Choosing an Orthopedic Physical Therapist
Physical therapy is a treatment option that can help enhance health and mobility, reduce pain, and restore function for those suffering from orthopedic injuries or conditions. It targets the musculoskeletal system – made up of bones, joints, muscles and connective tissue – which Dr. Kelley of Aries Physical Therapy in Florida notes is often the first step in managing pain and improving patient wellbeing.
Physical therapists are health professionals with either a PT or DPT credential, depending on their level of education. They offer services such as massage, manipulation, therapeutic exercise, cold/heat therapy, electricity and water to aid patients in their healing process.
When seeking physical therapy services, it is essential to find one who specializes in orthopedics and has the necessary experience treating your condition. Orthopedic physical therapy is a specialized field within medicine that can assist you with rehabilitation goals after an injury or chronic health issue such as arthritis.
When your doctor suggests physical therapy as a treatment option, it’s wise to consider it as your initial stop for care – particularly if the problem hasn’t improved with other treatments. According to Anne Bierman, physical therapist and manager of clinical programs at Athletico Physical Therapy with locations nationwide, an initial evaluation from a physical therapist could save you testing or surgery without needing additional testing or surgery.
When searching for a physical therapist who specializes in orthopedics, read patient reviews and review their credentials. Make sure they’re board-certified by the American Physical Therapy Association, have advanced training in orthopedic physical therapy, and are accredited by the American College of Orthopedic Physical Therapy.
They should have extensive expertise in treating musculoskeletal conditions. Look for physical therapists with expertise treating common orthopedic issues like lower back pain or knee problems. Furthermore, they must possess an in-depth knowledge of research trends within their fields as well as be familiar with treatment modalities like massage or electrical stimulation that may aid in meeting treatment goals.
Additionally, you should inquire if the physical therapist you’re consulting with is willing to consult with your physician if necessary. Doing this can save you both time and money since many healthcare providers require a referral from a physician before they can refer you to a physical therapist.
Physical therapists commonly employ the McKenzie Method to assess and diagnose musculoskeletal disorders such as lower back pain, neck pain, shoulder/arm pain and sciatica. Developed by renowned physiotherapist Robin McKenzie, this method has proven highly successful for diagnosing and treating these conditions.
Physical therapists are specially trained in recognizing certain neurologic and musculoskeletal issues within their scope of practice, meaning you don’t have to wait for your general practitioner to diagnose your issue before seeking care from an orthopedic physical therapist, according to Heather Jeffcoat from Fusion Wellness & Physical Therapy in Los Angeles. This can save time on your care journey as well.