Whether you are just starting PT or have been in treatment for a while, there are ways to maximize your efforts and get the most out of each physical therapy session. Here are some tips to help you slay your physical therapy!
Come Prepared to Work
You must be an active participant in your care to slay your PT! Physical therapy is not just massage and stretching. Long-term progress requires patients engage in their treatment and put forth effort to get better. You must challenge yourself to work through pain and fatigue, as well as focus on your exercises to that you improve your motor control (mind-muscle connection).
You will only spend a few hours. max, each week at PT. This means what you do when you are NOT at physical therapy will have a large impact on how well you progress. You may be encouraged to modify your workstation, perform a regular mobility routine, or adjust your postural habits. Make a commitment to do your home exercise program as instructed and ask questions if you need clarity. Use your treatment as opportunity to learn about your condition so that you understand WHY you are asked to make lifestyle changes.
Pain and injuries often develop over months or years. Poor habits that contribute to pain cannot be reversed in a matter of weeks. Attend your sessions consistently to avoid long lapses in care. This makes it difficult to achieve carry-over in progress or identify variables that contribute to change in symptoms. Remind yourself that change takes consistent effort and time. Each diagnosis is different, but if you do not feel progress after a about 3-weeks of consistent treatment, communicate this with your PT.
Follow Your Therapist’s Instructions
Your therapist is an expert in their field and has designed a treatment plan that is tailored to your needs. It is important to follow their instructions carefully and do the exercises they prescribe as often as they recommend. Do not make changes to your exercises without your PT’s approval! Small changes can have drastically different results and there is a reason your PT issues exercises a certain way.
Set Clear Goals
Before starting physical therapy, take some time to think about what you want to achieve and why you want to slay your PT! Discuss your goals with your therapist and make sure they are specific, measurable, and realistic. This will help you stay motivated and focused throughout the process. Your goals should start small in order to help you stay motivated.