You may enter physical therapy for any number of reasons—from chronic pain to a new injury—but the goal is the same: recovering your mobility. No matter what condition you are seeking physical therapy for, these tips can help you get the most out of each stage of your experience.
Before you begin physical therapy, talk to your general physician about your options. Ask specifically about any local physical therapists who specialize in injuries like yours. You may also need to contact your insurance provider. Many providers have a limit on the number or frequency of physical therapy appointments they will cover. If you do end up having to pay for part or all of your physical therapy out of pocket, talk to your physical therapy provider about getting a discounted rate. Many health care providers give a discounted rate to insurance companies and to individuals who negotiate for it.
If you received your injury as the result of another person’s negligence, have a personal injury lawyer assess the situation. A Langley brain injury lawyer from Yearwood & Company recommends using a firm which offers online submission forms for legal consultation. These allow them to evaluate your legal options before you’ve even set up an appointment.
After you have determined where your physical therapy will take place, talk to the office about seeing the same therapist for your entire treatment. Each physical therapist will approach your injury slightly differently; keeping the same therapist enables you to have consistent and stable treatment.
Follow these tips to get the most out of each of your appointments:
• Arrive Early: Plan to get to your appointments at least a few minutes early. When you come in for your first appointment, you will likely have paperwork to fill out. Arriving early to your following appointments gives you time to get into the right mindset for your physical therapy routine.
• Wear Comfortable Clothes: Most physical therapy requires basic movements intended to improve your range of motion. Your therapist may recommend a specific type of clothing, such as athletic shoes that support your ankles, but you should plan to come in comfortable exercise clothing.
• Communicate: It’s vital to communicate with your physical therapist. Ask any questions that come up—especially those that apply to at-home care. If you experience pain during a therapy session, let your therapist know immediately.
• Take Care of Yourself: Keep yourself alert and strong by eating a balanced diet and staying hydrated. Getting enough water is particularly important when recovering from an injury. Bring a water bottle with you to your therapy appointments.
• Focus: To get the most out of your physical therapy, you will need to be fully present. Leave your cell phone at home or turn off the ringer when you get to the office. Do your best to time your appointments so that you won’t be rushed or feel anxious as this can limit the effectiveness of your treatment.
Your therapist will likely prescribe an exercise routine for you to do at home. This may include stretches, low-impact activities, and mild cardio. Create a schedule to keep yourself on track with your at-home care.
If you have any questions about how to do an activity your therapist has recommended, ask for a demonstration while you’re in the office. Your therapist may also be able to provide you with a diagram to follow. Incorrect procedure could result in further injury or ineffective treatment.
Recovering from an injury can be a long, arduous process. However, with the help of a trained physical therapist, you can return to normal mobility as smoothly as possible. Use these tips to get the most out of each individual appointment and have fulfilling, successful experience.