Physical Therapy Appointments for LEP Individuals Should Include the Aid of a Professional Interpreter:

When a limited English proficient (LEP) patient is required to attend regular physical therapy appointments to treat physical impairments, disabilities or injuries, it’s always in the best interest of everyone involved to work alongside a professional interpreter. Physical therapy is a course of treatment that involves methods such as massage, heat treatment, physical exercise and stretching in order to rehabilitate a patient. Oftentimes people participate in physical therapy appointments for extended periods of time and attend appointments typically three times per week. This could be more or less depending on the patient’s specific case, diagnosis and the doctor’s recommendations. There is so much information being exchanged during a physical therapy appointment it’s vital to enlist the assistance of a professional interpreter in order to ensure commands, information and care are all optimally administered.

Why is There a Need for a Professional Interpreter During Physical Therapy Appointments?:

There are many aspects of a physical therapy appointment that are just too complicated to conduct without the assistance of a professional interpreter. During a physical therapy appointment many commands are given to the patient such as lie on your back, lift your right leg, bend your knee, lie on your left side, don’t let me push your arm down… These commands are frequently used during treatment and it’s important they be interpreted quickly and correctly so the patient can fully understand what they are being asked to do throughout the appointment.

Oftentimes various forms of equipment are involved and the interpreter will have to thoroughly explain to the LEP patient the proper way to use the equipment. This equipment includes but is not limited to belts, straps, wraps, crutches, wheelchairs, canes, weights, exercise balls, bandages and splints. Another aspect of a physical therapy appointment that can be challenging if an interpreter is not in attendance is the ability for the LEP patient to describe the level and description of pain they may be feeling during treatment. Pain descriptors such as pulling, burning, stinging, pressure, aching, soreness, throbbing, numbness and crushing are very important to interpret correctly. This information lets the physical therapist know where the patient is at in the recovery process as well as if the methods of treatment are working. Every interaction between a LEP patient and their physical therapist is important because every exchange is leading the patient down the road towards recovery.  

Yes, You Do Need an Interpreter for Physical Therapy Appointments When Providing Care to LEP Patients:

After reviewing just some of the aspects involved in an actual visit to the physical therapist, it’s obvious to see the dire need for a professional interpreter when an LEP patient is being cared for. It’s crucial that commands and concepts be fully understood by all parties involved. Questions are understood and answered so LEP patients are aware of facts and options involved in their treatment plans. If you are in need of a professional interpreter to attend your physical therapy appointments with you, contact Niki’s Int’l Ltd., a reputable language service company (LSC) with over 20 years of experience providing top of the line interpretation services. Breaking down language barriers in efforts to rehabilitate LEP patients is a must and the only way to ensure a successful exchange of information is to enlist the aid of a professional interpreter that can facilitate effective and accurate communication.    

Niki’s Int’l Ltd. is a WBENC-Certified Women Business Enterprise with 20 years of language service experience. A global network of highly skilled translators and interpreters are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for on-site, telephonic and video remote interpretation services. Our linguists are available in over 350 languages and dialects, and our network includes certified translators and interpreters. Our work is guaranteed with a $1 Million Errors & Omissions policy, so that you can be confident that your project will be completed with the highest level of quality and professionalism within the field. For more information contact us at 1-877-567-8449 or visit our website at

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