Patient Education

Questions to Ask your Physical Therapist

Choosing to participate in physical therapy, or specialized (pelvic, obstetric, lymphedema) physical therapy, can seem like a daunting experience.  Discussing personal and sensitive topics such as pelvic pain, along with bladder, bowel, and/or sexual concerns, can be difficult.  Establishing open lines of communication with your physical therapist is essential for successful treatment.  Knowing the right questions to ask can help you gain trust and determine if a particular therapist is a good fit for you.  Consider asking the following questions to help make an informed decision when deciding on a healthcare provider.

 

  1. How long have you been a physical therapist?
  2. Do you have advanced training in evaluating and treating my condition?
  3. How long have you been treating this condition?
  4. What can I expect at the initial evaluation and following appointments?
  5. Can you explain what my treatment would involve?
  6. If I am uncomfortable with certain techniques, are other options available?
  7. Do you have any resources or materials that will help me understand my condition and my treatment?
  8. What can I do at home to help treat my condition and speed healing?
  9. How much recovery can I expect in physical therapy?

 

Physical therapists are typically more than happy to answer these types of questions.  Establishing mutual understanding and trust will build a successful relationship to ensure your goals are met.

 

Looking for a Physical Therapist near you?

Find one by name, zip code or specialty via the PT Locator at ptl.womenshealthapta.org.

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Rebecca Gardner
1 year ago

I like your suggestion to ask how long they’ve been treating our specific issue in addition to how long they’ve been practicing physical therapy. My husband wants to find a physical therapy service he can meet with over facetime to help his knee injury recover as effectively as possible. Thanks for teaching me what questions to ask to find the best possible physical therapy service for him to use!

Eli Richardson
8 months ago

I’m glad you talked about how you need to choose a physical therapist with experience. My uncle had an accident a few weeks ago, and he’s just started to get back on his feet. He needs to visit a therapist to help him get better, so I think this information will help him find a good one. Thanks for the tips about what to consider before hiring a physical therapist.

Charlotte Fleet
6 months ago

I agree with you that it is smart to ask about the experience potential physical therapists have with your specific condition. My younger sister injured her leg during a volleyball game last week and she needs to see a physical therapist. I will be sure to help her find one that has a lot of specialized experience working with her injury and condition.

Tammy Houston
1 month ago

My aunt is currently looking for a good physical therapist to help her recover from her stroke and these questions will be really helpful in that regard. Asking them about their previous experiences treating similar conditions should ensure us that the doctor is knowledgeable in the field and knows what he is doing. I also like how you suggested asking what the treatment will involve so that she’ll know exactly what to expect and can prepare herself for it. I’ll be sure to go over these questions with my aunt so that we can find her the best physical therapist… Read more »

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