Do I Need a Doctor’s Referral for Physical Therapy?

Back and neck pain, work-related injuries and repetitive use injuries are all things that can be managed with physical therapy, as a physical therapist, like from AmeriWell Clinics, can explain. If you are dealing with any of these issues and feel that you could benefit from physical therapy, you may wonder if you need a physician’s referral. In many cases, you can set up your appointment directly with the clinic you wish to go to. It is important to understand when you need physical therapy though, and you may not always recognize the symptoms. In this case, a visit to your physician can help you find the care you need.

Identifying Your Problem

Sometimes, you have a good idea of what is causing your pain, and you may know immediately that you need physical therapy to correct it. Thus, you can call directly to a physical therapy clinic to schedule an appointment. Other times, though, you may be unsure of what the root of the problem is. In this situation, you may wish to visit your physician first for a diagnosis. If he or she deems that physical therapy is necessary, he or she can give you a referral.

Setting Up Your First Appointment

Once you decide that you need physical therapy services, you should do ample research to find a place that is right for you. You should look to see if your chosen physical therapist has special training in a certain area. You can also identify how long the provider has been in practice. When you call to schedule your appointment, you will need to give your insurance information. You may also be asked to describe what type of symptoms you are having.

Managing Follow Up Appointments

One of the most important things in physical therapy is consistency. If you only go to one consultation visit and do not follow up with your treatment, you will likely not get the results you want. You should schedule your appointments based on your provider’s recommendation. You may have to be seen several times a week at the start of treatment, and then your provider may decrease your appointment frequency. Set a reminder on your phone for your appointments, and ask for a courtesy reminder the day before your scheduled visit.

When you are ready to schedule your physical therapy appointment, you do not necessarily need a physician’s referral. Consider these things about scheduling your first visit, and get ready to seek the treatment that you need.