How to Choose Your Physical Therapist - Professional Rehabilitation Services

How to Choose Your Physical Therapist

By: Dr. Brian P. Kinmartin, PT, DPT, MTC, OCS, STC, CWcHP, Cert. DN

Physical Therapists are specialty Healthcare Professionals educated in the evaluation and treatment of musculoskeletal and nervous system dysfunctions of the human body. They are skilled in a variety of treatments for the human body ranging from everyday common joint sprains and muscle pulls, chronic pain syndromes, arthritic conditions and even advanced neurological diseases. The current entry level degree is a clinical Doctorate degree in Physical Therapy (DPT) but the field of Physical Therapy in its infancy actually began as just a certificate. Over the last 40 years it quickly evolved to a Bachelor's degree (BSPT), then to a Master's degree (MPT), and now is held at the doctorate level. The purpose for moving Physical Therapists to the doctorate level was to broaden their base of knowledge in the areas of diagnostic medicine. As insurance companies begin to change the service of Physical Therapy to direct access a larger base of knowledge is needed in diagnostic medicine to make sure that treatment is appropriate, and in the case that treatment is not appropriate that a referral is made to the appropriate healthcare practitioner.

Like many Healthcare fields the practice act and scope of practice for Physical Therapists is so large many have chosen to specialize in one area. The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), a national professional organization established a specialist certification program for Physical therapists. Clinical specialization in physical therapy responds to a specific area of patient need and requires knowledge, skill, and experience exceeding that of the physical therapist at entry to the profession and unique to the specialized area of practice. The specialist certification program was established to provide recognition of physical therapists with advanced clinical knowledge, experience, and skills in a special area of practice and to assist consumers and the health care community in identifying these Physical Therapists. To obtain Board certification, candidates must submit evidence of required clinical practice in a specialty area, must successfully complete a rigorous written examination demonstrating specialized knowledge and advanced clinical proficiency.

Although education is important to Physical Therapists, experience is just as or maybe even more vital. There is a large difference between learning how to rehabilitate someone and actually taking someone through the rehabilitation process. This a Physical Therapist learns with mentorship and years of experience.

The clinical practice setting is extremely important to Physical Therapists. Generally the Physical Therapists in private practice settings compared to those in other settings are better educated, have more years of experience, and are more specialized in areas of treatment. This is simply because as in any medical practice those clinicians that have chosen the path of private practice have to excel in their areas of expertise in order to provide the best patient care insuring the existence of their practice. Private practices are built upon a referral system that reflects to referring physicians and patients; competence, results, and the best care for their patients.

Professional Rehabilitation Services, Inc. is a Private Practice Outpatient Physical Therapy Facility in Pawleys Island; SC. established by Brian P. Kinmartin [brian], in January 2004. The primary goal when establishing Professional Rehab was to assist our patient's rehabilitation needs by specializing in the field, thus raising the standard of care in the region. Brian initially received his BS in Physical therapy in 1998 from Daemen College in New York, followed by a Doctorate Degree in Physical Therapy in 2004 from the University of St. Augustine. He has achieved a specialty certificate in manual therapy, including manipulation of the spine and extremities, has completed the Master's sequence in High Velocity Low Amplitude thrust manipulation techniques for the spine from the University of Tulsa, is a board Certified Orthopedic Specialist, and most recently completed the Competency at Emory University in Vestibular Rehabilitation. Brian has been practicing in the Horry/Georgetown County for more than 10 years now.

Statistically eight out of ten people throughout their lifetime will need some type of physical rehabilitation. So, if you find yourself in this position and have to choose a Physical Therapist, the four areas you need to know about your Physical therapist are; type of degree, area of specialization, years of experience, and type of practice setting. This should get to you off to a good start and a great finish in the rehabilitation process. For further information on this topic you can contact Brian P. Kinmartin PT, DPT, MTC, OCS, STC, CWcHP, Cert. DN, at Professional Rehabilitation Services (843) 235-0200, or at

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From Pawleys Island to Myrtle Beach and Conway, Professional Rehabilitation Services provides Physical Therapy Services for the Georgetown, Pawleys Island, Surfside Beach, Murrells Inlet, Socastee, Myrtle Beach, Conway and Little River South Carolina communities.