What You’re Not Telling Your Physical Therapist May Be Harming You
Whether you’re meeting a physical therapist for the first time, or are currently in a treatment program, it’s important to know how to best communicate any questions, or concerns, you may have. Think of your PT as you would your regular doctor. The more you share with them, the better they can care for you.
Be Ready to Come Prepared
When beginning a treatment program, you’ll want to do your part and provide the physical therapist with a background of your medical history. This will help your PT to better identify your condition and determine an appropriate form of treatment. Things you’ll want to consider including are:
- A full list of your meds, X-rays, MRIs, or any other medical information.
- Making a list of questions you may want to ask your PT, such as:
- Does Your PT have experience with treating your condition?
- Will you be seeing the same PT for each treatment session?
- How often will your visits be?
- Will your PT be providing you with a list of at-home exercises/therapy to perform?
Be Honest with Yourself and Your PT
Just like when seeing your regular physician, your physical therapist will also ask you how you’re feeling, and if there have been any changes in your condition. And, like a visit to the doctor’s office, it’s important to communicate and build trust with your PT. Be open and honest about your treatment. Tell them if you’re experiencing any pain, if you’re feeling discouraged with your progress, etc. Now is the time to share any thoughts, or questions, you may have. These may also include:
- Telling your PT of any changes in your condition during treatment. Are your symptoms getting better, or worse?
- Are you feeling physically able to do additional exercises in the treatment program?
- How long will your treatment program last, and at what physical capacity do they expect you to be able to function after completion?
Never hide or downplay the truth about what you’re experiencing during therapy. This only makes it more difficult for your PT to effectively treat you.
Know Your Own Goals
Share your own objectives regarding the treatment program with your physical therapist. Compare notes on your goals and progress. Just remember, keep an open line of communication between you and your PT to achieve the treatment results you’re both working for.