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5 Things to Consider When Choosing Your Physical Therapist


A physical therapist (PT) will play an integral role in the care of your child. Finding a physical therapist who has experience working with a child who has spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is paramount, but there are other things you need to consider when searching for a PT.

MORE: Five areas that need to be cared for when you have SMA.

According to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), you do not need to use the PT referred to you by your doctor if you don’t want to. It is within your rights to choose your own physical therapist.

Other advice the associations give includes:

Use the “Find a PT” database. 
This will help you find a PT in your area. All PT listed on the database are members of the APTA and certified as physical therapists (PT) or doctors of physical therapy (DPT).

Speak to different clinics.
Different clinics specialize in different patient groups so contact the different clinics in your area to establish the types of services they offer and if they have the necessary experience to care for your child.

Find out if your insurance policy covers the clinic you choose. 
Some insurance policies may have a list of preferred clinics that they deal with. Your initial choice of PT may not be covered by your insurance.

Find out if the clinic will deal directly with your insurance company.
Will the clinic submit the insurance claims on your behalf? Find out if the policy you have requires copayments for PT services and how much it will cost. Your chosen PT clinic should be able to estimate your deductible costs for you, but it’s advisable to contact your insurance company to establish what portion of the PT costs you are accountable for.

Check credentials. 
If you decide to go with a clinic for physical therapy which isn’t registered with the APTA, you should check their credentials to ensure they are certified physical therapists or a doctor of physical therapy.

MORE: What kind of physical therapist do I need?

SMA News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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  1. Max says:

    My wife is going to be needing to go to physical therapy after she has knee surgery, and I think that being able to choose a good option for her is really important. I’m glad that you talked about being able to speak to different clinics when looking for physical therapy, and how they may specialize in different patient groups. I’m going to have to do some research and see if we can find a particular physical therapy clinic that works with people recovering from knee surgery! Thanks for the help!

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