Do you believe the actions of a physical therapist caused you further injury?
When a person seeks out a physical therapist, it is usually because he or she already has a medical issue and is looking for some relief and healing. The role of a physical therapist is to get patients back on their feet (sometimes quite literally). They offer patients tailored programs to build muscle strength and endurance, gain range of motion in the joints, heal soft tissues, regain mobility and many other forms of physical healing. Physical therapy is a great help to many people, but also has the potential to cause additional injury to the patient.
Physical therapy is a recognised treatment for numerous body ailments. A physical therapist uses a variety of exercise techniques specifically chosen for each patient’s situation to treat specific body damage caused by injury, disease, or other medical conditions. Most physical therapy patients experience some improvement; some completely regaining their previous level of physical health. While the incidence of medical malpractice in physical therapy is low (approximately 2.5 occurrences per 10,000 working therapist each year), errors do sometimes occur and can result in further injury.
When problems do occur with physical therapy, it is usually because a patient is pushed beyond what he or she is physically capable of, and re-injures or causes an additional injury. Sometimes, the physician who originally treated the patient makes an incorrect diagnosis of the injury and recommends physical therapy that consequently does more damage. In these cases, both the doctor and therapist may be found to be liable for damages relating to the additional injury.
Finding a good physical therapist.
There is no way to completely eliminate the possibility of further injury, but there are a few things to look for in a thorough physical therapist. Good communication is a must. This means that not only does the therapist explain each therapy and its intended results in detail, but also asks questions of the patient and listens to the feedback that he or she is giving. There is a certain amount of pushing that physical therapists do in order to make their patients get as much benefit out of each exercise as they can, but a good therapist will listen to and investigate any information from the patient that pain has increased or changed.
Also, a good physical therapist will keep detailed records of a patient’s treatments, progress, and feedback; helping to give a more accurate picture of the overall advancement of the therapy. Of course it is also important that the therapist keeps close tabs on patients while they are performing exercises to ensure they are being done correctly and are not causing additional harm.
Physical therapy provides a lot of benefit to the majority of people who go. Unfortunately, there are cases where physical therapy does more harm than good. If you have experienced injury or a worsening of your condition that you feel was due to a physical therapy program, you should talk to an attorney who has experience in malpractice cases. Rasansky Law Firm has experienced Dallas medical malpractice lawyers who would be happy to evaluate the strength of your claim for free. Call us at 1-877-405-4313 for a free consultation.