4 Ways You Can Assist Your Physical Therapist in Your Treatment


Physical therapy is one of the most effective treatment methods for a variety of pains. It is most common with knee, hip, and lower back pains. While much of the success of your physical therapy lies on your physical therapist, you can also contribute to the treatment. Patients generally do not do enough when it comes to the treatment of their own bodies. The following activities will help you supplement and get the most out of your physical therapy.

Schedule based on the therapists recommendations

It might seem overwhelming to schedule 3 or 4 physical therapy appointments per week for your knee or hip pain. You have a busy schedule and it just seems like a hassle. However, it is important to remember that if your therapist recommended that many times per week, it is because that?s what will give you the best results. In most cases, the first few weeks of physical therapy require numerous visits per week. After you get into the routine of things, your visits are likely to reduce.

Do your at home exercises

Most physical therapists will also encourage you to continue your exercises at home, on your off days. Although they cannot truly know if you actually completed them, skipping these exercises can slow your recovery. Follow your therapists at home recommendations for the best recovery results. If you find them difficult to do at home, let your therapist know. They can work with you on creating a home exercise plan that you feel comfortable doing on your own. Most of these at home exercises are strengthening exercises, including hip strengthening or knee strengthening. Keep in mind that in a study, total medical costs for low back pain were $2,736.23 lower for patients receiving early physical therapy. Your at home exercises could actually be saving you money.

Avoid high risk activities during therapy

Your physical therapist is working on reducing your pain and increasing the strength of your surrounding muscles to prevent further injury. If you are receiving physical therapy for hip pain, it is best to avoid activities that could further your pain, at least until you are completed with physical therapy. Follow your therapist?s orders and avoid sports or high risk activities until they give you the clear.

The ACL is the most commonly injured knee ligament. In the U.S. there are between 100,000 and 200,000 ACL ruptures each year. Tearing the ACL requires months of recovery. Many of these tears are caused by people ignoring their own bodies. If you have a lot of knee or hip pain, it is best to complete treatment before using it again.

Eat a healthy diet and get enough sleep

Many people do not realize the strong connection between recovery and eating and sleeping habits. If you have a poor diet or do not get enough sleep, your recovery time could be affected. Your body needs sufficient sleep time to fully recover from an injury. Eating a healthy diet is important in consuming the best nutrients that can also contribute to a full recovery. Think of your recovery process as a whole being. The healthier that you are, the easier your body will be able to recover. Currently, osteoarthritis (OA) affects over 30 million US adults. Prevent OA with a healthy lifestyle.

Physical therapy is often the preferred treatment method for a variety of pains. Physical therapy can shorten recovery time and save you treatment costs. However, it is important to think of physical therapy as a dual effort. Try not to place all of the work onto the therapist. For the most effective and successful results, you need to be an active part of the treatment. Do your exercises at home, follow your therapist?s recommended treatment schedule, and transition to an overall healthier lifestyle.