The Best Ways to Optimize your Physical Rehab Process
There are many reasons you might plan on seeing a physical therapist. You might have had an accident. You might be rehabbing an injured shoulder. Maybe there’s a scheduled surgery you’ll need to recover from. Or it could be that your body is just feeling the wear and tear of age. No matter the reason, though, the good news is that physical therapy can be a great help in putting you back on your feet, reducing your aches and pains, and helping you get back to living the life you want to live.
With that in mind, here are a few tips to optimize physical rehab and make your time in physical therapy as positive and helpful as possible.
First, Find the Right Physical Therapist
It’s okay to shop around and find a physical therapist that you trust and get along with. Keep in mind that many physical therapists specialize in areas that may not be what you need. Some work with athletes to optimize sports performance. Others work with cancer patients. Others focus on older patients or issues specific to women’s health. If you’re seeing a PT for your knee pain, you’ll want to find one who has experience working with your particular issue.
Second, Listen to Your Physical Therapist
This may seem obvious, but an experienced PT will know a lot that can help you. Pay attention to the advice they give. Not only can they tell you what you need to do to get better, but they can help you avoid activities and exercises that might be making things worse. Your PT is a great source of healthy habits that can keep you in good shape for years to come.
Optimize Physical Rehab by Sticking with Your Treatment Plan
Your PT will provide you with a course of exercises to treat your condition. This will include which exercises to perform, when to perform them, and how often. The exercises may change depending on your progress. So don’t skip your scheduled office visits, and be sure to follow the plan for any home-based exercises. This is the most important thing you can do for your recovery.
But Don’t Overdo It
If five is good, ten is better, right? Not necessarily! Your body needs time to recover, both from it’s underlying injuries and from the exercises your PT has assigned. You might feel great. You might feel strong. But that doesn’t mean you should push it by doing too much before you’re ready. Slow and easy wins the race. The last thing you want to do is reinjure yourself and have to start over from square one.
Communicate with Your PT
If things really are going great, tell your PT! Maybe they’ll let you speed up the calendar and up your exercise game after all. Conversely, be sure to tell your PT of any aches, pains, or setbacks. This is important information for adjusting your treatment plan to get you as healthy as can be in the most reasonable time frame.
And Finally, Consider Prehab
It might be possible to get a jumpstart on your rehabilitation by starting it before any scheduled surgery. This has been shown to considerably shorten the post-surgery rehab time, but your milage may vary. It depends on your condition, the type of surgery, and the recommendations of your doctor and your PT. If prehab is an option for you, don’t miss this opportunity to optimize physical rehab.