It doesn’t matter whether you are recovering from surgery or an injury, or happen to be seeking treatment for chronic pain. What you get out of your physical therapy treatment will be a direct reflection of what you put into it. Most insurance plans pay only for a limited number of physical therapy visits, so you need to make sure you’re maximizing your time. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Your doctor may or may not suggest a specific therapist or clinic. Either way, when you’re searching for the right one, the first question you should ask is whether or not they are licensed by the state. Some physical therapists are also certified in certain specialties by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS). At Miller PT - we are happy to work with your doctors to provide updates and collaborate on care.
Pay attention during the assessment. Your PT should do a thorough evaluation, including medical history, lifestyle, your general physical condition, and a discussion of your rehabilitation goals. You play an important part here, too. Your honest answers will give the PT the information they need to personalize an effective treatment program for you.
Look for an active approach to treatment. Your therapist should use movement and active therapies – not just passive – in order to you back to your activities. The focus should be on restoring strength, flexibility and function. Most therapy programs consist of a variety of techniques in order to achieve these goals.
Don’t be afraid of a little (or possibly, a lot!) of discomfort. Physical therapy often involves stretching, manipulating and exercising muscles and ligaments that have atrophied due to lack of use, or are recovering from a trauma. And THAT often involves discomfort on the part of the patient. You have to trust your therapist. They know how hard to push, when to encourage you to take one more step, and when your body has reached its limit. Remember that they are there to help you get better, and getting better often takes some hard work!
On that note, you’ll most likely be sent home with a stretching or exercise routine to do on your own. Don’t cheat yourself; do your homework. It’s an integral part of your overall recovery, and if you blow it off, you may find that the next time you have a physical therapy appointment you’ve taken a step or two back instead of forward. Your therapy progression may rely on whether or not you’ve improved physically since your last visit. Why spend time and money to essentially repeat a session?
As in any other medical situation, you are your best advocate. Choose wisely, consider your physical therapist a partner in your recovery, and put your best effort into every session, whether it’s at the clinic or in your home.
You’ll be back on your feet in no time!
We have an outstanding team of licensed physical therapists. If you are considering physical therapy, please call us for your complimentary consultation. We’re ready to get you back into pain-free living! 561-278-6055
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