In the last post, we discussed some of the skills you should evaluate when looking for a physical therapist. But in addition to the general skills we discussed previously, it’s important to evaluate the provider’s technical skills as well. Here are some technical skills and credentials to keep in mind when looking for the right physical rehabilitation specialist for you.
The first step to evaluating a physical therapy center‘s credentials is to look carefully at their business card or website for the abbreviations after their name. They all have specific distinctions and can help determine how much and what type of education they have. The letters MPT and MSPT mean that the therapist has a master’s degree in physical therapy, but these days, most physical therapists have a DPT — a doctorate of physical therapy.
As for special certifications, there are also distinct abbreviations to be aware of. A few of the most common specialty areas are OCS (Orthopaedics), WCS (Women’s Health), CCS (Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation), PCS (Pediatrics), GCS (Geriatrics), ECS (Clinical Electrophysiology), SCS (Sports), and NCS (Neurology).
However, few abbreviations carry more weight than MD — medical doctor.
In addition to education credentials, professional distinctions should be considered as well. This includes licensure from your state or jurisdiction. The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) also has good advice regarding disciplinary actions: “Most PTs and PTAs are highly ethical, competent and caring individuals. Even so, you may see disciplinary actions listed when you verify a license. Sometimes the discipline is for a relatively minor incident such as failure to renew on time; other actions are more serious.”
Complete Diagnostic Services
You deserve a health care provider with the resources to identify, diagnose, and treat the source of your pain. Even if an injury or previously known condition has caused your pain, it’s important to choose a provider with the tools to take a closer look at the problem. To properly treat your chronic pain, you may require X-rays and other diagnostic imaging services, which many physical therapists are simply not qualified to offer you. When looking for the right provider, whether you need to treat a sports injury or chronic low back pain, choose a physical therapy center that can provide a complete diagnosis and medical treatment plan.
There are about 200,000 physical therapists working today, and taking the time you need to conduct research is an investment into yourself and your health. While some injuries do warrant the immediate input of a qualified pain management specialist, it’s a much more worthwhile investment to take the search process slow and steady to get the most you can out of each and every session.
For more information about our physical therapy centers in Indiana and Michigan, contact Michiana Spine Sports and Occupational Rehab P.C. today.