It takes a lot of motivation and determination to work through the discomfort and pain that comes with rehabilitating healing muscles and joints. Sometimes people need a lot of encouragement to combat the negative feelings that accompany the necessity of employing a physical therapist in the first place. So, finding a good physical therapist can entail more than just someone who knows the field well.
Attributes of a Good Physical Therapist
In addition to knowing their field well, a good physical therapist is going to be a good listener. Everyone wants to be listened to, and that is even more important when you are in a situation where you need physical therapy. The therapist will also have the insight to know when to push and when to ease off. Some patients will give up easily at the first twinge of pain, while others will cause further injury by pushing too hard if allowed to. A good physical therapist will be able to judge which patients need encouragement to push a little harder and which ones don’t.
Lifelong learners stay on top of the newest information in their fields. They know what techniques work best and they know that some techniques may work well on some patients but not on others. These are the people who take the time to keep up with continuing education, so they can provide the best care to their patients. They will also be able to make suggestions about additional devices and/or technologies that can further aid their patients in recovery.
Enduring physical therapy can sometimes be grueling. Having a physical therapist who has a sense of humor, empathy and compassion is important. In those moments when it is necessary but seems impossible to push through the wall, it is good to have a physical therapist who can support your feelings, yet help you over the hump with good humor. While patience is a virtue, it is also a must in a good physical therapist. This work is often challenging, and both patient and therapist need patience in order to attain the best outcome.
Where to Find the Best PT for Your Needs
Your doctors will most likely make recommendations for you. However, you do not need a doctor’s recommendation to contact a PT. In addition to recommendations from your doctor, if you are in a support group for your condition or have access to other patients with similar issues, you can find out via word-of-mouth who the best PTs are.
There are also organizations, such as the American Physical Therapy Association, that have rosters of available PTs. While these places may not be able to give you specific information about individuals, you can interview potential candidates. You can also call PT clinics in your area.
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