10 things you can do to get the most out of your Physical Therapy

10 things you can do to get the most out of your Physical Therapy

August 27, 2019

You have invested a lot into your body and your goals for it. The PT you receive is vital to achieving those goals you set, and making sure you get the most out of it is important. Here are the Top 10 tips for getting the most out of your PT visits.

1. Mindfulness

Be aware of what you feel, when you feel it, what you are doing and for how long. Be mindful of anything related to your symptoms and your body.

2. Understanding Pain

We interpret many different sensations as pain. It is my job to sift through them and make sure we are dealing with “good pain” that is progress and not “bad pain” that we want to avoid. Understanding what you feel is a good pain, or bad pain can be helpful.

3. Getting descriptive

Piggybacking off of the previous two tips, describing what you are experiencing when you feel it, is crucial. Each sensation can mean something different for progress or needing more attention. Some words to consider are; achy, stretchy, burning, tingles, “bruised,” or sore/tender, sharp, shooting, dull, specific, nonspecific.

4. Breathing!

During tissue work and exercises, it is important to take deep belly breaths. Deep belly breaths help you relax and prevent your body from going into fight or flight mode. If you do not breath during your exercises, it is likely you will not carry the skill over into your day to day life.

5. Try to relax your muscles

Tensing your muscles or resisting motion will only make what is sore or tender worse. When you fight the motion, your body naturally wants to do; it could prevent the tissue change your therapist is trying to achieve.

6. Let out your emotions

Express your joy about being able to do something that you have not been able to do. I guarantee it will make your therapist’s day no matter if it is a small win! Do not hesitate to let out frustrations with where you feel you are or if you have had a setback. It will allow the therapist to know how you feel and address it or educate you on why you may be having a given experience.

7. Communicate

Ask questions when you are confused. Speak up if you are struggling to grasp a cue or exercise. Ask why you are doing something. Ask where you should be feeling a given exercise. Asking questions and giving feedback will help the therapist give you the best treatment possible.

8. Keep the big picture in mind

Do not get frustrated if the results are not quick. Everybody has been through different things and experiences the world differently. We are all unique. What helps one person in 2 visits may take 5-8 visits for someone else. Your therapist is facilitating change in your body, and you reinforce it after each visit with your home exercise. Having the habit of performing your home exercise keeps the big picture in mind that you are working to progress with each visit.

9. Just do something

Home exercise programs are hard to keep up with, especially if you are chasing a toddler around. Make it a goal to do each thing once. One rep, one set, one time a day, do what you can. If you mentally don’t want to do it, go for a walk and be mindful of your body and how you are using it. Try to insert your home exercise into your workout warmup or routine. Just do something.

10. Dream Big

Set big goals and work toward them. Set goals for the short term to make your life better but set goals for long term for things you will be able to work toward when you feel better. This mentality will help motivate you and keep you invested.

I want you to get the most out of your visits and hope this short list helps you with that.

Request An Appointment

Please fill out this form and
we will contact you about scheduling.