different practice. However, some physical therapy offices offer alternative treatments in-house, such as chiropractic and acupuncture.
3. Do you commonly treat my condition?
If your condition isn’t too common, asking if the doctor has treated similar patients will install a level of confidence. An experienced physical therapist will have a better idea of what will work for you. This is also the time to ask if they perform specialized services, such as micro-vas therapy or spinal decompression. It’s also beneficial to ask if they what certifications they hold.
4. What is expected of me?
Often, physical therapy treatment is enhanced by following specific guidelines. These rules may include showing up on time, dressing appropriately for exercise, and performing any at-home instructions (such as diet, exercises, or heat and ice treatment). Strictly adhering to these directions can help speed up recovery time and alleviate inflammation, pain, or discomfort.
5. How long until I get better?
Asking how long the typical recovery period can be nerve-racking to ask. Depending on your ailment, you may only be able to manage your pain or need to endure weeks of therapy to recover. For athletes, this may mean losing out on an entire season. Your physical therapist should outline a timeline for recovery, different stages, frequency of sessions, and more. Setting goals will be critical to maintain positivity and keep treatment moving along. Be realistic with your benchmarks and ask about potential setbacks, how to avoid them, and how to overcome any that may arise.
6. What will be included in my physical therapy sessions?
Initial consultations include discussing medical history, what has led to your visit, any triggers for your symptoms, how your everyday life is affected, and your goals for physical therapy. During the consultation, or within your first session, a physical assessment will be performed to test your range of motion, strength, and balance. Other diagnosis practices, such as x-rays and screenings, may be performed. Based on these findings, a comprehensive treatment plan will be delivered.
Finding a certified physical therapist in New Jersey is easy when you come to AllCure Spine & Sports Medicine! Our staff of physicians, chiropractors, and acupuncturists are ready to put together an integrated treatment plan for you. First, schedule a free consultation, then get ready to start your journey to a better lifestyle.