People see physical therapists for a variety of reasons – they may have been in an accident, they had surgery, or they were hurt another way. They go to sessions and see improvement and then go back to their regular lives.
There are times, though, that people seem to get into a revolving door situation – they see a physical therapist and then find themselves back there sooner than they would have liked. Why is that? There are several reasons – they may be unlucky, another injury occurred or they didn’t do what they were supposed to the first time.
It may seem frustrating, but there are ways to be able to reap the benefits.You can find success if you follow these eight tips to get the most out of your physical therapy sessions.
Be a Good Historian
This means be very clear and detailed about your past physical history when you’re at your first meeting, which is a diagnostic one. You should tell them where the pain is and what caused it. Also tell them when it started. The information can play a part in helping the physical therapist craft a plan for you and if they have a time frame of when it began, this can also help them pinpoint what the exact problem is.
Tell the physical therapist what you want to get from these sessions. Are you looking to just resume normal everyday activities like walking and standing or are you intent on getting back to playing a sport? Do you just want to be pain-free? This can also solidify a plan in the physical therapist’s head and they can guide you to achieving this very specific goal.
Commit to Your Appointments
There are a number of factors that go into how many appointments are needed – how many the insurance allows and the severity of the injury are a couple – and it’s important that the patient goes to every single one of them. Otherwise they are just wasting both their time and the physical therapist’s… while increasing the chances of another injury. Don’t start a cycle of misery.
Do the Homework
You are not going to get the results that you want from the physical therapy by only exercising when you are there. There are many other days in the course of a week and you need to be doing something on those days. Your physical therapist will be giving you a regimen to do outside of your sessions. Do those or risk not seeing any improvement.
Find a Space to Do The Work
This ties in with the above advice. Find a specific area to do the exercises. It may be at the gym or it may be in your home in a spare room. Whatever the case, find that spot and keep going to it each day so that you can make your body stronger and reap the benefits. It’s a matter of focus.
Yes, there may be some times where you feel really sore or are in pain. That doesn’t mean you should skip the physical therapy sessions. Instead, the physical therapist will zero in on what is causing the problem and spend that session helping you feel better – this is what they are skilled at doing, after all. You and your body will feel relieved at the end of the session.
There may be some soreness while you’re going through the physical therapy sessions. That’s normal… but you should not try to grit your teeth through pain. Don’t hesitate to ask your physical therapist if there should be pain in a certain area. They will look it over and see what they can do to correct the situation. Keeping quiet can lead to possible damage. Physical therapists welcome open dialogue since it gets everyone together on the same page.
Stick to the Topic
Don’t try to go for a two-for-one deal with the physical therapist by having them try to fix a second problem that you bring up during a session on the first. It can create an insurance nightmare. Talk to your doctor about the second problem and go through the right channels to ensure that you get the help you need. Just work on what you are there to work on for the time being.
Physical therapy can be quite challenging to go through. There are times that it may feel repetitive too. Still, you and the physical therapist are working together toward one goal: Getting you better. Stick to it and you will more than likely persevere, If you follow the above tips, it will go a lot smoother. Then you will be able to get back to doing the physical activities that you love.
The staff at Empire Physical Medicine and Pain Management are highly skilled at their jobs, but they need assistance from you to be able to get the maximum results. They are quite knowledgeable and are more than willing to answer any questions you may have. Give them a call to set up a diagnostic session – 646-665-7109.