We’re excited to come to work each and every day to help patients recover from injuries and regain a sense of physical independence, but our patients don’t always have a similar mindset. Don’t get us wrong, we have plenty of patients who enter and leave with a smile and a commitment to their health, but some people see physical therapy as something they have to do, not something they want to do.
We understand that PT may not be your favorite thing in the world, but if you change your mindset about physical therapy, odds are you’ll get more out of each session and see even more improvement. Below, we talk about some ways to improve your outlook on physical therapy.
Improving Your Outlook On PT
In order to change your mindset to one that looks forward to physical therapy, you need to make sure you’re focusing on the right aspects of therapy and your overall health. Start by thinking about all the things you’ll be able to do again once you’ve reached maximum recovery. Maybe you’ll be able to get back to competitive sports, run that next marathon or simply be able to walk around an amusement park with your family all day without being bothered by pain. Instead of focusing on any pain and discomfort you may be having now, think about everything you’ll gain by successfully going through your physical therapy routine. Many patients find a new appreciation for PT when they really take time to think about everything they’ll get to do again assuming it all goes as planned.
Physical therapy also provides so much more than improvement in athletic ability, it can also help you regain other important aspects of your daily life, like confidence, independence and a heightened quality of life. We’ve worked with patients after a stroke or women who are dealing with physical challenges during or after a pregnancy, and all they want is to be able to regain some independence and normalcy in their life. We can help you achieve these results if you’re willing to put in the work.
Maybe you’ll find it easier to change your mindset about physical therapy if we use an analogy. Your body is a lot like a car. You take care of your body with regular exercise just like you care for your car with regular oil changes, but even the most well-maintained cars need hands-on service from time to time. When your check engine light comes on, you take it in for expert service, and when you have an injury or are recovering after surgery, physical therapists are a similar kind of expert. Because if you ignore the check engine light or try to push through the pain, things aren’t going to get any better, and they may in fact get worse. Taking care of your vehicle and your body makes your daily life easier.
You Get What You Put In
A final point about your mindset towards physical therapy centers around the old adage that you get out what you put in. If you skip sessions or only half commit to your physical therapy sessions, you’re not going to reach maximum medical improvement. This can be discouraging and make it harder for a person to commit to their rehab. That’s why we really urge our patients to fully commit to their physical therapy plan at the outset. If they are really involved, they are going to see the biggest improvement and they are going to get used to bringing the same level of commitment to each session. And when people see these improvements and learn about the power of committing to their PT sessions, they are more likely to keep coming back and working hard. It’s a cycle of success, all because you came in with an open mind and a willingness to work.
At the end of the day, we know that there are other things you’d probably rather be doing than physical therapy, but if you don’t commit to a PT routine, there may be some things you’ll never be able to do again. Focus on all you have to gain and really bring your best effort at the outset, and we’re confident your mindset will shift. And if you’re having any reservations or concerns about your physical therapy, bring them up to your PT. Odds are they’ve heard it before and can find some solutions. For more information, contact OrthoRehab Specialists today.