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Questions to Ask Your Physical Therapist

Usually, the patient's primary care physician, neurosurgeon, orthopaedic surgeon, or other practitioner makes the referral to a physical therapist (PT). Often, the physical therapist is someone the referring doctor works with. Or perhaps the patient must choose from physical therapists listed in their medical plan. Either way, ask questions and stay involved in your medical care!

In advance of your appointment, find out if previous test results (such as X-rays or MRI studies) are needed. You may be able to bring these with you, or you may have to help coordinate getting this information to the PT.

The sample questions listed below serve as a guideline. It is a good idea to prepare for your appointment by writing your questions down. Answers to your questions can help you to make informed decisions about treatment. Consider bringing a family member or friend as an extra set of ears.

Questions to ask the physical therapist:

  • Do you commonly treat my condition?
  • How can physical therapy help me?
  • Will PT be painful?
  • What do you expect from me?
  • How many times a week must I come to get results?
  • How long does each session last?
  • Can I do any exercises at home?

It is important to trust and be comfortable with your physical therapist. Asking questions is a good way to keep the lines of communication open.

Updated on: 04/25/14
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