Physical Therapy Frustration

Today I am going to take a break from my prep for Christmas to vent a little bit about some thing that has been bothering me.  I started going to physical therapy a few weeks ago as the latest step in my treatment plan.  I asked around, and actually found a very capable/knowledgable physical therapist.  When I went to my first session, I left exhilerated.  I thought, “Wow! This may actually be what I have been waiting for all these years! A normal life may be in reach!”

When I arrived for my third appointment, my therapist told me I was making fantastic progress! I could definitely feel a difference, and it was beginning to show in my moods and my energy levels.  Then, on the forth day, I had to see another therapist. I tried to remain open minded.  I wanted to give her a fair chance, but I quickly realized she didn’t really know what to do with me.  She spent about 10 minutes of my 30 minute session out of the room, consulting with my original therapist. I was annoyed to be paying for wasted time, but I talked myself down saying she just needed to familiarize herself with my case, but my next session was with her again.  It wasn’t any better.

By this point I was growing increasingly frustrated.  I could see that my sessions with the original therapist were on a completely different level, and this was confirmed on my next visit when I was lucky enough to work with her again.

Well, today it got even worse.  I arrived, and I saw a completely new therapist! He wasn’t familiar with my case or my treatment plan. He didn’t really seem to know what to do with me.  I felt like I was just throwing my money away.

So, I am very unhappy.  I can see that therapy with a knowledgable therapist can work, but I don’t think I will make the same progress if they keep passing me around.  When I am with the other therapists I feel like I am treading water.  We are doing things to help me not slip backwards, but I’m not moving forward.  When I’m with my original therapist I feel like I am moving towards normality.  If I were not paying for the sessions I wouldn’t mind treading water.  I am a patient person.  I’ve had the headaches for thirty years. I can deal with a slow improvement. BUT when I am paying for the treatments, I want to get what I am paying for!

Any suggestions?



  1. I found your post on the alltop PT site, And oddly, I DO have suggestions.

    Firstly, you are paying for PT, you should have the right to have whomever you want. Your Physician who prescribed the therapy probably feels the same way too.

    I was surprised to find out my Doc felt this way. See for my Doc experience.

    Firstly I would speak with the Manager of the place about how you feel, remind them that you are indeed paying for this service.

    They will probably give you some sort of crap about “so and So is soooo popular and busy, and there is a treatment plan that the other therapists follow” SOOO if they can not simply place you with the preferred therapist, you may have to call the doc or go see the doc and get him or her to write a script for that therapist only.

    I REALLY encourage you to do this. Let me tell you why.
    I had a huge difficult hip surgery. I had 3-4 months of therapy with a therapist whom i hated. He rubbed me the wrong way and as much as I tried I always felt like he really just didn’t give a darn about me. He discharged me an entire month early and within a week, I was injured and unable to do anything.

    My Doc returned me to therapy…with a new therapist. New therapist did a hugely thorough eval, found that my hip was incredibly weak after all that therapy, and set to improving that. after 2 months of therapy with him, I ran my first race and won my age group. I feel so much better and now I feel that my surgery was a total success. The big difference was in the Therapist.

    You ARE paying for it, and you do have the right to have whomever you want.

    Initially I was so worried about the office etc thinking I was not nice, but in the end, getting the right person made me much nicer, and now, everyone, except for the deposed therapist just grins whenever they see me come in. It isn’t as big a deal as we patients think it is, and it is worth it.

    So I wish you the best of everything, and hope you get back to the therapist that works for you!!!!! I’ve had occasional migraines, not fun. You deserve to be without that pain.

  2. And so sorry to leave such a long comment, but when I saw this post I could SO relate…..

    • Thanks so much for your reply! I appreciate you taking the time to respond to my post.
      I’m going to take your advice!

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