While a myriad of situations can bring someone to the physical therapist, and experiences can vary greatly, based on what you are recovering from, there are some general considerations that will help you get the most out of your sessions, regardless. This is a crucial time in your healing process and you want to do all you can to maximize the benefits. Here are just a few important tips to keep in mind:
Get on Board Mentally
The power of the mind is great when it comes to healing the body. Just think about drug studies where people taking the placebo report an improvement in their condition…what was causing it? Certainly not the medicine.
Do your best to develop a positive attitude towards the physical therapy and the overall healing process. Believe you will get better. Know the body is very equipped to heal itself, and pulls out all the stops to do so. But it needs your support.
Always Be on Time
Physical therapists, like many other health care professionals, work on a tight schedule and see a lot of patients. Coming on time to each appointment ensures you will get the optimal treatment, and the therapist can do everything she wants to do in that session fully and sufficiently. Be sure to factor in traffic, distance traveled and other considerations when making appointments to ensure you can easily arrive on time, and complete the full session without feeling the need to rush through anything.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
This may seem obvious but many people are reluctant to ask their health care providers the myriad questions that pop into their mind, because they may be embarrassing, or they think it sounds stupid. Don’t be afraid to ask your physical therapist any questions you have about the exercises, what to do and not to do, and any concerns that have cropped up regarding symptoms and what have you. Failure to ask could result in injury or interfering with optimal healing.
Again, may seem obvious, but it is easy to break this all-important rule. You may feel like you are healing well enough, and don’t need to do certain exercises anymore. You are cautioned against doing something, but it ‘seems fine’ so you do it anyway. You do your exercises only twice a day instead of three, figuring it’s ‘good enough’ and at least you did something.
There is a reason for every suggestion and warning your physical therapist is giving you, and if you are truly serious about getting the most out of your treatment, you will heed this advice to the tee.
Patience will take you far in getting the most out of your physical therapy. It is frustrating when your body isn’t at 100 percent, and you just want it to get better already. And it’s okay to get frustrated at times, but if you keep in mind it can take a bit, you will be more likely to do your exercises fully, and follow all your therapist’s instructions.