There are more than 250,000 physiotherapists working in the U.S. today.
Are you thinking about working with one? Are you unsure of whether or not they can help with your condition?
Do you have questions like “What does a physiotherapist do on a daily basis?” or “How can a physiotherapist help me?”
If so, keep reading. Everything you need to know about these professionals is explained below.
What Does a Physiotherapist Do?
It’s a physiotherapist’s job to work with patients to restore, maintain, and maximize their mobility. They use a variety of tools and techniques to assist with rehabilitation, injury prevention, and general health and fitness.
The following are some of the most common conditions that a physiotherapist can treat:
- Neck and back pain
- Problems that affect the bones, joints, ligaments, and muscles (arthritis, after-effects of amputations, etc.)
- Lung problems
- Disabilities that result from heart problems
- Poor pelvic floor health
- Loss of mobility that’s related to brain trauma and diseases like Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis
Physiotherapists also help patients to manage problems that result from cancer treatment and palliative care, such as fatigue, stiffness, pain, swelling, and a loss of muscle strength.
During a typical day, physiotherapists mainly work with patients face to face. They also spend time doing paperwork and creating rehabilitation plans for their patients to follow outside of the office.
What Is the Difference Between a Doctor and a Physiotherapist?
How do you determine whether to visit a physiotherapist or a medical doctor?
A medical doctor is responsible for preventing and treating a wide range of diseases. Physiotherapists, on the other hand, specialize in issues related to the joints, bones, ligaments, and muscles.
Read Also: Why You Need Sports Physiotherapy
A medical doctor may be able to provide basic relief if you’re dealing with something like a broken bone or an ankle sprain. When it comes to recovering properly from that injury, though, a physiotherapist will likely be able to provide more in-depth, effective care.
Signs You Need to See a Physiotherapist
Are you still unsure about whether or not a physiotherapist is a good fit for you? Here are some signs that indicate you need to see a physiotherapist:
- You have a nagging pain that doesn’t get better
- You’ve noticed changes in your ability to move comfortably
- You’re avoiding movements because you know they’ll cause pain
- You’re struggling with poor balance
You may also benefit from physiotherapy if you’ve noticed changes in certain habits. For example, if you’re dealing with urinary incontinence, you might need to see a physiotherapist who specializes in pelvic floor health.
Tips for Finding a Great Physiotherapist
Do you want to work with a physiotherapist? If so, it’s important to remember that some are better than others. Here are some tips to help you find a great physiotherapist to resolve your injuries or mobility challenges:
Check Their Qualifications
This is the first step to take when searching for a physiotherapist.
Make sure they’re qualified and licensed to work in your area. Find out where they went to school, what their degrees are in, and if they’re in good standing with your state’s professional board.
If you do your research early, you’ll avoid running into a lot of problems later on.
Consider Their Specialty
If you want to have a good experience in physiotherapy, it’s essential that you find a specialist trained to work with patients like you.
Look for a physiotherapist who specializes in the types of symptoms you’re experiencing. For example, do you need a pelvic floor physiotherapist? A physiotherapist who works with people recovering from car accidents?
Look for Someone Local
Most people don’t want to do a lot of traveling to get to their physiotherapy appointments. This is especially true if you’re dealing with chronic pain or trouble with your muscles or joints.
If possible, look for a local practice. That way, you’ll be able to get to your appointments quickly and will be able to attend on a regular basis without having to worry about scheduling conflicts.
It’s always a good idea to read reviews before you choose a physiotherapist. Look at third-party review sites like Yelp to see what past patients have to say about their experiences. This will provide more information about the kind of work the physiotherapist does and the results they can provide.
Ask About Treatment Methods
When coming up with a list of questions to ask a physiotherapist about their job, be sure to include a question about treatment methods. Does the physiotherapist use tools like ultrasound or massage? Do they recommend strength training and stretching exercises?
There are lots of different tools and techniques that physiotherapists can use to treat their patients. Look for someone whose approach lines up with your goals and values.
Make Sure the Price is Right
If you have health insurance, try to find a physiotherapist who accepts your insurance plan. If you don’t have insurance, be sure to ask about pricing so you can find someone whose services work with your budget.
Find out whether or not there are any discounts or payment plans available, too. For example, do they offer a discount if you pay in cash?
Check Their Availability
Finally, ask about availability.
Do their hours work with your schedule? How soon can you get in for an appointment? Do they have a long waiting list?
If you need assistance immediately, you might need to do some calling around to find someone who can see you as soon as possible.
Start Seeing a Physiotherapist Today
Are you ready to book a physiotherapist? Now that you know what they do in a day, do you think they’re the right healthcare professional to resolve your symptoms?
If you want to work with a physiotherapist, keep the tips listed above in mind. They’ll help you find the best person for the job.
Need more advice on how to manage your health and wellness? Check out the Health section of our site today.