Why go to Physical Therapy?
Physical Therapy will improve your motion and give you greater quality of life.  
Research shows that pursuing an exercise program designed by a Physical
Therapist can be one of the best protections from an injury and it can delay or
prevent the need for costly medications and surgery.  Anyone who is experiencing
pain or dysfunction can benefit from Physical Therapy.   

What is the certification of a Physical Therapist?  
Make sure it is a licensed Physical Therapist.  No one else receives the academic
training and clinical expertise to provide physical therapy services but a licensed
Physical Therapist.

What is the educational background of a Physical Therapist?  
Physical Therapists may have Bachelors, Masters or Doctorate degrees.  As the
profession has advanced, so have the educational requirements.  

Who provides the physical therapy treatment?  
A physical therapist is required to perform your initial assessment.  Ask whether
this same physical therapist will be providing subsequent treatments or if the
treatments will be delegated to others (other Physical Therapists, Physical Therapy
Assistants or aides

How many years of experience is suggested for Physical Therapists?
Physical Therapists with at least 3 years of experience are best suited to treat
patients with more complicated diagnoses, but even those with less experience are
qualified to treat you.  No matter how many years of experience, a good Physical
Therapist will empower you with self-directed, active treatments that you can
perform independently in addition to passive treatments as necessary.

What should the facility be like?  
You want a facility that has a variety of updated rehabilitation equipment.  You
deserve personal attention with emphasis on details to accommodate your
individual needs.  You will be attending this facility regularly, so make sure you are
comfortable there and that it is conveniently located near your home or office.  
Also check that the available hours of operation will meet your needs.

What insurances are accepted?  
Check to see if your insurance is accepted or ask about private pay
accommodations.  Remember that you have a right to choose where you receive
your care.

Does the facility offer “direct access”?  
Licensed direct access sites can provide physical therapy without a prescription.  
You can be treated in these facilities more quickly since you do not need to see a
physician first.

How does a Physical Therapist define physical fitness?
To be physically fit, one must have a properly aligned and balanced body, flexible
yet strong muscles, an efficient heart, healthy lungs, and a good ratio of body fat
to lean mass.  Being perfectly fit does not come easy; it is something we all should
continually work towards in our daily routines.

Will physical therapy be painful?
The only normal pains you should encounter with any exercise are delayed onset
muscle soreness (usually felt as muscle pain 24-48 hours after a strenuous
workout) or the burning sensation that occurs during exercise due to muscle
fatigue.  If you experience any other joint or body pain during exercise, you should
discuss it with your Physical Therapist.  The only treatments that may elicit an
“acceptable amount of pain” are deep tissue/trigger point release and stretching of
severely tight joints.

Should I stretch prior to exercising?  
While it is important to warm-up prior to exercising, it is most beneficial to stretch
your muscles after they are warm.  Stretching prior to exercise will not hurt you,
but you will be able to stretch more effectively afterwards.  A good warm-up is to
perform the activity you are about to engage in at a less intense, slower pace for
about 10 minutes.

Should I seek treatment for recurring “aches”?  
Yes.  Aches signify the early stages of an underlying problem.  There are some
simple treatments and education about reducing the cause of the problem that can
eliminate it altogether as well as prevent future problems.  
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