An estimated 16 million people in the U.S. suffer from chronic back pain.

If it gets severe enough, that can cause a serious disruption in your day. If you suffer from ongoing pain, you might find yourself calling out of work or missing out on participating in fun activities with your kids.

Fortunately, working with a physical therapist can help. However, not all physical therapists are created equally.

So, how do you choose the right one for your needs?

We’re here to help. Read through this guide to learn about the most important things to consider when choosing a physical therapist.

Your first step to a less painful life starts now.

Ask Your Doctor for a Recommendation

When you’ve determined that you need physical therapy to help treat ongoing pain, it can be overwhelming knowing where to start.

Instead of trying to figure it all out on your own, ask your primary care physician if they have a recommendation for a respected physical therapist.

Since your doctor is familiar with your medical history and the extent of your injuries, they can refer you to a PT who can help get you back to feeling your best.

Look for a Specialist

The type of injury you have may determine the type of physical therapist you should visit.

For example, if you have a knee injury, you’ll want to work with a physical therapist who has plenty of experience in helping patients recover from similar injuries.

While searching for the right physical therapist for your needs, browse through their website, or give them a call to learn more about any specialized services they may offer.

Work With a Certified Physical Therapist

Before choosing a physical therapist, you’ll want to confirm with them that they’re properly licensed and certified.

Any reputable physical therapist will be happy to provide proof of licenses and certifications. This helps give you peace of mind that you’ll receive the best possible treatment and that your health is in good hands.

If you suspect that you’re going to a PT who is not licensed, don’t go back, as this could lead to further aggravating your injury.

Read References and Reviews

Do you read through reviews before making an online purchase? If you take that much care when ordering a t-shirt or a small kitchen appliance, shouldn’t you do the same when choosing a physical therapist?

Before you choose a PT for treatment, take some time to read through references and reviews from previous patients. To start, visit their social media profiles and see what people have to say about their physical therapy experience.

And don’t just read the positive reviews! Read the negative ones too, before making your own decision.

By reading through several reviews, you’ll get a good idea of what to expect if you choose that clinic for your treatment.

Check to See If They Accept Your Insurance

If you have health insurance, this helps reduce the out-of-pocket costs of your physical therapy treatment.

Of course, if you choose a clinic that doesn’t accept your insurance plan, you’ll have to pay for everything yourself.

Here at Socal Elite Physical Therapy, we’re proud to accept most major insurance plans, so you won’t have to worry about the cost of your treatment.

We also offer affordable cash rates for our services, if that works better for your needs. This helps you to focus on your recovery, first and foremost.

Ask About an At-Home Treatment Plan

In most cases, working through PT exercises at your appointment alone is not enough for a proper recovery.

Before deciding to work with a particular physical therapist, ask them if they’ll provide you with an at-home treatment plan that you can do between appointments.

Think it’s not really that important to follow a physical therapy treatment plan? Think again!

One study showed that patients with lower back pain who work with a physical therapist are 15% less likely to have to visit an emergency department for their pain.

Of course, once you talk to your PT about an at-home treatment plan to follow, don’t forget to actually follow it. This can help speed up your recovery and help you feel like the best version of yourself.

Consider the Location of the Clinic

During the course of your research for the best physical therapist for your needs, don’t forget to consider where the office is located.

You can find the best PT in the whole state, but if it’s located an hour away from your home, it’s probably not the best choice for you.

Instead, look for a clinic that’s within a 15 or 20-minute drive, so it’s easy for you to get your appointments on time without a hassle.

Socal Elite Physical Therapy proudly serves all of Orange County, with three convenient locations in Irvine, Tustin, and Costa Mesa.

Try to Develop a Rapport

The truth of the matter is that it might take you a while to find the perfect physical therapist for your needs. And, just because a PT has all the right qualifications, it doesn’t mean it will be a good fit for you.

Because working through an injury or ongoing pain is a process, you’ll want to choose a physical therapist with whom you can develop a good rapport.

Of course, you won’t know this until you’ve had an appointment or two. If you choose a physical therapist and then it doesn’t seem like a good fit, don’t be afraid to search for another option until you make your final decision.

Here for Your Physical Therapy Needs

Now that you know what to consider when choosing a physical therapist, we hope you’ll agree that Socal Elite Physical Therapy is the right choice for you!

We offer a variety of services, including injury prevention, reconditioning, and more to help you feel your best.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can meet all of your physical therapy needs.