They say that the doctor knows best, but that doesn’t mean they have carte blanche to overrule other specialists and care providers. In fact, there are plenty of things that physical therapists do better than your general practitioner. Because of this, heading to a PT may actually lead to quicker recovery from certain injuries than by heading to your family physician first. In today’s blog, we share three things that physical therapists can do better than general practitioners.
3 Big Reasons To Consider Physical Therapy
We don’t want to offend any doctors with this list, because first and foremost, we are all on the same team and we have the singular goal of helping you recover from injury. The best treatments are often the result of a collaborative approach from specialists working together for the betterment of their patient, so we’re not trying to create a divide between specialists. That said, our position oftentimes offers us a few advantages over general practitioners, and we’ll share how that can be advantageous to you below.
- Easier Access – Many general practitioners are booked weeks or months in advance, and that can make it a little less convenient to get in and see someone when you have a medical issue that requires attention. For certain soft tissue injuries and those that don’t require medical imaging, it’s oftentimes easier to set up an appointment with a physical therapist as opposed to trying to get in with your doctor, especially if treatment will likely involve a healthy dose of physical therapy. If you’re having trouble booking an appointment with your doctor in a timely manner, see if a PT clinic in the area can get you in.
- Repeated Access – It’s not just about getting you in once, because there are plenty of physicians who are willing to squeeze in one more patient or quickly fill cancellation spots to allow another patient access, it’s also about consistently providing feedback and helping a patient progress through their treatment. If you’re told to pursue conservative treatments, you might have one or two follow ups with your main physician, but during this period, you may be meeting with a PT one or two times a week to do your rehab exercises. A PT can help provide continued feedback during and after each session to ensure your progress stays on track, whereas your doctor will not have the privilege of being able to monitor your improvements as closely.
- Activity Specific Rehabilitation – Because your physical therapist will have more opportunities to work with you during your rehabilitation, we also tend to be better equipped to help you return to specific activities that are important to you. Again, that’s not to say that your general practitioner can’t help you return to work quickly or have you riding your bike without pain, but a physical therapist has a little more flexibility and freedom when developing rehabilitation programs to suit individual needs. If ensuring your shoulder is back to full strength ahead of baseball season is a must, or you need to make sure you can operate certain heavy machinery without risking injury or the safety of others, we can tailor in-person and at-home rehabilitation routines to ensure your body can handle these levels of activity. We regularly assess your goals and adjust your care routine to keep you on track to meet them.
When doctors and therapists work as part of a team, the patient gets the best care possible, but each specialist brings a unique skill set to the table that shouldn’t be overlooked. To see how our team of physical therapists can help you recover from an injury, reach out to the team at OrthoRehab Specialists today.