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How To Choose The Right Physiotherapist

Starting physiotherapy can be a daunting task, which clinic to choose, which therapist? Will they help you meet your goals? How can you tell if they're a good fit for you? Are they going to be able to get you back to the things you love? Do they actually understand the activities that you love that you're missing out on? It can be hard to admit that you need help to solve a problem that's getting in the way of your life, and knowing the answers to these questions can make all the difference in your recovery time and experience.

We've put together the three areas we feel are the most important to look at when you're looking for a physiotherapist, whether they're at CONNECT or out in your own community. Read on to find out what you should be looking for!


Areas of Interest and Specialties

Does the physiotherapist you're considering booking with have any areas of interest, and are they areas that you share? For example, if you're a triathlete does your physiotherapist have an interest in working with triathletes or other endurance athletes (we see you Dana Law!). Do you have a concussion, and is the therapist you're looking at have an interest in working with concussions, or have experience working with athletes? Does your therapist play the sports you play, or participate in the same types of exercise as you? If they don't, do they at least know what those things are and understand how to get you back to them?

Many physiotherapists have done additional training in things like dizziness, concussions, women's health, pelvic floor physiotherapy, and pediatrics, and if you fit into one of these groups it can be extremely helpful to work with a therapist that has that training.

Values and Philosophy

What is important to you when it comes to getting better? Are you someone who would rather play it safe and stop doing the thing that's bothering you, or are you someone who would rather keep doing the thing with modification because you don't want to stop? Do you value getting moving as the cornerstone of your treatment plan, or would you rather hands-on treatment be the focus?

Most therapists have core philosophies and values that guide their treatment planning, and that can turn you on or off of working with someone. At CONNECT, these values often include an emphasis on communication and education, prioritizing active treatment, empowering the patient to be the driver of their treatment plan, and hands-on treatment rather than machines. Elsewhere, you'll find clinicians that place high value on machines and modalities, emphasis on hands-on manual therapy for the majority of the treatment session, and a more conservative approach. It's important to know if your values line up with your therapist, otherwise you may find you have differing expectations for how rehab looks. There is no single way to do rehab that works for everyone, but everyone has a way that will work best for them.


Can you actually get in to see this person regularly, in a timeframe that works for your schedule? This is a HUGE consideration, because how can you get better if your appointments are spread few and far between because the only time you can come in is after 5 and that therapist only has one day where they work after 5pm?

Now, this is a bit of a give-and-take issue. At CONNECT we often find our schedule is booking multiple weeks in advance, and if someone has a specific time that they need that works for their schedule it can be challenging to find appointments. We always encourage people to book their assessment and at least 1-2 follow-ups right off the bat because we can always move, cancel, or change appointment times, but once slots are booked by someone else they're gone.

What If I Don't Know If A Physio Is Going To Be Right For Me?

We LOVE when people use our free consultation option. It allows you to book a brief visit with a physiotherapist, either online or in person, to chat about your issue, get to know their values and philosophy, and ultimately decide if you're a fit for each other. These visits come with no obligation to book an initial assessment, and if you're not a fit for each other our physiotherapists are experts at connecting you with the person who is right for the job, either at CONNECT or in our community so you can be sure you're getting the best care.

When it comes to starting physiotherapy, figuring out who the best person for the job is can be a daunting task, but if you can find someone who shares your interests and values, and can get you in regularly that will make for a strong start. When in doubt, booking a free consultation at a clinic that offers them will give you some no-obligation insight into whether or not you're in the right place.

Now is a great time to get started on your 2024 goals by making sure that nagging injury isn't going to slow you down come January. You can head over to our physiotherapy page to learn more about our therapists and see who's right for you, or head to our online booking site to get started today!


Clare Donaldson is a Registered Physiotherapist, new mom, Crossfit enthusiast, poor but passionate hockey player, and genuine lover of all things physiotherapy. She is especially interested in keeping moms of all ages strong and healthy throughout their lives. When she's not at CONNECT, you can find Clare hiking with her dog, Moose, or spending time with her young family. To find Clare at CONNECT, click here

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