What Questions Should I Ask my Physical Therapist?


Communication is an important component of quality care. We’ve narrowed down a few key questions to help you build an open dialogue with your physical therapist (PT).

Do you have a certification, or do you specialize in my injury or diagnosis?

Often, if the PT is is an expert at treating your specific injury or diagnosis, you’ll experience reduced recovery times.

Does the clinic take my medical insurance?

If the clinic does accept your insurance, then you’re good to go! Just have your information ready when you give the office a call to book your appointment. (Don’t have a clinic picked out yet? Use GetPT to find the perfect PT office in your area; be sure to narrow your search by insurance type.)

If the clinic does not take your insurance and you’d still like to receive therapy there, then I recommend asking whether the practice offers a cash-pay option and/or payment plans. Establishing payment expectations can relieve a lot of stress for both you and the front office staff at the clinic.

No medical insurance? No problem. As mentioned above, many clinics have a cash-pay option available; some even have payment plans.

How many patients do you typically see at one time?

Some PTs see several patients at a time; others subscribe to a one-on-one methodology. Which one is more beneficial? This boils down to a matter of preference. There is no evidence supporting the conclusion that one type of care is more beneficial than the other. That being said, if you feel you need more individualized attention, then go for a PT who practices with one patient at a time.

Will you be the only PT treating me?

Again, this one is a matter of preference, but it’s a preference that could make or break your experience. A clinic might schedule you with the most readily available therapist depending on your schedule and appointment times, and that therapist might not be the one you’re accustomed to seeing. If that kind of switcheroo doesn’t jive with you, make sure you can always have the same PT.

What can I do—as the patient—to aid in my recovery?

Most physical therapy rehabilitation plans will require you to do some homework to get better. Ask what is expected of you so you can reach your goals.

Ultimately, the best therapy experience is only possible if there’s an open dialogue. Ask questions, and give feedback. You’re the customer, so make sure you’re communicating what you need out of your therapy. Still have lingering questions? Ask us below.

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