Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Finding a Physical Therapist

MagsMMags Posts: 57
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:28 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi everyone. I want to make sure before I go back to my dr on the 30th and discuss PT that I have educated myself on the physical therapists in my area. I did call my dr to find out if he had someone in particular that he prefers and it doesn't seem that he does. So with that in mind what are some specific questions I should ask when I call around to the PT's in my area? Thanks!


  • That's a shame he doesn't have knowledge of PT people to help the patient. He should be more caring.

    The surgeon that did my operations was very specific with who he wanted me to see and what movements to do.
    The gal's name is Linda Huey and she has written books for low back surgery patients like us. Her focus is aquatherapy PT.
    The guy sent his Sister to her and that was a good endorsement in my eyes.

    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
  • Hi,
    Im not sure what type of surgery you have had done, or procedure so keep in mind that this is just generalized from my own experience.
    My NS also had no real preference on a physical therapist, but did have a suggestion and I took there suggestion. I have been in physical therapy four times in my life and have found that the best physical therapists for me are the ones who listen to what you have to say and are interested in knowing what your feeling physically. As far as what movements you can or cant do, that varies from person to person once restrictions are released by the surgeon. I know I was able to more than some and less than some, but the difference was that the therapist took the time to evaluate and tailor make my sessions. Aqua therapy seems to work great for people. I have had both aqua and ground and both have worked equally as well for the circumstances of that time. Ask as many ?'s as you can, then you will know which ones are listening and are planning in there head how to help you as well as who takes the time to answer them. I hope that helps some. I wish you had been given a suggestion. Keep us updated
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,856
    that your doctor is not making any recommendations for a Physical Therapist or he doesnt event know.
    All the times I have been to Physical Therapy, it was the doctor who provided the rehab center to go to. Many times, the doctor knew that specific treatments that I need could really be best done by PT#1 and PT#2.
    I have relied on the doctors input for sending me to the right Physical Therapist

    Now in terms of you doing this homework, what exactly is your condition and what type of treatments do your doctor want you to have. Knowing that will make a big difference.

    For examples:
    Your doctor wants someone who specializes in shoulders, so he sends you to a place where a therapist handles that.
    Your doctor might want Aqua Therapy as well as Land Therapy.
    Then you need to find out what center do have Therapeutic

    So you can see, knowing what the condition is is so important in determining what physical therapist you should be seeing.

    Personally, I would ask your doctor again. Ask him based on your condition, what therapist should you be seeing
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Nurses and doctors are often a good source of information. You might try calling your local hospitals and ask for the orthopedic floor, and then talk with one of the RNs. Sometimes you can tell from the name of the physical therapy clinic if they have a specialty. For example, the one I went to was called Spinal Dynamics. When you call the clinic, you will have to be fairly insistent to get good information, as they will probably tell you their therapists are well-trained in all areas, etc. You will need to ask specific questions like "Do you have a therapist that works exclusively on spine cases?" Or, "do you have someone who has additional training in the spine?" Or, "do you have someone who has a special interest in the back and spine?" If there are many facilities, look through the Yellow Pages to see if you can glean anything from their ad or visit their website before you call, to narrow down your choices.

    If there are some spinal clinics in your area, you could call them and ask who they recommend. You can ask around any group you might attend...church, clubs, the grocery store, etc. Seems like half the population has had spine surgery or has a friend or relative who had it.
  • I'm sorry, I didn't communicate this very well. My surgeon does make recommendations. But when I asked his nurse I was told that he would probably send me to a clinic near my home. I'm sure they are all very good...there are many in my area. However, I'm just unsure of the specific questions to ask (such as those indicated by Gwennie) when I call these centers to try to narrow my choices. I would like to have some knowledge about them before I go back to see my surgeon so that when we do discuss PT we'll definitely be on the same page about what to expect from this aspect of my recovery. I just feel that if I'm well informed I can help make better decisions for myself and there's less miscommunication and confusion between my surgeon and me. Thanks and sorry for not making myself clear.
  • I would specifically look for a clinic with therapists who specialise in rehabilitation of spinal surgery patients. Many clinics will say that they do this but in reality they are just general purpose clinics treating anything from sports injuries, run of the mill back pain, etc., etc. A good indication would be if they have formal spinal surgery rehab program, relating to your surgery area (e.g. lumbar, cervical)

    The PT clinic that I was referred to (sorry I am in Singapore) had a formal spinal surgery rehab program, including specialised MEDX machines for spinal rehab, and when I delved into the background of my therapist I found out that she used to work in the spinal surgery ward at a large hospital.

    So, the questions that I would suggest are:

    1. Does the clinic have a formal spinal rehab program?
    2. If so, what does the program comprise? How long is the program?
    3. Who is the therapist that would be assigned to you and what is his/her specific experience in spinal surgery rehab?
    4. Can you talk to any current or past patients as a reference check?
    Keep positive!


    ...an old timer here and ex-moderator

  • Thanks Bruce! That gives me more to go on. I also neglected in the last post to say I had a PLIF at L4-L5. There is one clinic I have in mind that I think does specialize in spinal rehab and I'm going to begin by calling them in the morning. At any rate, I feel confident that I should be able to find a clinic that is right for me! Likely, I will be back with more questions, but thanks for now. -mags-
  • You might also ask if you will work with the same therapist each visit, or if you will be expected to rotate among them. Actually there are good reasons for each way of doing things...but I've always preferred working with the same person, assuming you like him/her!

    (That being said, the one time "my" woman was not available, and I had a different one, she showed me one particular movement that I use every single day...and turned out to be the most useful and valuable thing I learned. She teaches anatomy at one of the local universities and had a different approach to things, and it turned out to be a very good experience.)
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,856
    a very good point. When I have gone to PT, I do always make sure I have the same therapist. When you work with one person, they get to know your body so much better. They can tell by just seeing you walk how you are progressing
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • These are great things to know before calling. Thanks so much for all your input. I can't help but feel like the whole PT thing could possibly end up something like a circus if I don't do my homework first. And without all of you and SH I would have just gone where told without asking questions first. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences with the rest of us and for sometimes answering the same questions over and over and over and...... :)))
Sign In or Register to comment.