Physical recovery is a vital part of rehabilitation after injury, operation, or when you have a chronic condition. A physiotherapist is a professional who may help, advise and stay with you for long periods depending on the seriousness of the injury.
Most physiotherapists are well-trained, licensed professionals, they have experience and other credential differences. They also have different characters and styles of work. If you have never used services from physical therapists, the task of choosing one can be challenging and confusing. So, little homework is required before signing for the service.
We suggest the following several easy steps to decide on the physiotherapist and the clinic.
1. Your physical therapist should be certified!
Make sure that you receive a licenced service. In Canada, there is no difference between a physiotherapist and physical therapists. The term can be used interchangeably, usually called PT, in short. When you choose one in Ontario, refer to the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario.
2. Choose a close location whenever possible.
Depending on the recovery process, individual plan, and how much of the program performed in the clinic, you may visit the clinic several times a week.
3. If you have a specific or rare case, try to find PT with the relevant experience.
Although most of the training for physical therapists take place in a clinic, where the young practitioners work together with experienced PTs hand in hand, independent experience or interest area of a physiotherapist can be helpful for your particular case.
4. Check the clinic with needed facility
There are several types of physical therapy; some of them require equipment, space, sometimes swimming pools. It is better to call or check the website for information about available facilities.
5. Choose the person you can work with
Physical therapy can be painful, especially at the early stages of recovery. You need to be relaxed and trust your physiotherapist. If you have pain during manipulations or exercises, you should be able to express your feelings and quickly alert your therapist freely. Also, in most cases, you will be wearing shorts and a bra; some people can be sensitive in choosing that or another person to work.
6. Easy to get an appointment
The early you start the rehabilitation process, the better. Thus, try to find the clinic that can give you an appointment for the next days. If they ask you to wait for a week or two, it is better to consider searching for another clinic. Ask your family doctor, recent surgeon, or another relevant doctor how long should it take before you start your physical therapy.
7. Health insurance
Different clinics may have different options, and before going there, it is better to check if your insurance coverage helps you to save. You may choose from publicly-funded physiotherapy or use extended health care programs to access the service.
8. Word of mouth
Last but not least, look for positive comments, whenever possible, ask your community, friends, to get real first-hand experience.
First visit and program evaluation
After you have decided on the clinic and physiotherapist, pay attention to how the first visit and the program design. During the first visit, the doctor makes a comprehensive assessment of your goal and the reason you have decided to take physiotherapy. The program is a mix of active and passive exercises, and it is better if you are encouraged and consulted on how to train at home by yourself. The process of recovery is complex, and your PT needs to take into consideration your lifestyle, nutrition, general health and specific condition. Don’t be shy to comment on your individualized program; you may give valuable information and help your PT to design a better plan for you. However, if you get negative comments on your thoughts, better look for someone else.
In summary, be an active participant in the process, follow the steps and help your mind and body recover quickly. If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to call or approach us in Mississauga.