12 Things to Help You Get The Most Out Of Your PT

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When we are working with clients with pain or injury, they sometimes become frustrated with the pace of their recovery.  Everyone in our culture seems to want a quick fix, which sometimes therapy provides.  But sometimes things take longer.  To reduce your time and expense in therapy here are some things to take note of.

  1. Take responsibility for your recovery.  Even if the injury or pain is not “your fault” you are the one who gets to live with it.  People who become invested in their health and take an active approach will get better results than people who want a passive “fix”.
  2. Get the answers to 4 basic questions you need from any health care provider. What is happening? How long will it take to get better? What can you as a therapist do to help me? and What can I do as a patient to help myself?
  3. There are 168 hours in a week. Are you hoping the 1 or 2 in therapy will fix you, or are you using some of the  other hours in the week to reinforce what you are doing in therapy?
  4. Pain is not a result of ibuprofen deficiency.  It is a threat response.  Help your therapist understand what is going on by being concise it what your body thinks is a threat.
  5. Motion is lotion…Movement is life…Exercise is the one thing that research consistently helps the most health conditions.  Have your therapist help you plan out what movement and exercise you can continue to safely do.
  6. Listen to your body.  It knows more than you think.  But, sometimes it gets confused.  Have your therapist help you sort out what your pain may mean.
  7. Pain and inflammation are a normal response in an injury situation.  Would you call 911  and not tell them where you are?  Have your therapist help you understand pain responses and healing times of injuries so that you can figure out what the proper amount of activity is. Knowing that the pain is a normal response can also help keep your nervous system from getting sensitized.
  8. Learn as much as you can about pain and injury, but don’t believe everything you read on the internet.  Knowing what can and should happen will help in your recovery.  If you learn something you are not sure about ask your therapist.
  9. Life is a series of choices.  You get to decide who you want to see.  If your therapist is not listening or hearing you, spending time with you (rather than an aide), answering your questions, or putting their hands on you, go see to someone else even if your doctor or insurance said so.
  10. Set realistic goals and communicate these with your therapist.  Every person we see has different wants and needs from therapy.  If your goals and the therapists goals don’t match someone ends up unhappy. Talk about it.  It is your body.
  11. Be upfront and honest with your therapist. ” I did everything you said and I am no better” provides a different path than “I didn’t do any exercises and continued to do the things you suggested I not do and am not any better” If you are honest we might get on you a bit, but we do things for a reason.
  12. Remember your therapist wants to help you. We could have made a lot more money doing other things with the amount of education we have.  We ask questions for a reason so give us the best answers you can. Be honest and upfront with what you are doing.  And if you never agree with what is being said let us know so we can explain it better.

These are a few things to help you get the most out of your rehab. Get better and get out there.

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