If you are in the Denver area, then you can find listings for a number of great physical therapists. But will physical therapy actually help with your physical health issues?
The answer is likely yes. One study 100 million people could benefit from seeing a physical therapist.
Physical therapy has many uses, from helping to restore lost mobility to improving chronic health conditions. Doctors often recommend physical therapy as a treatment option for pain management.
Nonetheless, the benefits of physical therapy are not limited to reactionary procedures, for participation in physical therapy also strengthens the body. It helps active people, such as athletes, prevent future injuries. Suppose you have an injury or physical condition that you wish to improve or want to live a healthier lifestyle. Physical therapists are professionals in their field that can help you improve your quality of life.
Yet, what must you do to access their services?
How to Engage a Physical Therapist’s Services
There are over 300,000 physical therapists in the United States. However, finding one that actually serves your needs can be a bit difficult. You need to do your due diligence when looking for a physical therapist.
In most circumstances, if you feel that you can benefit from a physical therapist, you can reach out to any that are in your insurance network. This is because, in all fifty U.S. states, you can approach a physical therapist directly without first acquiring a referral from a physician. There may be specific provisions or guidelines for this behavior dependent upon the state, so research any rules and restrictions in your area beforehand.
If you are uncomfortable coming to the therapist directly or are uncertain whether the difficulties you are experiencing are appropriate for their services, you can also schedule an appointment with a family physician or other licensed medical professional. They can evaluate your condition and make a suitable recommendation. If they believe the services of a PT will help, they may also be able to propose a few highly approved choices for your consideration. You may even be able to find a physical therapist that offers their services remotely.
Why Might I Want to See a Physical Therapist?
There are a few situations where a medical professional may refer you to a physical therapist on their own; for instance, if you have suffered a car accident and the therapist’s services will help your body recover from injury and restore mobility. However, these are not the only jobs a PT can perform.
Here are some reasons why you might use physical therapy:
- When experiencing pain or soreness related to joints or muscles
- To improve your mobility or balance, even if you have not suffered an injury
- For reducing or preventing injuries if you play sports or participate in rigorous activities
- To avoid surgery, as a treatment for musculoskeletal ailments can sometimes resolve problems without the need for more extensive procedures
- Because it includes healthy activities that are good for the heart and lungs
- As a means of aging gracefully and preventing body and muscular deterioration
- To assist with after-pregnancy care and postpartum
- As a means to recover after a health occurrence such as a stroke
- To improve conditions or diseases relating to the lungs, heart, or weight
- For reducing and resolving some forms of pain
- To improve your general health and physical fitness
Will Insurance Cover my Physical Therapy?
One of the most common concerns, when people consider physical therapy, is whether or not their insurance will cover the treatment plan. The short answer is: maybe.
Much of the probability relates to which type of insurance you have and the role physical therapy plays in your condition. Many health care plans offer coverage but may need verification that these services are rehabilitative or designed to help you maintain your current state in the presence of medical or health problems that could result in disability. In these circumstances, the service performs preventative and wellness services or helps to manage a more serious, chronic condition.
If in doubt, consult with your insurance about whether they have any coverage in this area, and if so, whether your PT fits under their coverage umbrella.
Finding the Right Physical Therapist for My Needs
If you embark on this recovery or wellness journey, you will likely want the best professional for your needs. Many factors can play a role, and some suggestions can help you choose the right fit.
Consult Your Insurance Network
While this option is undoubtedly limiting, sometimes the most significant consideration is the cost of services. If your insurance covers your PT, you should start by identifying which experts are within the scope of your insurance network. If nothing else, this will narrow the field to a manageable number of options; from there, you can begin considering other virtues to determine which is best.
Request a Referral
If you need help figuring out where to start, you can always seek a recommendation from a doctor or other medical professional you trust. They may have a physical therapist in their network or know one personally. It never hurts to get a list of names for early consideration; you do not have to choose one, but it will allow you additional research. Word of mouth from a professional who knows the therapist may help you quickly find a compatible choice.
Professional Licensure and Skill
This may seem obvious, but ensure that each candidate you consider for therapy is certified. If their credentials are not on ready display, be bold and ask because putting yourself in the hands of an unskilled practitioner can enhance medical conditions or even cause new ailments.
Professional physical therapists should have a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree and have passed a state licensure examination. If you cannot find evidence of these credentials, consider a better option.
Like most professionals, many physical therapists have a specialization in which they excel. Perhaps this is an area of the field they enjoy the most, have spent many years working with, or have a particular knack for performing better than their peers.
When you plan for physical therapy, you likely have a specific treatment in mind or at least a scope of what you wish to accomplish. As you consider options, look for PTs with a lot of experience and excellent reviews when dealing with those specific types of treatment.
For example, suppose you are dealing with a rotator cuff injury and have a candidate specializing in that specific type of injury. In that case, you will likely receive better treatment than a PT who does not have as much experience in that area.
No matter how skillful a practitioner is, if they make you uncomfortable or you cannot build a solid rapport, you will probably not enjoy the best treatment experience. It never hurts to call and talk to them in advance or even schedule a meet and greet to get to know them before you make a final choice on a candidate.
Someone confident, that shows proper respect and is easy to get along with can go a long way when seeking treatment.