A physical therapist can help you recover if you’ve ever been in an accident, suffered an injury or have come out of surgery wherein your body has lost some or a good part of its mobility. Not only that, they can also help you to relieve the pain so moving about does not make you cringe because of it.
As with any profession, physical therapists come in many different shapes and sizes. What this means is that in order to get the best therapist for you, you need to look for certain qualities and traits that put the one you’re looking for above the rest.Academically, it goes without saying that they need to have the proper education. This is not really something that will vary much from therapist to therapist since they are all required to attend an accredited therapy program and school. Perhaps if you want to be picky you can choose one that graduated from a high level or ivy league type school.
Then there’s the certifications and licenses. The license is required but the certifications are not – at least depending on the state that you live in. It is however a sign that the therapist has continued with his or her education and training if they have certifications to that effect. This means that they may be more up to date with exercises and therapy techniques because of it.
All these technical and academic requirements aside you also want to look at the actual person that you will be placing yourself with. This is also important since they will be the one who will be helping you get over your pain and get your range of motion and mobility back so they had better be good.
Listening and understanding is important and a good physical therapist should have that. The ability to listen to their patient is important before and especially during the therapy. This is because it is how they will be able to know what the patient is feeling so that they not only will be able to know what the problems the patient is facing are but also what the patient is feeling during the therapy process.
Why? As an example, say you, the patient feels a lot of pain when you do a certain exercise. A non-listening therapist will simply tell you to go with the pain and that it means the therapy is doing its job. A listening therapist will inquire as to how often and how strong the pain is and will then adjust the exercise accordingly to lessen the burden on you.
The reason is this: the pain you’re feeling is probably an indication that something is about to go wrong. If you have the non-listening therapist you may wind up potentially more injured than when you first came in – not a good result in anyone’s book.
Other than people skills they also need to be optimistic and confident but humble at the same time. Being negative is not something patients want to hear and if they hear that they may simply stop going to the therapy sessions altogether. A confident therapist will also give them confidence that they moving forward so they can get back to how they once were.
See what a physical therapist is in Deborah Koval.