Physical therapy tends to be a long-term game. Sure, there are instances where a physical therapist can help correct inner ear issues to address balance problems in just a session or two, but much more often physical therapy involves multiple sessions and a myriad of at-home continuation exercises.
So if you’re like most people who get an in-person evaluation and then continue your care with home-based exercises and regular return visits to the clinic, it’s important that you walk out of that first visit with some understandings of how to best care for your injury. Below, we share a few things we want all patients to understand and acknowledge before they leave their first visit with a physical therapist.
Patient education is very important to the success of their treatment plan. We don’t just want the patient to know that they are recovering from a meniscus tear, we want them to understand what’s going on in the knee joint, what we’re hoping to accomplish with therapy, and how your exercises will help expedite the healing process. Patients tend to have better treatment results when they really understand their injury.
How To Do Their Exercises
When you do your exercises in the clinic, it’s easy for a therapist to adjust your squat pattern or shift your posture position when you’re not doing an exercise perfectly, but how can you self-police your form at home? We explain to our patients what we’re looking for with each exercise so they can have the confidence to perform them correctly at home. It’s not enough to know which exercises we want you to perform at home, we need you to know how to do them correctly, and we won’t let you leave until we’re confident you can do these exercises safely on your own.
Where We Want You To Be
We found that patients respond better to treatment when they have goals to shoot for, and that’s why we always set some short- and long-term goals for patients before they leave our office. Sometimes the goal is as simple as following through on your exercises at the required interval, and other times we challenge the patient to try and up their repetitions as they progress through their home-based routine. We want you to be able to have a goal in mind and focus on achieving it, so we’ll help you set these goals before you leave after your first visit.