Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Physical Therapy Treatment

Posted in March 16, 2023
By Dan Wheeler
Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Physical Therapy Treatment

When you visit a physical therapist for the first time, you may not know what to expect or what will be expected of you. Your physical therapy treatment will only work if you are open and receptive to following your physical therapist’s advice, and if you keep coming back to each session with a good attitude. You should also commit to completing your “homework,” or the additional therapies and guidelines your physical therapist will give you for when you’re back at home or work after a session. At Strong Oaks Physical Therapy, we want every patient we see to succeed in their physical therapy journey. We’re committed to giving each patient the personalized care and attention they need and adapting our treatments and resources to meet them where they are. If you’re interested in finding out if physical therapy is right for you, call us today at (802) 424-1434 to learn more. 

Know When to Choose Physical Therapy

Physical therapy isn’t necessarily right for everyone at all times. You may be directed to seek physical therapy by your primary care physician, surgeon, or another medical specialist. You can also seek out information on physical therapy on your own if you think you could benefit from it. Physical therapy is particularly valuable for people who are trying to eliminate their need for a more invasive treatment method (like surgery), who are injured, or who have undergone surgery and need assistance with rehabilitation. Physical therapists can also provide preventative care that reduces your risk of further injury. If you suffer from a chronic illness or medical condition like diabetes, heart disease, or arthritis, a physical therapist can help you manage your symptoms. Your physical therapist can also help you use an assistive device like a brace or walker. 

Understand the Benefits of Combining Physical Therapy with Other Treatment Methods

Depending on your condition, you may benefit from combining physical therapy treatments with other treatment methods. Understanding when that is appropriate will help you start that discussion with your physical therapist. Therapies that are commonly paired with physical therapy modalities include:

  • Dry needling
  • Acupuncture
  • Therapeutic massage
  • Therapeutic ultrasound
  • Laser therapy
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Counseling
  • Lifestyle and behavior modifications

Know What to Expect from Physical Therapy

If you go into your initial physical therapy appointment knowing what to expect, you’re more likely to have a good attitude and open mind about treatment. Stay inquisitive and ask your physical therapist any questions you have and be sure to voice any concerns. Remain flexible about your treatment options and expect to do some work toward your recovery at home, as well. Your physical therapy treatments will be more effective if you are committed to the process. Find out what your prognosis is, and how many physical therapy treatments are recommended for your condition and symptoms. Continue to evaluate your progress with your physical therapist on an ongoing basis, so you can stay up to date on your progress. 

Keep an Open Mind and Ask Questions as You Go

Remember to always keep an open mind and ask questions as you go. If you are resistant to treatment, it is much less likely to work for you. Your physical therapist will expect you to continue certain treatments at home, and if you don’t commit to the process, your progress will be slower and less obvious. If you ever have any concerns about how your treatment is progressing, or if you’re experiencing new or worsening symptoms, let your physical therapist know as soon as possible. 

Follow the Recommended Course of Treatment at Home

Again, you’ll be expected to follow the recommended course of treatment at home. If you don’t, your recovery may be slower, or you may experience setbacks. Your physical therapist may suggest exercises, stretches, and strength training to do at home to complement your in-office sessions. He may also suggest that you make changes to your daily routine or work routine to accommodate your symptoms as you recover. Sticking to these recommendations gives you a better chance of success throughout your recovery and rehabilitation. 

Keep Coming Back

Finally, keep coming back. If you’re consistent about your physical therapy treatments, they will be more likely to benefit you and you’re more likely to see progress. Taking long breaks between treatments or stopping altogether can result in a setback, where symptoms start returning. If you feel like you’ve hit a wall in your physical therapy treatments, take a rest and communicate your feelings with your physical therapist. He may have some advice or alternative treatments that will encourage you to keep going. While you may not see immediate improvement after one or two physical therapy sessions, continued treatment will help you stay steadily on track towards your goals. 

Contact Us Today to Find Out if Physical Therapy Can Benefit You

If you aren’t sure if you would benefit from physical therapy treatment in St. Johnsbury, VT, contact us today at Strong Oaks Physical Therapy. Our physical therapist, Dr. Wheeler, offers a free, 15-minute telehealth assessment to help patients determine if physical therapy is right for them. Dr. Wheeler can answer any questions you have and discuss your overall health, symptoms, conditions, goals, and treatment options. To learn more or to schedule an initial evaluation, call us today at (802) 424-1434 or request an appointment online

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About The Author

Dan Wheeler
Physical Therapist
I never grew up thinking I was going to be in this role. I never had dreams or ever said it was my goal to be a Physical Therapist, but yet somehow this profession found me. Now, this is not just a job, and it is definitely not about the money. I truly live for this.

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