After coping with an injury, it generally “takes a village” to get yourself back to proper health. In order to fulfill your duties and keep your home in check, you may rely on friends and family to help with tasks that you can’t do yourself. You may find yourself looking for help from auto accident attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers if someone else was at fault for the accident that caused your injury. But when it comes to actually handling the issue itself, you’re going to need the added support of a skilled physical therapist, especially if the injury is serious.
The Role of Physical Therapy
Whether you’re involved in an accident, or a skilled athlete coping with an injury, a physical therapist is generally an important component of getting your body back to its normal capacity. According to physical therapist and athletic trainer Dr. Trent D. Stone, the director of rehabilitation at Effingham Spine & Sport in Rincon, Georgia, “Physical therapists will examine a patient to determine if there are weak or inflexible muscles in the body that could make you more prone to an injury.” After this initial “feeling out process,” your physical therapist will move forward with a regimen that fits your situation.
It’s important to mention that a physical therapist’s work can cover a wide swath of potential situations. For example, if you’re only dealing with a minor injury and just want to make sure that you get back to proper function, you may only need a few sessions with a therapist, along with exercises and other advice to perform at home. However, if you are dealing with a severe loss of function or similar situation, they can also work with you over a period of months to get you back to where you used to be.
To put things in perspective, look at this list of situations where physical therapy can help out, courtesy of Kinext Rehab:
- Tendon or Ligament issues (i.e. ACL injury)
- Rheumatoid or Osteoarthritis
- Muscle strain
- Back Pain
- Auto or Bike Accident Injuries
- Work-related injuries or falls
- Post-operative healing
- Parkinson’s Disease
In addition to helping you recover via stretches and exercises, a physical therapist is also an education provider as well. They will help you with added advice on how to take better care of your affected body part, as well as avoid future injury. Because of the short-term and long-term impact a physical therapist has on your body, you want to be sure that you find one that is a match for you.
Finding A Physical Therapist
So, you think you need a physical therapist. Where do you think you should start? Ideally, you’ll have a doctor that you trust enough to follow their recommendation, but by no means are you limited to what they suggest. The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) explains that all states allow you to consult a physical therapist without a doctor’s recommendation, so if you don’t have a regular doctor, or are looking for something in particular, you can search independently for something that works for you. A lot of people use physical therapy, even those who aren’t seriously injured or impacted. As a result, it may not be a bad idea to ask people you trust in your circle for some added advice/suggestions.
One thing you should keep in your mind if you’re searching independently is the fact that a lot of physical therapists have certain areas of specialization. For people looking to recover from injury, they may want to search for those who look at the appropriate specific area of the body. Have a wrist injury from a car crash? Look for a therapist who does a lot of work with wrists. These specializations also apply to other areas, such as care for women post-pregnancy, stroke rehabilitation, even care for children.
When you’re searching for a physical therapist, it’s important to remember that you want someone who’s more than good at their job. Just like any medical professional, a good physical therapist is good at serving and communicating with the people that they serve. When you’re having that initial contact with a therapist and their staff, try to find someone who is attentive, caring, and creative when it comes to meeting your needs. This could help make your recovery process that much easier to go through.