Optimize Your Physical Therapy Appointments
Beginning Physical Therapy can feel daunting. AOPT is here to help with tips and tricks that will help you succeed in and outside of our clinic.
How to Communicate with Your Therapist
When you go in for your initial evaluation, share! The more information and medical history you can share with your therapist, the more insight they will have into your current condition.
As you begin to work with your therapist, be sure to speak up if something does not feel right.New sensations of pain can give clues to the therapist and possibly change the diagnosis. Communicating how things are feeling allows the therapist to make adjustments.
When you do your exercises at home, if you have questions, use our app to message your therapist! Waiting until your next appointment can adversely affect your progress, be diligent about understanding and doing your exercises correctly.
Make the Commitment
If your PT creates a treatment plan for you come into clinic 2x a week for 6 weeks, make all twelve visits! You would not take a pill every other day or when you feel like it, so take each appointment seriously like you would any other prescription.
Set realistic goals. Time and scheduling can be a barrier to participating in physical therapy effectively. With work, school, family matters, finding two or three hours a week to come into the clinic may feel daunting — tell your therapist this! They can adjust your Rx and treatment protocol to get the results you need on a timeline that make sense for your life.
Reschedule when necessary to make up the appointments. Sometimes, things come up, but coming in for all your prescribed number of visits is better than missing 25% of your visits. This may delay recovery, but it does not prevent you from reaching your full potential.
DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Your PT is giving you only what you need. Skipping exercises you do not like and not doing your home program will delay recovery. To make lasting changes to the body, it takes time and a change in lifestyle. The goal of the homework is to get patients moving more throughout the day, this changes the architecture of their joints, mobility, and strength in the long run.
Tell Your Therapist What You Want!
We all go to physical therapy for different reasons. Some of us are recovering from a major surgery like a hip replacement, others may be managing chronic pain, while another person may be just trying to return to sport or recreational activities. It is important that your therapist knows if you want to run again, golf, or have activities of daily living that are currently not possible. Understanding these goals will allow the therapist to tailor your treatment to include movements and exercises that prepare you for whatever it is you want to do in your life.