5 Questions to Ask Before Choosing Your Physical Therapist


If you have a chronic illness or acute injury that gives rise to pain or damage to your functional mobility, you may need to seek treatment from a physical therapist. Typically you will be referred to a physical therapist (PT) via your primary care physician, orthopedic surgeon, neurosurgeon, or other practitioner from whom you are receiving care. Depending on the patient’s insurance provider, he or she may be able to choose from a list of physical therapists in their medical plan and schedule an appointment without a referral. It is best to talk to your primary care doctor first, as he or she may have recommendations for physical therapists they trust. Similarly, you may have friends or family that have attended physical therapy and have trustworthy recommendations.

There are many critical questions that are important to ask in order to choose the physical therapist that is best for you. The questions listed below act as a guideline. We recommend that you prepare for your appointment by bringing a notepad with your questions already written, and room below to jot down the answers during your appointment. By asking the appropriate questions, you will be better able to make an informed choice regarding your treatment. In addition, take into account the advantage of bringing a family member or friend to help you take notes and form an opinion.

Here are the 5 questions

1. What do you expect from me?

2. Have you worked with patients with my condition before?

3. How can physical therapy help my condition?

4. How many times a week, and for how long, should I come to obtain results?

5. Can I perform any exercises to aid my treatment at home?

Once you find a physical therapist that you like, stay engaged in your treatment by asking questions and keeping up with “homework”. Asking questions during your treatment is an excellent way to maintain strong lines of communication to make the most of your visits.