If your physician has prescribed a course of physical therapy for you, you may be unsure what to anticipate and whether the treatment will help you relieve your symptoms. If you feel a little apprehensive about your first physical therapy appointment, you are not alone. Apprehension is normal, especially if you’ve been experiencing a lot of pain and discomfort.
While individual results may vary, there are a few do’s and don’ts that might help you get the most out of your physical therapy program.
Do Provide a Thorough Medical History
When you arrive at your first physical therapy appointment, your therapist does a physical examination, as well as obtain a detailed account of your past medical history. You should be able to describe when you first observed symptoms of your condition, how frequently they occur, and whether or not a particular activity causes pain and discomfort. You should also discuss any medical conditions that may interfere with your ability to perform certain exercises.
If you have trouble recalling your past medical history, bring a family member with you to your consultation to assist you in documenting these important data. Another good idea? Before your appointment, make a note of crucial details. At your initial meeting, a prepared list can help you feel less overwhelmed.
Don’t Begin with a Negative Attitude
Patients who are driven to begin their therapies may have better outcomes, as motivated patients are more likely to participate in their treatment and stick to their treatment plan. If you’re having trouble staying motivated, talk to your therapist about it. Your therapist can help you with your thoughts and feelings, as well as any worries you may have.
Do Communicate with Your Therapist
Be honest with your therapist, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you’re having trouble learning the techniques of a particular exercise, ask for additional assistance until you’re comfortable with it. If you have pain following a therapy session, inform your therapist of the severity and duration of your discomfort.
Don’t Be an Appointment Breaker
Although you may need to cancel an appointment occasionally due to illness or a family emergency, make sure you don’t miss out on many.Consistent appointments can make a big difference in the progression of your treatment. Strive to keep all your appointments by scheduling other activities or errands around your treatment sessions. If possible, see if you can reschedule to a different time or on another day if you need to cancel.
Do Perform Your Home Exercises
Your physical therapist will likely expect you to perform certain activities at home between clinic visits, these exercises are a vital part of your recovery process. Your therapist will observe you as you perform your exercises in the clinic to make sure that you understand how to execute your home program exercises and activities properly.
Don’t Be a Physical Therapy Drop Out
Recovery is not a quick process, whether you are healing from orthopedic surgery or dealing with an injury at work or home. It takes time for ligaments, bones, and joints to heal. Although regaining physical strength takes time, the ability to return to things you enjoy is well worth the wait.
It’s normal to feel some discomfort during and after workout sessions, especially at the start of your program. Some patients may feel like quitting up as a result of these feelings. Your therapist is trained to recognize any pain or discomfort that is beyond normal limits and will make proper referrals if necessary.
Understanding the do’s and don’ts of physical therapy will help you and your therapist have a great experience. It will also assist you in achieving the best potential solution for your situation.