Making Decisions About Home Care

Three Ways To Make Your Physical Rehab A Success

by Mae Ferguson

If you're about to start physical therapy, chances are you've been researching clinics and techniques. But don't forget that successfully treating a condition or recovering from physical trauma involves more than just showing up to the rehab clinic and going through the motions. Any time you undertake physical therapy, you're undertaking a rebuilding process that benefits from close examination and involvement. Here are three ways you can make your physical therapy sessions more productive and successful.

Keep a Journal of Progress

Keeping a written record of what you did during each physical therapy appointment sounds basic, but if you keep track of how much you did and how you felt, both physically and emotionally, you'll be able to track patterns and see how the therapy is helping. You may also be able to spot plateaus and setbacks that call for readjusting what you're doing in therapy.

The records of how you felt can also show you if something's gone off the rails. For example, physical therapy is not supposed to be so painful that you can barely stand it. In fact, your therapist should try to figure out ways to complete exercises that minimize pain (though some discomfort is not unusual). If you find a particular exercise to be too painful, to the point where you feel worse after doing it instead of better-and-merely-tired, point that out to your therapist and devise ways to get the same exercise/therapeutic effect without making you hurt as much.

Be an Active Patient

A related strategy is to be an active patient. Don't be a trained seal, doing whatever you're told without question. Find out the purpose of each exercise and task, and as mentioned previously, confer with your therapist to find tasks that don't feel like they're going to damage you instead of help you. Also do things outside therapy sessions that will help you recover, such as sleeping and eating properly.

Treat the Core Cause

Ensure that the exercises you have to do will treat the core cause of the problems you've been having, and not just the symptoms. It's fine to have some exercises that target the side effects of whatever you're dealing with, but overall if possible, you should be working on the main reason you need the therapy. Obviously, if you're dealing with something that's untreatable, like a chronic congenital condition that's flared up, you may have to concentrate on the symptoms. But for sports injuries, regaining strength after prolonged illness, and other conditions, targeting the main cause will help you get out of therapy a lot sooner.

If you have questions about how your condition would be handled, ask them when you check out therapy clinics, like those at Holly Heights Nursing Home. Don't assume that you'll somehow find out the answers another way.