We have a lot of choices when it comes to choosing a health care provider, including a Physical Therapist. When we have so many choices it can be very difficult to decide what to do, let alone feel confident we are making the best decision. Unfortunately, this leads to a lot of people who simply don’t make a decision and continue to suffer with pain for weeks, months and even years. Not only are these people suffering with pain, they struggle to do the activities they need or want to do.
I hear so many stories from patients that “just thought it would get better”. Sometimes it does, but for many the pain continues to be a constant annoyance, or it comes and goes without warning.
Please don't let this be you! Don't suffer any longer!
There is almost always something that can be done in Physical Therapy to significantly reduce or even eliminate your pain. You can also learn how to prevent it from coming back…this is a HUGE BONUS!
Choosing the right Physical Therapist is important and can help ensure you get the best outcome from your treatment, but before we go any further…
First, I’m going to tell you is this…
Regardless of who you choose, the single most important factor in getting the outcome you want from Physical Therapy is YOU!
I’m not discounting the importance of working with a good Physical Therapist for proper treatment and guidance. That is very important!
But nothing is as important as the VALUE you place on your health and your level of COMMITMENT to improving your health. That is what will have the greatest impact on your outcome…more than anything else.
The best way to explain this is to tell you about Kevin and Cindy. I’ve changed the names and a few of the details for privacy purposes, but I hope this will help me explain. They both came to me with back pain, but only one of them had the positive outcome they hoped for from Physical Therapy…despite both having access to the same specialist with the same skills and experience.
Neither one of them were “right” or “wrong”, “good” or “bad”. They simply had different attitudes about their health and valued different things.
Kevin initially hurt his back moving some things around in his garage and suffered with lower back pain on and off for a little over a year prior to coming to our clinic. Each time his pain returned it seemed to be a little worse and it took longer to recover. He occasionally tried rest, ibuprofen and took a break from his workouts until his pain finally resolved, but when his pain returned this time it really set him back. He had to take a few days off work and missed out on a camping trip with his friends.
Kevin arrived (about 10 min late) for his initial evaluation and within a few minutes we discovered what was causing his pain. We discussed the plan to correct the problem and how he could prevent it from returning…again and again! Kevin missed his next appointment. He went on to complete 3 more visits but missed a few sessions between the visits he did attend. He was really busy at work and it was the middle of summer…he often reported he didn’t have time to do the things he was asked to do at home. He simply had other things to do that were more important to him. Again, not right or wrong, this is just where he was at. He admitted his back pain was better than when he started but had not completely resolved. He was “managing”. Kevin cancelled his next appointment due to a conflict with a meeting at work and never rescheduled.
So it’s not that Physical Therapy didn’t work for Kevin, it was working according to the amount of effort he was giving at the time.
Now, let me tell you about Cindy. Cindy hurt her back when she was playing with her grandson on the floor. She was fine until she stood up and felt a sharp pain in her lower back. Much like Kevin, Cindy’s pain eventually got better in time with rest and heat, but it kept coming back and was limiting her ability to work in her garden, take her evening walks with her husband and play with her grandson.
After about 9 months of suffering Cindy found her way to our clinic. She had already been to her physician who told her she didn’t need surgery or injections and that losing some weight might help, but there really wasn’t much more he could do for her. He told her “it’s a normal part of aging”…and she’s only 52! She tried losing weight but found it difficult since she couldn’t walk very far without pain. She wasn’t ready or willing to give up! She wanted more in life! A friend of hers recommended she come see us to see if we could help.
It didn’t take long to figure out what was causing her lower back pain and we established a plan to correct the problem, get her back to her walking program, gardening and enjoying her grandson. Cindy never missed an appointment, she always arrived on time (often she was a few minutes early) and diligently did everything she was asked to do at home. Cindy often commented on how important her health was to her, especially since she had experienced how it felt to have pain limit her ability to live life the way she wanted. She was willing to do whatever she could. She NEVER wanted to feel that way again. Her back pain resolved, and she has gone on to lose 15 pounds. She says she feels better than she has in years!
Cindy did everything she could to get the most out of her investment in Physical Therapy and it paid off. Kevin experienced some positive change, but not quite the result he really wanted.
So, as I said before…YOUR chances of having a positive outcome from ANY Physical Therapist you choose, largely depends on the VALUE you place your health and your WILLINGNESS to fully participate in your treatment by investing the time and money necessary to get the results you want.
With that said, there are a few other key factors to consider when choosing a Physical Therapist, beyond clinic location and hours.
How much time do you need or want with your Physical Therapist?
