home intro relationships exercise Sheryl's
tips for
getting by

What you should know before choosing a physical therapist

Selecting a physical therapist is up to you. Don't be embarrassed to "shop around" until you find one with whom you have good chemistry.

  • Physical therapists have different educational backgrounds, specialities, and work experiences, making one more suited to your needs than another. You may want to seek out a neurologic clinical specialist (NCS) -- a physical therapist who has had advanced training/practice in neurology and has passed a specialty exam certifying them in the "examination, evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of individuals with movement or functional problems."
  • To find a neurological physical therapist in your area, go to: http://www.apta.org and click on Find a PT. Enter your zip code and your preferred distance for travel. Then select "Neurologic" under the expertise drop down menu item. to search a national database of physical therapist members of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).
  • Look for a physical therapy facility near your home or work. Convenient location and hours are important as you will likely be going there two or three times per week.
  • Visit multiple facilities to determine where you feel most comfortable.
  • A larger facility with several therapists allows each one to draw on the experiences of the others as necessary.
  • Most states allow you to see a physical therapist without a physician's referral first, but your insurance policy may require a visit to the primary care physician first or limit your access to only preferred providers.
  • Insurance should cover an annual assessment that allows the physical therapist to update a home exercise program, perform a brief "tune-up," or address specific goals, such as balance retraining.
  • Ask the physical therapy clinic if they participate with your insurance company and/or will submit claims on your behalf. Some policies require co-payments for services and the co-payment will be dependent on if the physical therapist is part of the insurer's provider network. You will also have to meet your deductible.


 What to expect from physical therapy

People with Parkinson's benefit from working with a physical therapist at various stages in the course of their disease progression. With each onset of new neurological problems, the physical therapist can help improve the quality of life and ease stresses often related to physical limitations.

Your first visit should include an evaluation and a discussion of the findings. Based on this information, you and your therapist should set specific goals that you would like to achieve during your course of therapy, agree on a timetable to achieve these goals, and develop a plan of care including direct interventions to help you meet your goals.

Jean & Dr. Becky Farley

Jean and Dr. Becky Farley at a PWR GYM training session for physical therapists

A physical therapist can help you:

  • Design an individualized program to address your specific physical limitations.
  • Learn stretches and exercises that can be done at home to improve range of motion, posture, strength, flexibility, and endurance.
  • Evaluate and treat mobility and walking problems as well as joint or muscle pain which interferes with the activities of daily living.
  • Plan more efficient movements and compensatory techniques for daily living activities (e.g. bathing and dressing) to make these easier and less tiring to do.
  • Learn to use appropriate walking aids.

top  contact-us

email us directly at: Sheryl@pdplan4life.com

(c) 2015 PDPlan LLC All Rights Reserved

Without express written consent, this material may only be used for your own personal and noncommercial uses which do not harm the reputation of PDPlan LLC, provided that you do not remove any copyright. To request permission to reproduce, please contact PDPlan LLC at Sheryl@pdplan4life.com

blogger partner WPC 2016 in Portland