Nobody wants to pursue an ineffective treatment strategy, but most treatments aren’t designed to work over night, so it can sometimes be difficult to gauge the effectiveness of certain treatments. Sometimes it’s not always obvious that your recovery is trending in the right direction, especially when you pursue a treatment like physical therapy that oftentimes requires many visits over the course of a number of weeks for best results. So how can you tell if your physical therapy sessions are effective? We take a closer look at how you can tell if your physical therapy exercises are working in today’s blog.
Are My Physical Therapy Sessions Effective?
Physical therapy is designed to help you make slow and steady progress until you’ve reached maximum physical recovery, and while we can understand that it can sometimes be frustrating if you’re not progressing as fast as you had initially hoped, remember that doing too much while your body is in a weakened state can be a recipe for a setback. So if you’re struggling to notice any progress, how can you tell if your physical therapy sessions are effective? Here are some tips:
- Start Journaling – It’s easier to get a better understanding of your progress if you keep a daily journal about your activities and sessions. It will be easier to see how your repetitions and capabilities change over time if you have a written record of your daily attempts to get stronger. It may seem like you’re not progressing, but your therapy notes may tell a different story.
- Ask Your Physical Therapist – Your physical therapist can also be a great resource to help you understand how you are progressing because physical improvement is their top priority. If things aren’t working, they will shift their strategy and your exercise program to find ways to achieve the physical improvements they want to see. You may not notice that you are carrying yourself with improved posture or you’re walking with an improved gait, but your physical therapist will see all the little ways that you’ve made progress towards your end goals. They’ll be happy to talk with you about your progress and how you can continue to make strides in your recovery.
- Testing – There are a number of physical tests and measuring devices that a PT can use to help showcase how you’re making progress. If you’d like to add in some exercises that better highlight how you are becoming more functionally capable, just let your PT know. We also have certain motion and strength measuring devices that can illustrate how your function is improving as you go through your PT routine.
- It’s Not 100 Percent Physical – Some weeks you’ll struggle to make physical progress, and that’s okay, because there are a number of other ways that you can move your recovery forward. PT is a physical, mental and emotional progress, so if you can improve your mindset or find ways to better overcome the emotional roadblocks that you’re running into during your rehab, you’ll be making more progress than you realize. When you’re struggling to make physical progress, challenge yourself to mentally and emotionally handle this stress so that it doesn’t negatively affect your rehab going forward. There are more ways to make progress in your recovery than you realize, so pivot when something isn’t going as expected.
We’re confident that our team can help you become the strongest version of yourself, and we’ll be happy to help you understand what a normal progression looks like and what we’ll do if things aren’t moving forward as expected. We never want you to get discouraged by your lack of progress, and oftentimes all it takes is a conversation to better illustrate all the progress you’ve made and how we’ll continue to make improvements going forward.
If you have any questions about your current physical therapy program, or you just want to connect with a specialist who will do everything in their power to help you become the strongest version of yourself after injury or surgery, reach out to the team at OrthoRehab Specialists today at (612) 339-2041.