10 Signs of a Bad Physical Therapist

Most people do not receive proper treatment from their physical therapist, and as such, they don’t get the desired result they need.

In this article, we will be listing 10 signs of a bad physical therapist to enable you get a replacement if you do not feel right with your therapist.

Most therapists have created an impression in people’s minds, and you hear them say things like ” therapy did not work for me”.

All therapists are different, and we will be helping you spot the bad ones by listing signs of a bad physical therapist.

Who is a Physical Therapist

Physical therapists are specialists who improve patients’ health and quality of life through prescribed exercise, hand care, and patient education.

Physical therapists diagnose and treat people of all ages, from infants to people of old age.

Physical therapists are there to monitor and record a patient’s progress. They help injured or sick people to improve movement and control pain.

They are often important in preventive care, rehabilitation, and treatment for patients with chronic conditions, diseases, or injuries.

10 Signs of a Bad Physical Therapist

Below are some signs of a bad physical therapist;

1. You are Not Treated Like a Person

Some physical therapists have that nature to treat the patient as just another body in their schedule. Some of them even see patients as another means to make money.

This is a sign of a bad therapist; you need to change your physical therapist. Most persons must have experienced this type of treatment from their physical therapist.

As a result of this treatment, people tag therapists as one. So it goes down that you think your bodybuilder cares about you as a person or another slot in his system as a way to make more money.

Patients expect to be treated with love by their physical therapist and not like some other body in their schedule.

2. No Progress Seen

Many people keep visiting their therapist without any physical change.

This is another sign of a bad physical therapist, and as the patient looks to get positive improvements, you need to consider getting a better therapist.

There should be a significant change in every patient seeing a physical therapist. Your intentions or goals that you wish to achieve at the end of your section should be your concern.

Patients going through pain expect to see progress during the first 2-3 treatments as this first section is meant to relieve your pain so that the next part of the visit will focus on the underlying problem.

So if your therapist cannot familiarize you with your medications, you need a change.

3. Same Exact Treatment Every Session

Some physical therapists keep up with the same treatment even when there is no progress in the patient’s health.

This is, of course, a sign of a bad physical therapist and another sign that you need to get yourself another physical therapist for your health’s sake.

Some people may expect that there should be a positive change after repeating the same treatment, but instead, they remain at a particular stage.

Your doctor should adjust or improve with you as you progress.

4. Doesn’t Take Time to Truly Listen to Your Concerns

One of the reasons you choose a physical therapist is to get someone to listen to what troubles you and the issues you may be having.

You go to them because you need to help you get back at the things you love doing.

If your physical therapist does not take the time to listen to your concerns, how then can they be of help to you in getting back on track? Unfortunately, this problem is found mainly in the medical world.

If your therapist has not taken the time to listen to your complaints and what you want to achieve with physical therapy, then you are doing whatever they think you need and not what you need.

There is always a positive and effective change when there is an understanding of the patient’s problem, complaints, and goals.

If you’re experiencing this, it is undoubtedly a sign of a bad physical therapist and needs to be replaced with a better one.

5. No Plan to Get You Back to Doing What You Love

Relieving pains is not just the only reason why some patients come to a physical therapist. They could easily take medications to relieve their pains.

However, it goes beyond just helping patients relieve pain. If you cannot get patients back to what they love doing, then you have failed as a physical therapist.

A physical therapist must build a therapeutic plan that puts you back on track with what you love doing.

This process takes thorough examination and knowledgeable skills to handle.

If your therapist does not have any plan to get you back to what you love doing, then you should get another therapist, as it is a sign of a bad physical therapist.

6. Passive Treatments Make up Most of Your Treatment

Passive treatments are things you and your therapist are doing nothing about, such as ice, heat, breathing, ultrasound, traction, etc.

You are a better chance of getting better if these things are included in your treatment.

Here are some passive treatments you can take other than sitting down and doing nothing while you wait for your physical therapist to be ready for your section.

  • The patient comes in and stays hot for 10 minutes.
  • Gets an ultrasound for 5 minutes and then 5 minutes. For regular massage for 5 minutes
  • Ride a bike for 10 minutes.
  • Transferred to a gym assistant for 15 minutes
  • Get 15 minutes of ice/stim at the end.

In the end, you have to spend 30 minutes exercising and improving your health before going into the day’s business.

This makes your section with your therapist more lively and fun, giving you a sense of belonging and improving your health status.

7. Your Therapist Spends 10-15 Minutes and Passes You to Less Qualified Staff

It is in the habit of some therapists to book a 15-minute section with you, after which passes you off to less qualified staff.

It could be that your therapist takes on a session with 4 other patients, and this may not be right for you as your health and stability are of utmost priority.

You know how it feels when you just passed on to less qualified staff. Remember that your payment is the same no matter how much time the therapist spends with you.

Look out for a therapist that will spend quality time with you and make your session worthwhile.

8. Trouble Making an Appointment

If you find it hard to book an appointment with your physical therapist, it is probably a good sign that you need a replacement and a sign of a bad physical therapist.

You do not have to wait weeks to see your therapist when there are other places you could register with. You should begin to recover immediately after surgery or injury.

If you have weeks before you even start physical therapy, it may be best to find a therapist who can help you immediately.

If you are currently enrolled in a physical therapy program and have difficulty arranging an appointment with your physical therapist, you may consider changing clinics.

9. Improper Billing and Charges

Insurance companies compensate many physical therapists. In most cases, you may discover that your physical therapist has charged your insurance company for services you never received.

In such cases, ask about the obvious differences with your medical provider’s payment department. In the event of errors, a corrected claim may be submitted.

However, if you find false charges and regular payment fraud, you should immediately opt out and look elsewhere.

After that, you must inform your insurance company of what you noticed so that appropriate action can be taken to prevent any potential fraud or misuse.

10. Your Turn

You may find out that you do not connect with your physical therapist. This means you need to see another therapist because this feeling might affect your recovery.

There are cases where you will need to see a special physical therapist depending on your illness, but naturally, you need a therapist you can easily connect with.

So when finding a therapist, do the best for the sake of your health.


Hopefully, this article gives you clues on the signs of a bad physical therapist. If you feel embarrassed by your physical therapist about your physical experience, you need to get a replacement.

Physical therapy is a solution to many pains, and you do not need to feel embarrassed talking to your therapist about your issues.

This article has listed some signs of a bad therapist, so make use of it.

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