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How Do You Choose a Physical Therapy Clinic?

I wrote this piece on how to choose a physical therapy clinic in 2015, but it is just as relevant today! Why? Because the choice is YOURS! Your physician can recommend a place, but not all PT clinics are created equal. It is important to find a place where you are comfortable and your needs are met. Even if you are sent to a new clinic, but prefer one you had before, you can tell your insurance company you want to return to that particular location for continuity of care.

How Do You Choose a Physical Therapy Clinic?

You have the right to choose where you go for physical therapy. Even if you have been referred to one clinic, you may request another that would better suit your needs and values. Alternatively, you may need a walk in appointment for a new musculoskeletal issue. How do you choose where to go?

Ask about the therapists on staff. A location with multiple professionals from different backgrounds will be better able to meet your work, sport, or recreational activity needs. Who better to understand your passion for art, running, dancing, teaching, golf, gymnastics, camping, weight lifting, yoga, sports, hiking, or military activities than professionals with personal experience in those areas?

Find practitioners who are able to spend time getting to know you and customizing clinic resources while providing individualized attention. It is important to feel comfortable with your therapy team. They should demonstrate respect for you as a person, and willingness to collaborate with you as a patient, designing treatment plans around your goals and lifestyle, and providing education to help you become a more informed participant in your own care and recovery.

Look for a clinic that is spacious enough to allow you to move around furniture and equipment, even with an assistive device. You should have enough room to participate in therapeutic activities without fear of running into others. Private treatment rooms protect your privacy during initial examinations and for treatments that require direct skin contact. For patients with mobility restrictions, handicapped parking spaces, ramps, and railings improve access.

Front office personnel should be able to answer your questions about the therapists and facility, and help you understand what to expect before your first visit. To minimize your out of pocket expenses, ask whether the clinic takes your insurance. Even if it does not, you may still prefer a facility due to location, services offered, clinical expertise, or other considerations. The staff will most likely be able to work with you to reduce costs without sacrificing quality of care.

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