Physical therapists have the ability to greatly improve pain, muscle dysfunction, poor movement patterns, and improve patients’ every-day lives. Physical therapists unfortunately do not have magical powers to heal though. Due to this lack, there are a few things that patients can do to improve their physical therapy experience.
The physical therapy evaluation is the first meeting with the therapist, and it is where the PT tries to gather all of the clues and information into what is going on with their patient. Physical therapists rely a lot on what the patient tells them has been bothering them, such as certain movements, time of day, pain level, different positions, work station set up. It is very beneficial if you know what things are causing you pain or problems, because if you are not aware of these things, or if you don’t tell your therapist, the physical therapist isn’t able to read your mind to find out (again, lack of magical powers).
Come to Physical Therapy:
Many patients come to physical therapy, they have a great one or two session and start to feel better, and then they stop coming. When they show up back to the office a month later, they do not understand why they are still in pain. There is a reason your physical therapist sits down and talks to you about how long and how many visits you should plan to schedule. Once again, PTs aren’t magicians, and although we would like to think we can fix all patients in one great session, sometimes getting rid of chronic pains or dysfunction takes time, and multiple visits. If you are unsure of why you need to continue coming, have a conversation with your PT about it, they should be able to explain what they are trying to accomplish.
Do Your Home Exercises:
There are some instances when a PT will not give any exercises to be performed at home, but for most patients, there will be a handful of home exercises to be completed in-between visits. These exercises are meant to complement your therapy sessions, and will continue to help you improve.
Just like in any other field or aspect of life, information is power. The goal of physical therapy is to heal YOUR body, and to improve YOUR quality of life, so you should know what is going on with YOUR treatment. Do not be afraid to ask questions. Physical therapists have vast knowledge of the body, and how it works, and they are trained to break down more difficult medical topics into easier terms for all people to understand. The more you know and understand about your physical therapy process, the better you will be able to heal.