Do you prefer to see the same Physical Therapist every time?
There are no right or wrong answers to the above questions, but they are important factors in your decision, the experience you expect and the outcome you desire.
At Purely Primal Physical Therapy & Wellness we offer a FREE 20 MINUTE DISCOVERY VISIT that gives you a chance to discover all these things. You get a chance to DISCOVER if you think we can help you with your problem AND we get to decide if we think we can help you.
And if we can’t help…we’ll help you find someone who can!
Plus, you’ll get to meet our staff and experience our clinic. You get all of this BEFORE you commit to a treatment plan.
We’d love to hear from you and would be happy to answer your questions. Please email me at email@example.com. I read and respond to every email.
Best in Health,
Dr. Julie Krueger
6/23/2020 08:29:31 am
I'm glad you mentioned that it's okay if we're more comfortable with a physical therapist of a certain gender. I've been wanting to improve my well-being while we stay at home during quarantine by finding a physical therapist service to work with remotely. Thanks for sharing this info and giving me a better idea of what to expect as I reach out to a therapy service!
6/23/2020 10:38:55 am
I'm glad you found the blog helpful as you look for a physical therapist to help you with your health goals. If you are looking for a remote physical therapy service we may be able to help. Our telehealth services are available to anyone who lives in the state of Oregon. If you're in another state many clinics across the country have started to offer remote telehealth services, so I'm sure you will find someone in your area. Let me know if you have any questions or if I can help in any way.
8/5/2020 11:26:42 am
I found it really interesting when you said to consider their gender. My sister recently injured her knee while playing volleyball a couple of weeks go, and she was telling me last night about how she wants to make sure that she can find the right physical therapist to help her. I'll make sure to pass this information along to her so that she can know how to find the right one to help her with her knee.
8/5/2020 12:51:57 pm
5/25/2021 06:20:32 am
Thanks for the tip to ask for the same physical therapist if you liked the last one because they might not send you to them the second time. My wife wants the same therapist to help her out. Once she finds a place to go to, I'll tell her to ask for the same person everytime if she likes their work.
5/25/2021 07:05:54 am
I'm glad you found my blog helpful. I hope your wife has a good experience in Physical Therapy! If we can help in any way feel free to give our office a call.
6/24/2021 09:54:16 pm
I appreciated it when you shared that it is important to find someone which whom you feel confident to help you with your specific problem. My friend just mentioned the other day that she has been dealing with her movement after she was involved in an accident a few months ago. I will suggest to her looking for a reliable place that offers physical therapy for her.
6/25/2021 07:10:32 am
I'm glad you found this helpful and hope your friend is able to find someone to help her. If they are in our area have your friend give us a call. We'd be happy to help if we can!
8/5/2021 11:37:57 am
You made an interesting point when you talked about how the experience you expect will dictate what kind of physical therapist you will work with. My mother recently had surgery on her knee and is going to need to do physical therapy so that she can help it heal. I think my mom would prefer to take the process slowly, so it would be a good idea for her to find a physical therapist that will work slowly.
8/6/2021 10:06:44 am
Thomas, I'm glad to hear your mother will be going to physical therapy after surgery. Everyone heals and progresses at a different rate and needs a program customized to their individual situation. A good physical therapist will be in tune with that and will know when it's appropriate to push forward or when to slow things down. If she is uncomfortable with something she should feel free to express that and work WITH her therapist to reach her goals. I wish her the best! If there is anything I can do to help, please let me know.
7/15/2022 11:28:55 am
It was helpful when you said to consider the issue you need help for. My sister was at my house last night for dinner, and she was talking to me about how she wants to see a physical therapist for her back pain. I'll pass this information along to her as she searches for a physical therapist that she can see.
7/18/2022 03:37:08 pm
Kate, I'm glad you found this helpful and hope it can help your sister find a physical therapist that is a good fit to help her with her back pain. If she's in our area we'd be happy to help if we can!
8/8/2022 07:01:59 am
I liked how this post shared that we should choose a physical therapist that can confidently address our specific problems. My husband has been complaining about his back pain. I think it's time for him to see a physical therapist for proper treatment.
8/8/2022 12:15:54 pm
Victoria, I'm glad you found my blog helpful! If you're in our area I'd love to see if we can help your husband with his back pain, it's one of the areas I specialize in. Either way I hope he seeks treatment sooner rather than later to get some much needed relief.
Comments are closed.
Helping active adults FINALLY get rid of their aches, pains and injuries, so they can keep moving, stay active and improve their health naturally - without pain medication, injections or surgery.
Oregon City, OR
Dr. Julie Krueger