Choosing a Physiotherapist
Choose your Physiotherapist with care, just as you would when choosing a doctor or any health professional. Physiotherapists are educated, trained and have to qualify to a high standard before they can practice and are governed by strict regulations. But “one size” does not fit all. Just as doctors have specialties, many physiotherapists also have different areas of expertise. It makes sense to do your due diligence and find the one who can be of most help to you depending on your health issue or condition, otherwise you may get frustrated, incur extra costs and delay an improved outcome.
If you live in an urban area it is probable that you will have a few choices as likely there is more than one Physiotherapist or Clinic readily available. To find the Professional who can best help you there are things you can do to pick the one most beneficial to you. These are some the ways you can help yourself. First have a complete diagnosis from your doctor or health professional and make sure you understand every aspect of your condition. If you have suffered a disease or a trauma such as an accident, you should be able to get all the information and medical reports you need fairly easily. If you seem to have other challenges with mobility or aches and pains perhaps associated with aging or ancient injuries, choosing the right Physiotherapist becomes even more critical because a good one will be able to diagnose very quickly what is needed to restore you to better health.
Make a checklist which should include:
Verifying that the Physiotherapist of choice is fully qualified. and fully accredited to practice in your region or country.
Their level of expertise or specialty; Physiotherapy covers a wide range of treatments - for example if you have back issues, then look for someone who specialises in musculoskeletal therapy or, if you have had heart surgery, find someone who knows how to give cardiovascular treatment.
Location. While this may not be something you consider as anything other than time consuming, it is in fact important if you are having musculoskeletal problems or are recovering from surgery and have a treatment, it won’t do you any good to have to sit in a car for an hour to get back home. So someone close by will be essential.
Understanding all the Physiotherapy options available to you, although not all therapists have the same range of treatments. Physiotherapy techniques are arguably more sophisticated these days than in previous more traditional times., with more knowledge progress has been made to frequently include acupuncture, reflexology, hydrotherapy and a variety of balance and strengthening exercises. A good clinic will be able to suggest the appropriate treatment or a combination of treatments specifically designed for you.
Availability is important because it is essential that any therapies are done on a regular and consistent basis and naturally, the reputable ones will always be busy, so make regular appointments to set up your schedule for best results.
Lastly, if possible do some research on the therapist or clinic you select. Reputation is everything, so you can check websites and reviews but with caution as we now are very well aware of ‘fake news’. Word of mouth is often the best recommendation you can get so if you have friends or colleagues who have needed therapy in the past it might be useful to talk to them.
Finally, if you have done all of these things you should be able to settle in with your Physiotherapist of choice with a degree of comfort, looking forward to a positive result as you work together. Remember it is a partnership and not a passive one - you have to do your part to achieve a better state of health.
PT. Hannah Foster