Do Your Homework! …and Other Tips for Successful Physical Therapy

You likely ended up in your physical therapist’s office through no fault or planning of your own; however, the way you leave physical therapy has a lot to do with you! While your physical therapist has years of education, training, and experience in his/her tool kit, if you don’t follow the plan and contribute to your own recovery, all the skills your PT has won’t matter. We explain how you can help your physical therapist help you…

Doctor’s Orders

You may not realize it, but your physical therapist is likely a doctor – either of physical therapy, sports medicine, or other related specialty. So when s/he assesses your musculoskeletal condition and makes recommendations, they should carry the same weight that your regular doctor’s suggestions would. If you don’t initially understand your physical therapist’s recovery plan, the good news is that education is a major part of the job! Your PT is an expert in educating clients on the nature of injury, mobility, and recovery – all in ways that you can understand without the years of specialized school that your PT went through.

Do Your Homework

Once your physical therapist has created a plan to address your needs, you’ll likely receive a customized exercise plan to do at home. These exercises will be carefully tailored to your ability, lifestyle, goals, and phase of recovery. Your physical therapist will limit your home exercises to the right amount per day/per week. That being said, the exercises are only as effective as the individual committed to doing them. Your physical therapist can develop a plan almost guaranteed to help you recover, but if you skip your homework and wonder why you aren’t improving as fast as you want… well, look no further. You wouldn’t expect to run a race without training; similarly your physical therapy plan is training your body to move correctly and repair injury or improper movement patterns. Do your homework and you’ll see better results!

Be Honest

If you find your physical therapy plan too daunting, too hard, or painful, be sure and let your physical therapist know. While physical therapy can tire muscles or cause some mild discomfort, serious pain is a red flag. Your physical therapist will also watch how you perform any assigned exercises to ensure you’re doing them properly. If you don’t communicate with your PT, you won’t receive the benefit of their skills and knowledge, so be sure to let your physical therapist know if you’re struggling during your treatment.

Your physical therapist is a terrific asset and advocate for your overall health, and with direct access you’re able to schedule an appointment with them first – just like you would with your regular doctor. Should you need more visits or a referral, the PT’s office will work with your doctor’s office and/or insurance. By learning from your physical therapist and following his/her instructions, you’ll increase your chances for a full and healthy recovery.

Body One Physical Therapy has been helping Indianapolis feel better for years! We’d love to help get you moving and feeling great again, too. Body One is locally-owned and operated, with four locations serving Central Indiana: North Indianapolis, South Indianapolis, Fishers, and Zionsville. Don’t settle for anything less than feeling your best: call Body One today!