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Physical therapy advice for a newbie

romanigypsyeyesromanigypsyeyes Registered User Posts: 33,922 Senior Member
I have had chronic knee problems since I was young (both knees but one is worse than the other). I injured it a few times and was diagnosed with Osgood-Schlatter Disease in my early teens. That's pretty typical for young people, especially tall young people, who play sports (and I was a multi sport athlete as well as a dancer). I was told I'd grow out of it but now in my 20s, the pain is getting worse.

My new-ish PCP finally referred me to physical therapy and was kind of flabbergasted when I told her I'd never been sent to PT despite my repeated injuries.

Anyway, because it's my first time I'm not sure how to tell who is a "good" physical therapist. What are some tips or things I should look for? (My dad's former PT retired and I don't know anyone else in the area who has needed PT so I can't ask for local recommendations.)

Any advice is welcomed :)
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Replies to: Physical therapy advice for a newbie

  • carolinamom2boyscarolinamom2boys Registered User Posts: 7,110 Senior Member
    Is there a local PT school close to you?
    The department faculty may be able to point you in the right direction because they have to set up internships for their students.
  • rosered55rosered55 Registered User Posts: 4,288 Senior Member
    I have no advice but I wish you good luck. Physical therapy has been a big help for several people I know.
  • audiophileaudiophile Registered User Posts: 2,618 Senior Member
    edited December 2015
    Why don't you ask your PCP who she would recommend?
  • romanigypsyeyesromanigypsyeyes Registered User Posts: 33,922 Senior Member
    @audiophile I did. She gave me a list of local places and wasn't very helpful on that front.

    @carolinamom2boys I'm not sure but I'll look into that, thanks!
  • MagnetronMagnetron Registered User Posts: 2,645 Senior Member
    It's a bit like finding a PCP - you have to click with their style and feel like you are well cared for. Knee issues are common and most would have the knowledge for your treatment.

    I had similar knee issues in HS, to the point I got a prescription to use the freight elevator instead of the stairs. Then I really banged up my right knee in a car crash. PT helped a ton. Cycling and proprioceptive exercises also really helped.
  • romanigypsyeyesromanigypsyeyes Registered User Posts: 33,922 Senior Member
    Thanks, magnetron, that's good to know.

    Yes, my issue is luckily very common.
  • carolinamom2boyscarolinamom2boys Registered User Posts: 7,110 Senior Member
    Another option is if you have a professional sports team in your area that would typically sustain knee injuries i.e. Soccer, football etc you may be able to see who treats their athletes .
  • conmamaconmama Registered User Posts: 4,316 Senior Member
    edited December 2015
    Or even call the high school in your area and ask them!
  • BunsenBurnerBunsenBurner Registered User Posts: 38,623 Senior Member
    edited December 2015
    What ohers said - you need a PT who treats the active bunch. Check PT profiles online. You would want someone passionate about the activities you are passionate about. The PT who helped me with my knee was a marathoner - she put a lot of effort into fixing my gait and strengthening the right muscles. Good luck. It is a slow process, but the result would be well worth it.
  • MassmommMassmomm Registered User Posts: 3,893 Senior Member
    The best PTs I have had have all been athletes themselves. They get it, and they understand your goal is to resume your sports, not just haul your groceries up to the kitchen. And I heartily agree with the hands on recommendation. They should be massaging, manipulating, using electrical stimulation or other appropriate modalities, not just turning you loose with the bands or weights (although those are important, too.)

    And a good PT should "fire" you when you have made sufficient progress or when PT is not working for you.
  • zeebamomzeebamom Registered User Posts: 1,351 Senior Member
    My first PT was found via the hospital clinic I was referred to - she was the best at shoulder issues. My daughter was referred by the sports medicine clinic/orthopedic surgeon who repaired her torn labrum. My latest PT (for foot issues) was found via my running group. We partner with a clinic that focuses on athletic rehab, although they do other sorts as well. Someone in the group used this same PT and I then got another vote for her from the podiatrist and the orthotic maker.

    The running store I frequent has weekly PT clinics where different PTs come in and do mini sessions. They've been in business for years, are into the run/track scene from schools to clubs, and partner with quality PTs and clinics. It's a way to see if someone gets it w/o paying first.
  • zeebamomzeebamom Registered User Posts: 1,351 Senior Member
    My first PT was found via the hospital clinic I was referred to - she was the best at shoulder issues. My daughter was referred by the sports medicine clinic/orthopedic surgeon who repaired her torn labrum. My latest PT (for foot issues) was found via my running group. We partner with a clinic that focuses on athletic rehab, although they do other sorts as well. Someone in the group used this same PT and I then got another vote for her from the podiatrist and the orthotic maker.

    The running store I frequent has weekly PT clinics where different PTs come in and do mini sessions. They've been in business for years, are into the run/track scene from schools to clubs, and partner with quality PTs and clinics. It's a way to see if someone gets it w/o paying first.
  • bhs1978bhs1978 Registered User Posts: 675 Member
    I am a therapist with a specialty in hand an upper extremity injuries. All of my PT friends who work in clinics or hospitals are generalists who treat most diagnosis, however, most have a special interest (I.e. Shoulders or backs or knees). Ask around or when you call to make an appointment ask for the therapist who has the most experience, knowledge and interest in knees. Good luck to you.
  • MomofWildChildMomofWildChild Registered User Posts: 22,680 Senior Member
    Zeebamom- that is exactly what our local running store does! You aren't in TN are you?
This discussion has been closed.