Dedicating yourself to your health and rehabilitation takes a lot of time and effort. We want to help you achieve your goals to regain full function. Here are a few tips to help you benefit from your PT experience.
When your physician refers you to physical therapy, they usually recommend a series of visits for your plan of care. It is crucial to stay as consistent with your frequency of visits. The visits work by building upon each other, and when patients are consistent, they will progress in their exercises, function, and goals quicker. Consistency leads to better results!
Before coming in for your initial evaluation with a therapist, be sure to jot down a couple of goals that you want to achieve during your rehabilitation. Sure, we all want less pain and more mobility and strength; if you can make your goals more specific and functional, the therapist will be able to more-clearly direct and progress your rehabilitation. Examples include, being able to pick up your grandson, to be able to train for a half marathon by October, and to be able to go up and down the stairs at your house.
3. Preparing for your Session
If you’ve never been to physical therapy before, then you will want to make sure that you dress in comfortable loose-fitting clothes for stretching. After all, we want to stretch your hamstrings, not your jeans. Sessions are usually performed out in the gym where you will be neighboring with many other patients. It creates a wonderful dynamic atmosphere, and I’ve even watched patients become friends over the years. Please remember to be mindful of others by silencing your phone and avoiding any perfumes or scents.
4. Home Exercise Program
When you hear the words “H-E-P”, you should start getting excited! This is your PT homework that will be provided to you by your physical therapist or tech at the very beginning of your sessions. I can’t stress enough that the patients who routinely do their exercises and integrate the corrections given to them far excel those who do them on occasion. If you’re not sure if you’re doing an exercise correctly, ask! We are here to answer any of your questions to help promote a regular exercise routine. That said, when you are discharged it is routine practice to keep up with your HEP as you will continue to see improvements well past your last visit.
Our posture is so important in daily function. Even if you are coming in for an ankle sprain and I pick up on bad postural habits, I will be the first to address it. I like to provide preventative care on posture. The bottom line is make your work or anything you’re working on come to you. For example, placing a pillow under your elbows while reading on the couch can help with your posture.
Although we mostly address your orthopedic concerns, I can’t stress enough how much I have to remind people to improve their overall health in terms of staying hydrated, making healthy choices for clean eating and incorporating appropriate stress management techniques. This is not limited to exercises, meditation, breathing techniques and yoga. When you treat the body as a whole you are a much more likely to advance your goals.
If you have any further questions about maximizing your visit, don’t hesitate to discuss them with a therapist. Find a Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapist location near you and Get Your Move Back!