If you have gotten into an accident or whether you are coming off some injury or recovering from a surgery or something similar you will probably get some physical therapy. It’s something you need to do in order for you to get back to how you were before – at least to some degree.
Physical therapy basically tries to not only alleviate the pain that your body is feeling due to the above mentioned circumstances but it also tries to make it so not only will the pain not return but so that your body will be as mobile and as active as it once were before such situations. Think of it as getting your body back in shape so you can move again.There’s no denying the fact that physical therapy will require a lot of hard work on your part. This is especially true if your body has undergone a massive trauma or injury. Simply put, the level of work you need to put into this will depend on the level of rehabilitation your body will need in order to get it back to working order.
Start off by working closely with your doctor and the physical therapist. This is important because these two healthcare professionals will be the ones to make sure you get back into shape. Your doctor will be the one to know which areas needs to be focused on and why the pain is there which he or she can then share with the therapist so the latter can create a rehabilitation program that will suit your needs and circumstances.
Once you have your physical therapy rehabilitation program set up go into it with as much focus, positive attitude and drive as possible. This means you need to see it for what it is – a program that is meant to get you back to as new as possible. Don’t delude yourself by thinking that you won’t be doing a lot of work but at the same time don’t let the amount of things you need to go through act as a downer. Basically, don’t think of it as torture else it will really become one as the days and weeks progress.
Once your sessions begin be professional and treat it in a serious manner. This means coming in prepared and on schedule. If you come late you will only cut your time since there are others waiting right after you. If you come unprepared you will only hurt yourself as you won’t be able to do certain things because you weren’t ready.
Communicate openly with your therapist. Never be secretive especially if you are feeling pain during any of the exercises. Pain is part of the process but if you don’t tell the physical therapist you are feeling pain he or she won’t be able to adjust accordingly. The goal of therapy is for you to feel fatigued and not for you to feel pain.
At the same time by communicating with your therapists you can discuss what the exercises can do for you and what options you may have. This way you can fine tune your program to one that suits your needs so you get better at your own pace.
Finally, if there are exercises that you need to do at home do them. Don’t just leave them and pretend you did them. They are there for you to do for a reason. They may be so that your muscles don’t stiffen or so that you are more limber when your next session comes but they are there for a reason so just do them. If you are having a hard time communicate with your therapist so you can both plan for alternatives.
Deborah Koval is your therapist.