Any patient who sees a healthcare practitioner, especially if he or she does so on an ongoing basis, wants to get value for money. A noticeable way that you'll get value from visiting a physical therapist is that you can notice improvements in the condition that compelled you to seek treatment. However, if you chose to seek physical therapy for a health issue that will take a long time to correct, immediate improvements may not be apparent. Here are some other indicators that you should watch for, as they suggest that you're getting good value for your money.
Your Therapist Changes Things Up
A physical therapist who is conscientious won't hesitate to change things up regarding your treatment plan. Instead of being determined that the initial treatment plan was the right one, a good therapist will be open to trying different things — especially if you're not seeing the results that you want in a timely fashion. This is much better value for you, as a patient, than a therapist who takes the approach of telling you, "Things might not have changed yet, but let's give it another month of sessions before we think about making any changes."
Your Sessions Aren't Like Your Homework
A big element of physical therapy is getting "homework" — in other words, being assigned stretches and exercises to perform at home. If your physical therapist is simply putting you through these stretches and exercises for a significant percentage of each appointment, you're not getting the most value. For example, you can perform these things at home; what you need during your appointment is hands-on care that you can't do on your own. A physical therapist whose sessions with you don't involve any practicing of your exercises, other than perhaps having you demonstrate them quickly so that it's clear you're doing them correctly, is giving you value.
The Gap Between Sessions Widens
Sometimes, injuries heal slowly and don't need regular physical therapy sessions. A good therapist who wants to provide you value knows this, and may suggest increasing the amount of time between your appointments. For example, if you've been visiting the clinic once a week, the therapist may eventually advocate coming once every two weeks. You'll still do your homework in the meantime, and you may continue to progress at the desired rate — all while getting lots of value because you aren't paying for unnecessary therapy appointments.
Contact a clinic, like BEAT Physical Therapy, for more help.