Whether you have injured yourself, are in pain or have been prescribed it by your doctor, when you know you need physiotherapy you will likely be certain. But finding a physiotherapist can be a bit of an intimidating experience? Where do you even start?
You may very well know that you need treatment to restore mobility, manage your pain or increase your range of motion and strength, but where can you find someone you can trust to give you the treatment? Here are some of your best bets when it comes to finding your options for physical therapy:
Friends and Family
When initially considering where to look for a physiotherapist, one of the most helpful places to start can be friends or family who have received physical therapy treatments in the past. They will both be able to recommend you a clinic and warn you against one where they had a bad experience. Friends and family also will be able to answer any specific questions you may have about the availability and patient experience of a prospective physiotherapy clinic.
If your doctor has prescribed you with physiotherapy, they may be able to recommend a specific practitioner or treatment center to you. They may also be able to provide you with a list of physiotherapists in your area to help kickstart your search. Keep in mind, however, that you aren't actually obligated to use the physiotherapist your doctor recommends.
There are many factors to take into consideration when you're choosing a physiotherapist, including skills, appointment times compared against your own schedule, the physiotherapist's personality, and more. Consider your doctor's recommendation as a starting point in your research, and go from there.
Canadian Physiotherapy Association
If you are interested in finding a physiotherapist, but you aren't entirely sure where the best place to start is, the CPA's (Canadian Physiotherapy Association) website is an excellent resource for finding physical therapists across Canada. The CPA is a professional organization that supports physical therapists with both education and advocacy.
The CPA also has a number of branches and divisions. These can be found on their website. There is a branch both for each province and territory in Canada, any of which can be an excellent way to narrow down your search.
The CPA's divisions are excellent resources for cases where you already know what kind of physical therapy you need. Each division is composed of physiotherapists who are dedicated to a particular specialization from acupuncture to women's health. These are excellent resources if you are looking to find a physiotherapist who specializes in a particular health issue or treatment method.
Ontario Physiotherapy Association
The OPA (Ontario Physiotherapy Association) is a branch of the CPA that is committed to physiotherapists that practice in Ontario. They provide information about physiotherapy in the province and also offer an online directory of their member physiotherapy centers.
This is an excellent way to find physiotherapists near you so you can start to compare what they offer and make a decision about which one might be a good fit for your needs.
College of Physiotherapists of Ontario
Ontario's College of Physiotherapists is a great resource for discovering registered physiotherapists in your area (as long as they are in Ontario).
The site also can serve as a secondary tool. The College maintains a public registry for physiotherapists that are registered with them. In fact, in order to legally operate in Ontario, physiotherapists must be registered with the COllege of Physiotherapists of Onatario.
This means that you can also use it as a way of determining how legitimate a clinic you find using another method may be. If a prospective physical therapy center doesn't appear on their registry (or if it appears on their list of unregulated practitioners) you should probably avoid treatment from them.
Finally, you can always use Google to look up physiotherapists in your area.
If you do find a physiotherapist using Google or your favourite search engine, make sure that you do some further research with one of the organizations listed above and read through some reviews. In a way, reading online reviews is a lot like getting recommendations from friends or family members, only you're getting feedback, thoughts, and opinions from a much larger pool of people. This can really help when it comes to narrowing down your options!