Much like any other medical professional, physiotherapists are both responsible for your recovery and are governed by service standards. However, you may not know what to look for and what to prioritize when looking for a new physical therapist. Here, our Nepean team walks you through 5 things to look for when you're searching for a new physiotherapist.
Looking for a new physical therapist can be a daunting prospect. You may not know what to look for or what to consider, and the decision you make can affect your treatment! Here are 5 things to look for when you are starting the process of choosing a new physiotherapist:
1. What are their qualifications?
Much like with any other healthcare professional, it is important to ensure that your prospective physiotherapist is fully accredited and licensed to practice physiotherapy. Physiotherapists in Ontario are required to have graduated from an accredited institution.
You can either ask if you can see their certification or, if you live in Ontario, easily check the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario's public registry of licensed physiotherapists.
2. What are their areas of focus?
Physiotherapy is a broad umbrella that contains many different kinds of practices and treatments. It is important when you are considering a prospective physiotherapist, that they offer the kind of treatment which will be most effective for your specific case. There are many different areas that a given physiotherapist may focus on in their practice, ranging from jaw pain to pelvic floor therapy and cardiovascular physiotherapy, and everything in between.
It is important to consider the area of expertise your prospective physiotherapist has. And, when speaking with a prospective physiotherapist, make sure you ask about what they would suggest for the kinds of issues you are experiencing, and if they offer an alternative treatment method that you would prefer.
3. Are they conveniently located?
When considering a physiotherapist, location can be key! Not only is a physiotherapy clinic more convenient to visit when it is closer to your home, but depending on what health issues you are suffering from, distance from the clinic can become a major consideration.
In addition, if you are suffering from mobility issues, pain, or are recovering from surgery, you may need to avoid walking or driving for very long distances.
That being said, additional travel time may be worth it in some cases. Many of our patients are happy to travel some distance to see us, citing our experienced team, success rates, gym equipment, clinic set up, and the services we offer as reasons they are willing to do so.
At the end of the day, travel time is an important consideration as you go through the process of choosing a physiotherapist, but it should be weighed against other factors as well.
4. What is their availability?
It may not matter how good of a fit a prospective physiotherapist is with you, if they aren't able to fit you into their schedule often enough or only at odd hours of the day, you may not get the treatment you need. Small physiotherapy practices may offer excellent treatment, but the smaller staff may be booked up more often than larger centers with more staff.
If you are suffering from discomfort or pain, the last thing you need is to be put on a waiting list. It is important to ask a prospective physiotherapist about how soon they will be able to see you and begin treatment.
5. Do they have a good reputation?
Before committing to a prospective physiotherapist, make sure to check on your preferred website for patient reviews. While good or bad reviews on their own don't really mean very much, a clinic that has been around for a long time and doesn't have very many good reviews can be a red flag.
If you are being prescribed physiotherapy by your doctor, ask them if they have recommendations. Often your doctor will have a trusted physical therapist they can recommend for you.
Are you looking for a new physiotherapist?
Our team of expert physical therapists are here to help.
Welcome to the Nepean Sports Medicine & Physiotherapy Centre blog, where we provide lots of helpful tips, news, information and advice about physiotherapy and massage treatments, as well as general health and wellness, in Nepean and Ottawa.