Physical therapy helps people control pain, improve balance, coordination, strength, endurance, and more. In other words, people who follow a customized therapy plan recover better freedom of movement and independence in their daily functions. If your primary care physician or orthopedic specialist has prescribed physical therapy services for you, here’s how to maximize its many benefits.
1. Attend All Physical Therapy Sessions
Routine attendance at all in-office appointments is a must. The success of physical therapy depends on the regular application of manual therapies, as well as the completion of exercises and other aspects of rehabilitation detailed in the treatment plan. Plus, your therapist can monitor your progress and adjust your plan accordingly. Poor attendance can delay recovery.
2. Do Your Homework
Most PT care plans include at-home exercises and skill-building tasks. Improvement takes patience, persistence, and repetition. So, whatever your therapist instructs you to do in between appointments, do it faithfully, and report back about any concerns you have as you complete your routines.
3. Communicate Accurately with Your Therapist
Be sure to tell him or her about your levels of pain, stiffness, or general ability to complete a stretching exercise or use of an assistive device. Be as specific as possible. At home, jot down a few notes in a journal or on your phone to help you remember questions you have or changes you think you should make to your plan. Your input is invaluable to your long-term success, and your therapist wants to know what you are thinking and experiencing, too.
4. Tell Your Physical Therapist About the Goals You Would Like to Achieve
Maybe you want to take a short walk without pain. Or, you desire to be strong enough to stand at the kitchen sink and wash your dishes. If you are an athlete–professional or amateur–you want to be at a certain performance level when you run, train, or play a game.
Whatever your wants or needs, communicate those goals. Your therapist will show you what’s realistic and possible and within what time frame.
5. Be Patient and Consistent
The results of physical therapy usually don’t present themselves right away. Typical physical therapy regimens can last anywhere from four to twelve weeks depending on the complication of your injury or post-surgical recovery. By doing your exercises and attending appointments consistently, you will see improvement toward the end of your prescribed regimen.
6. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can play an important role in maximizing the benefits of physical therapy services. Eating a balanced diet rich in nutrients can help support your body’s healing and recovery process. Additionally, staying active outside of your physical therapy sessions can help improve your strength and flexibility. Getting enough rest is also crucial, as your body needs time to recover between sessions. By making healthy choices and taking care of yourself outside of your physical therapy appointments, you can support the progress you make during your sessions and improve your overall health and well-being.
Physical Therapy Services in Johnson City, TN
At Watauga Orthopedics, our physical therapists deliver detailed care which helps people function well and feel more like themselves again. Whether you are recovering from knee surgery, have balance issues, need to increase your strength after a long illness, or have a debilitating musculoskeletal condition, such as osteoarthritis, we can help.
We have PT clinics at all three state-of-the-art facilities in Kingsport, Johnson City, and Bristol, Tennessee. Learn more about physical therapy and how to get the most out of it.