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Not All Physical Therapists Are Created Equal

Many of my patients have had Physical Therapy in the past and did not have a great experience. The PT didn't spend much time with them, didn't identify the source of their pain and in the end they didn't get any relief. Unfortunately, this story is one I hear far too often. A competent Physical Therapist will typically have the following characteristics:


Your PT is able to identify the primary cause of your symptoms.

-During the initial evaluation the PT completes a thorough exam. This includes a discussion of your pain and symptoms, a review of your medical history and a physical exam including tests and measures. During the evaluation, the PT puts the pieces of the puzzle together to develop a diagnosis that includes primary and secondary causes of your symptoms. This is important because it will guide which interventions the PT chooses.


Your PT is always assessing your progress and adjusts the treatments accordingly.

-At each visit your PT is completing a mini-evaluation to determine if the treatments and exercises are working. This is crucial because your symptoms will change during your plan of care and the PT needs to determine if the treatment plan is efficient and effective.


Your PT progresses your exercises.

-Your treatment exercises should progress. If you are doing the same 3 exercises at every visit, consider changing PTs. As your symptoms and functional ability improve, the exercises will evolve. If you are only given pelvic tilts, clamshells and bridges for your back pain, this is a disservice to you.


Your PT is helping you feel better and achieve your goals.

-Your pain should begin to reduce and your function improve within 3-4 visits. During your plan of care you may have fluctuations in your symptoms, but overall your progress should be moving in the right direction. If this is not happening, the PT needs to be having a conversation with you about why you are not making progress.


Your PT listens to your concerns and addresses any fears.

-Your PT is available and makes it a priority to discuss your concerns and fears related to your pain or symptoms. For a plan of care to be successful, you and your PT will make treatment decisions together based on your values and goals. You should feel seen, heard and appreciated.


Your PT is setting you up for success after discharge.

-The goal of physical therapy is to get you feeling better, to have better function and to give you the knowledge and tools to continue making progress on your own. Your PT is always there for check-ins, flare ups or new issues, but you shouldn’t need frequent treatments for the same issue for the rest of your life.


One of the main reasons I started Reiki PT was to make sure I had 1:1 time with each of my patients to address everything listed above. If you have questions or concerns regarding your pain or Physical Therapy services, send me an email at


Lauren DeYoe


Doctor of Physical Therapy

Reiki Master

Owner Reiki PT


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