Just like any other medical professional, physiotherapists are both responsible for your own recovery and are governed by standards of service. What you may not know, however, is what to prioritize when looking for a new physiotherapist. Here, our Manotick team walks you through 5 things worth looking for when you are searching for a new physiotherapist.
Searching for a new physiotherapist can be a bit of a daunting prospect. You may not know what things are worth considering, which can be a bit frustrating when the decision you make will affect your treatment! Here are 5 things to look for when you are beginning the process of selecting a new physiotherapist.
1. What are their qualifications?
Just like with any other healthcare professional, it's important that you make sure your prospective physiotherapist is fully qualified and accredited to practice physiotherapy in your area. In Ontario, physiotherapists 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's critical when considering a prospective physiotherapist that they offer the kind of treatment that will be most effective for you in your specific case. There are many different specializations and kinds of treatments a given physiotherapist may focus on in their practice, from pelvic floor therapy and cardiovascular physiotherapy to jaw pain and more.
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.
When you are suffering from mobility issues, are recovering from surgery or are in pain, 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 for you as you go through the process of selecting a physiotherapist but should always be weighed against the quality of care you hope to receieve.
4. What is their availability?
It may not even matter how good of a fit a prospective physiotherapist is with you and your needs if you are rarely able to see them and get treatment. If a physiotherapist isn't able to fit you into their schedule often enough, you may not get the treatment you need even if they are excellent.
Small physiotherapy practices may offer good treatment, but the smaller staff is more likely to be all booked up than at larger centers with more staff to provide you with treatment.
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 you commit to a prospective physiotherapist, make sure you are checking in on your preferred site for finding patient reviews. When considered on their own, good or bad reviews don't mean very much. However, a clinic that has been around for a while that doesn't have many good reviews may be a red flag for you to consider.
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.