Written By: Susan Melony
Physical therapy can be a great choice for a variety of reasons. Some common reasons why people seek treatment include:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Back pain
- Spinal cord injuries
- Muscular dystrophy
- Sports-related injuries
- Urinary incontinence
Physical therapy can be an effective way to feel more like your old self, but just because you go to your therapy sessions doesn’t mean you’re going to experience results. There are things you have to do to make sure you make the most of every single treatment.
Keep Track of Appointments and Treatments
One of the most important things you can do to make sure you get everything you can out of your therapy treatments is to keep track of your appointments. There are many reasons why documenting the details of your treatments, which includes how much they cost, can be very helpful to you in the long run.
Holding on to your medical treatment documentation is important when working with a lawyer if you’re attending physical therapy due to an accident. You may be able to claim at least a portion of what you spent on medical care on your tax return if you have proof that you can show to the person preparing your taxes, and it’s information you can bring to your other doctors to help inform possible medical treatments and surgery.
Prioritize Your Appointments
In some cases, you may be able to attend physical therapy appointments just a few times. In other cases, you may have many appointments scheduled for months into the future. Although going to appointments week after week, month after month can get tiring, you need to prioritize every single one.
Every appointment you skip will set you back. It will cause your therapy sessions to drag out longer than originally planned, and it can prevent you from recovering quickly. Because progress often depends on the progress made in past appointments, you may find that treatment becomes less and less effective if you don’t go to your appointments as scheduled.
Work with your physical therapist to make appointments that you know you can keep. If you can’t make it to one, reschedule it for as quickly as possible.
Continue Exercises at Home
You can’t just go to your physical therapy appointments and return home to sit on the couch. Although it’s important to rest and relax, it’s important to do exercises at home too.
Speak with your physical therapist about what kinds of exercises they want you to do at home. They can provide you with a schedule of activities, and they can help you practice them in the office to ensure you’re doing them properly while you’re at home by yourself.
Exercises don’t have to be complicated, and they don’t have to include expensive equipment either! From simple stretches to using soup cans as light weights, there are many ways you can encourage healing in the comfort of your own home.
Be Transparent About Aches and Pains
It isn’t uncommon for body aches to become part of daily life. There are many reasons why you might experience body aches, and you may experience them over long periods of time, causing you to think that they’re no big deal. However, they could be a big deal if you’re attending physical therapy. That’s why it’s important you tell your physical therapist.
A seemingly insignificant symptom could be a sign of something more serious, and a trained and licensed professional will be able to tell you. It could also be that the pain is small now, but it could get more severe if not addressed right away.
Don’t Be Afraid to Request a Different Physical Therapist
You will spend a lot of time working with a physical therapist, and unlike other professionals, you will spend a lot of time in each other’s physical space too. That’s why it’s important to pick a good physical therapist.
If for any reason you are uncomfortable with the physical therapist you’re working with, don’t be afraid to request that you work with someone else, and don’t be afraid to schedule an appointment with a different physical therapy office. It’s much better to find someone you enjoy working with than it is to skip appointments or dread going to therapy.
Making sure you go to every single physical therapy appointment is an important first step towards getting the most out of your treatments, but you also need to do the other things on this list in order to ensure you get the most out of your visits.