Do You Need Physical Therapy? How to Know When You Should Go


If you’ve ever spent minutes or hours of your life you can’t get back on the internet, trying to figure out if you should see a professional due to pain, discomfort, movement problems, or injury- wonder no more. Here’s your guide for when you should see a physical therapist.

Before Injury

That’s right! An ounce of prevention, in this case, is absolutely worth it. At Body One, for example, our physical therapists can work with you to determine if you have movement patterns causing discomfort, long before you actually end up with injury. We also offer programs like the Sustained Optimal Performance program specifically designed to help correct strength imbalances and prevent injury. Our Golf Program can address form issues, help head off injury, and potentially improve your game!

After an Acute Injury

Of course there are lots of different types of injury: knees, ankles, arms, wrists, shoulders, etc. One person could pull a hammy sprinting while someone else hurts their knee skiing. The great thing about physical therapists is that they are experts in the musculoskeletal system. At Body One, your PT is usually a doctor, typically in one of several disciplines. They are able to examine your condition and symptoms and make recommendations based on their findings. If you need imaging, your PT will recommend that as well as any specialist needed. Thanks to direct access laws, you have 42 days to see a physical therapist without a referral needed. Our office will work with your GP or specialist and insurance company if a referral is needed for future visits.

After Doctor’s Orders

If you’ve had a surgical repair and you’re thinking you may be able to just skip out on your PT, think again. Your body needs to return to proper movement and improve strength, quickly. Putting off physical therapy after a procedure can really set you back in your recovery. One fact many people don’t know: where you receive PT is up to you (and your insurance network). It’s often much more affordable to see a PT in his/her own practice vs the hospital system. We recommend going to PT, but finding the right physical therapist for you!

What to Watch For

Here are some tips for when to seek a physical therapist if you’re experiencing discomfort, pain, or other issues:

If you have pain that wakes you up at night or causes problem sleeping.

If your issue is affecting your movement.

If your issue is causing problems with your range-of-motion, e.g., your stiff elbow makes it hard to straighten your arm.

If you’ve had chronic pain. Long-time pain can be minimized or improved with physical therapy, depending on the cause.

Pain that worsens with activity (rather than discomfort that fades once you’re warmed up).

If you’re experiencing balance issues.

If you find yourself avoiding movements or activities out of fear you’ll feel pain.

Any of the above sound familiar? Body One Physical Therapy is a local leader in compassionate physical therapy care. We’re locally-owned and operated, with three locations serving Central Indiana: North Indianapolis, Fishers, and Zionsville. If it’s time to see a PT, call the best, call Body One.