Your physical therapist should take time to listen to you. To go over your medical conditions and to understand your current injury, surgery and limitations. It’s important to listen understand your history, mechanism of injury and your priorities for functional recovery. The research shows that a skilled physical therapist will be able to determine up to 75-90% of your diagnosis by carefully listening to you.
Your physical therapist will use the clues you provide – your history, description of your condition and movement limitations to ask you specific questions. These questions will reveal how your limitations relate to movement dysfunction and related risk factors that may contribute.
Tests & Measures
Your Physical Therapist will ask you to perform certain movements – requiring strength, posture, balance and flexibility. Your performance will be observed & measured – and compared to expected norms. Tests & measures should be customized to your particular movement and functional limitation issues. They’re used to rule-in or rule-out certain conditions.
Anatomy & Physiology
Your Physical Therapist should educate you about your anatomy and physiology as it relates to your injured body part. This will give you perspective regarding the injury or ailment, such as degenerative changes, mechanics of the joint or muscular movement dysfunction, etc.
Holistic Human Movement
You are not a body part. Your physical therapist will show you how your whole body movement patterns contribute to your injured body part. In our research, this is called “Regional Interdependence.” It’s important for you to understand how to improved your habit patterns – your posture, movement, strength and balance. Most often, your habit patterns of movement contribute.
Be sure to let your physical therapist know exactly what you wish to gain from your physical therapy intervention. Include pain management, daily activities that are currently limited, improving your strength, getting better balance, decreasing your risk for falls, achieving return to sports & recreation, improving your health & wellness, etc. Everyone is different, so be sure to come to a good understanding with your physical therapist.
Functional Recovery Expectations
Your Physical Therapist will guide you – while working with your primary care and specialist physician(s) – to set and achieve your goals. We’ll help you to understand realistic expectations with evidence-based care that factors in your unique physical and medical conditions that may impact your rate and level of recovery.
Your physical therapy treatment sessions are typically ~60 minutes in duration. You should expect to participate in physical therapist guided therapeutic exercise, neuro-muscular re-education and functional training activities. You’ll enhance your body awareness to improve your movement patterns with hands-on physical therapy care. We’ll include modalities such as electrical stimulation, vaso-pneumatic compression, trigger point dry needling, manual therapy and other modalities to diminish painful symptoms as needed.
Home Exercise Program
Rehabilitation is an incremental process. Your recovery will require diligent and consistent practice – to improve movement patterns and to make the gains in strength, motion, balance and function that is needed. Your physical therapist will give you homework to perform between physical therapy sessions. In our practice this includes options for written, pictoral and/or video-clips for specific exercises and educational materials. It’s important for you to follow-through with your home program.
You’ll learn how to move better and without pain. With temporary modifications and guided rehabilitation progressions for your return to activity. By understanding your current condition, and with the support and knowledge you gain, you will achieve your best functional recovery.
Your Physical Therapy evaluation, plan of care, intervention and home program is designed to help you to achieve optimal functional recovery. While teaching you to move well without pain. Your course of physical therapy care – the average in our practice is 12-15 treatment sessions over the course of approximately 3 months – will provide you with the support you need to achieve your goals.
You and your physical therapist should work together as a team. Working and communicating closely as you progress toward your goals during each treatment session. Together we can make a difference in the quality of your movement and the improvement in your activity level. Research supports physical therapy intervention to improve your functional outcome – with or without surgery. And if you need surgery, your outcome will be better with physical therapy as well. You’ll improve your healthspan – living longer and with better health.
It’s an honor and a privilege to help you,