View Full Version : physical therapy advice needed

Red in Chicago
04-08-2007, 05:26 PM
Without getting into all the drama, my doctor has suggested that I get some physical therapy for my back and leg due to a fall last month. I have never been through any physical therapy, so the concept is foreign to me.

How do you go about finding a physical therapist? What can I expect? Are there certain credentials I should look for? If you've gone through this, have you had any trouble with your insurance carriers? As many of you know, I'm a bit germ phobic, so I'm not really thrilled about a lot of touching on someone's equipment ;)

Thanks very much in advance.

04-08-2007, 05:47 PM
I went to a PT about two years ago for a torn labrum. Rather than have surgery, we just did 6 months of lengthy rehab and that seemed to do the trick.

I didn't really shop around for one, my doctor gave me list of six clinics that were in the area and I picked the one that was closest to my work and was open late. I walked in, gave them my info and the guy immediately started running some strength tests on me to see where we were at. Then he sat down and worked out a plan with me. X amount of weeks we'll be doing this, three times a week I'll be doing that, and so on.

I was immediately comfortable with my Therapist. That's probably the most important thing I would say - get someone whom you think you can trust, because you'll do some weird things and push your limits and you need to feel that it's accomplishing something.

My wife had to go to one as well last year - she had a similarly good experience. They'll give you "homework" as well, exercises for you to do every day. Some could be simple and others more intensive.

I have an HMO thru my work - and it was just a copay per visit of $15 (I did have to pay for the initial consultation though) and I also ended up buying some workout bands & a ball when my time was up to continue at home.

I would definitely say it was a good experience. My PT helped explain exactly what the injury was, and why we were doing different exercises & activities and how they worked different muscles groups around my injured area.

04-08-2007, 08:33 PM
My son just went through PT for surgery on his achilles tendons. His Dr set up the PT with the local hospital that has a PT branch. Did you ask your Dr for recommendations?

04-08-2007, 08:47 PM
Your Dr needs to refer you.

I haven't lived in Chicago for a lot of years, but back when I did, I went to both Rush and Northwestern for PT and had good success with both places.

04-08-2007, 08:57 PM
Although they're my competition, I would agree that Rush does a good job in the city. You can also check with the Illinois Bone and Joint institute, they're very well regarded as well.

04-08-2007, 10:28 PM
I've done PT on my knee for ACL and had a terrible experience, but mainly because it was done at the campus health center at BGSU, which had all the atmosphere of a medieval torture chamber. Note that this is not where the BGSU athletes do their PT.

On the other hand, I've had to do PT twice on my back. Your Dr. should have a pretty good idea of which ones are good for what ails you. As far as insurance goes, make sure you know what coverage you have. You can do this by calling your carrier or the PT place might do it when you schedule. Different insurance carriers have different restrictions. For example, I am limited to 25 PT visits a year, which kind of stinks if you have a disc problem like I do and really want to avoid surgery.