New U Physical Therapy in Staten Island - PHYSICALTHERAPYSI.COM

How to Choose Your Physical Therapist

Number one thing to look for when choosing a physical therapist is to choose the one who cares about his/her image. Those are usually found in an independent facility designed specifically for physical therapy. Avoid multi specialty clinics, which offer physical therapy, very often those have unspoken arrangements between health care professionals and patient’s interests become a secondary concern. Avoid physician owned physical therapy offices, those usually claim to have physical therapy, but in most cases are run by unlicensed individuals who are clueless in what real therapy should be. These types of facilities do not care about the well being of their patients, their primary goal is getting in as many tests and procedures to take huge lumps of money from the insurance companies. Always inquire if the physical therapist is licensed, certified massage therapist has no right to perform physical therapy. His/her training usually lasts few weeks, while physical therapist goes through intense education for 6-7 years. Do not trust your health to imposters, mere massage can make your condition significantly worse if done for the wrong reason.

Real Life Story

Few weeks ago I had an elderly, Russian speaking patient who came to see me for a problem with her neck. She had severe pain for period of few days, limited ability to turn head, accompanied by head aches. Her medical history revealed elevated blood pressure and a history of breast cancer. As I proceeded with evaluation, she made a statement that she does not need physical therapy because it does not help. I asked her why than she came to see me. Her response was that electric procedures with heating modalities make her feel worse. I had to explain to her that these modalities are nothing, but a tiny component of physical therapy treatment and in her case they are counter indicated due to history of cancer. She was very surprised to learn this information, because few months ago her primary care physician send her to “physical therapy” in his office, where her treatment consisted of heat and electric stimulation, topped by some massage. Electric modalities such as TENS and Ultrasound promote the growth of cancer cells and are almost never to be performed with cancer survivors; any physical therapist would know that.

Don’t settle for anything less than a healthcare professional who is licensed and cares about you and your feedback about his/her service.