Perhaps you’ve sustained an injury, put up with pain for long enough, or it has been suggested to you by a health professional that it’s time to go and see a physiotherapist.
Unless you receive a great referral or recommendation from someone, the first thing you will do is use Google to search for physiotherapists in your area.
There is a good chance that there will be numerous results and it’s up to you to choose the best physiotherapist for you.
You may be thinking to yourself:
What is the difference between physiotherapy clinics?
Are all physiotherapy clinics the same?
How do I choose which one to make an appointment with?
If this is your first time, then I’m sure you are finding it difficult to choose and compare the different options you have.
A lot of people feel this way when doing anything for the first time.
That’s why we’re here. :)
Terrace Physio Plus is a well established clinic with multiple locations across varied suburbs and a range of specialised professionals in our team. We want to make it easier for you to make an informed decision when choosing a physiotherapist so that you feel more confident.
Here are the key factors that you should base your decision on and will impact your choice:
Ease of making your initial appointment
Clear diagnosis and management plan (i.e. what problem have I got, and how do we fix it)
What level of ongoing care will I receive?
The location, opening hours, parking, skilled therapists, etc
Let’s take a closer look at these factors.
Ease of booking and making an initial appointment
Knowing that you need to see someone because you are in pain of have an injury is bad enough.
If it is difficult to find a clinic’s website, their contact details are hard to find, and you have a tough time finding out the answers to your problems, it doesn’t make your experience any easier.
Ideally, you want to be able to find the answers to a lot of your problems right then and there, without having to pick up the phone or send an email!
It should be seamless, and enjoyable.
You want a simple process to go through, and amazing people to help you along the way.
And, when you do decide to pick up the phone and make an appointment - you want a smooth system that emails you the details of your upcoming appointment, sends you an SMS reminder, and hopefully provides you with some useful info in the meantime.
Check out how we solve all of these problems HERE - Common problems with booking an appointment with your physiotherapist and how we solve them..
Exercise software and ongoing care
It’s all well and good to make appointments to go and see a physio, but the last thing you want to do is be chained to never-ending appointments.
If you are serious about getting the results that you want (and we know that all of our clients are serious about outcomes!) then you know that you need to work on exercises yourself.
But, that can be difficult if your therapist doesn’t prescribe exercises precisely for you, or doesn’t equip you to be able to do them properly yourself (hello stick-figure exercises and crumpled paper in a rush as you leave!)
You need to find a clinic that has cloud-based exercise software, that enables you to access your exercises at a time and location that is convenient to you, in a way that you will never lose them or forget.
You need more than just pathetic diagrams - you need video examples, with customised parameters for you to do your specific exercises.
Take the time to find a clinic that values exercise, and puts you and your exercises as a high priority.
Read more about how we do exercises HERE - Physitrack - Physio Exercises And How We Are Different
Diagnosis and management plans
Let’s be honest - when you decide to go and see a physiotherapist, you have 2 or 3 MAIN questions:
What is my problem? (Diagnosis)
What is the solution? (Management plan)
Who is the right person to help me?
You need to find a physiotherapy clinic that will answer all of those questions for you, on your first visit, with clarity and detail, every single time.
To get a clear diagnosis (and explanation of the problem in simple human terms, not medical mumbo-jumbo) you need to find a clinic that values highly skilled therapists who are experts at what they do.
You need somewhere that begins with the end in mind - knows the diagnosis and prognosis, and has a detailed plan of how they will achieve YOUR goals.
That looks like a clinic with state of the art treatments, founded in science and evidence - and they can put that into a plan of management that will guarantee you a result.
When you walk out of your first appointment, you want to be crystal clear on having your questions answered.
We use an approach incorporating Management Plans, that clearly provide all of this for you, in written form.
Location, opening hours and parking
This is a bit of a no-brainer, but you need something in a convenient location for you.
However, in our experience, we have found that people find it far more beneficial to perhaps drive a little bit out of their way to get the experience and outcomes that they are truly looking for.
But, as a matter of practicality, you need to find a practice that has an address, opening hours and parking appropriate for you.
Click HERE to see our location, opening hours and parking options.
The final frontier is price.
There are a myriad of fee structures and payment options, including:
Pay as you go
Private health insurance claiming
And the list goes on!
What may be the most important point to consider when it comes to pricing is VALUE.
It is no good to you if you see the cheapest physio a couple of times, and yet don’t get the outcomes that you desire.
That is still a waste of money, and expensive if you don’t get the outcomes.
Similarly, just because somewhere is the most expensive per consult, doesn’t always equate to the highest quality care.
What you need to consider it the goal that you have, and what it means to you to achieve that.
It is about value.
Things to consider are:
Length of appointments
A guarantee around the outcome
How much you may be able to claim back from third parties
The effects of NOT getting the treatment you need
Clearly explained parameters around how many consults you might NEED to achieve your goals and outcomes, which should be explained in your physio management plan (as explained higher up in this article).
Pricing is a complex discussion.
You need to be comfortable with the outcomes and how you are willing to invest in getting a solution.
At the end of the day, physiotherapists can sometimes appear very similar, and it can be difficult to choose the right one for you.
Everyone has different criteria around how they choose a professional to help them with their problems.
What we hope is that by looking at these factors first, you will make a good first choice and fast track your way to a speedy recovery.
We’d love to know - what do you look for when comparing physiotherapists or health professionals? How do you choose someone to help with your problems?