Depending what line of work you’re in, you’ve probably run into a range of professionals that go about their business in different ways. Maybe you have a co-worker who is a bit cold and rigid but very good at their job, and you have another worker who is everyone’s favorite in the office because of their personality and their positive attitude, but they aren’t quite as efficient at their job as others. Everyone brings something different to the table, and in general, that’s a good thing.
But when it comes to finding a physical therapist after an injury or surgery, it’s not enough to find a therapist who is knowledgeable but little else. You also need to find a therapist who is engaged during your sessions and encouraging along the way. It may seem like this is little more than personal preference, but finding an encouraging physical therapist has actually been shown to help produce better results from therapy. We explain why encouragement from your physical therapist, your friends and family and even self encouragement is so important for the success of your rehab.
Why Encouragement Matters in PT
An encouraging physical therapist is critical for a number of reasons throughout the course of your recovery. For starters, in order to get the most out of your rehab, you’re going to need to push yourself during your sessions. Any physical therapist can explain why movements and exercises are important, but it’s the best therapists that can motivate the patient to push themselves with encouragement to follow through with every rep and do the training exercises when it’s the last thing they want to be doing. Motivation is arguably the most influential factor during physical therapy, and physical therapists can foster this motivation with encouragement and a positive attitude.
Encouragement is also important during and throughout the goal setting process. A great physical therapist will encourage you to set lofty but achievable goals and support you every step of the way as you work towards these goals. If done incorrectly, goal setting and failing to achieve these goals can be one of the biggest detractors to a positive therapy outcome, because even if a person is making real strides, if they aren’t seeing the progress they thought they would, it can discourage them from putting forth the same strong effort in therapy. It’s not just about encouraging a patient to achieve their goals, it’s also about being able to point to their successes and keep the patient motivated in the face of setbacks, which can happen if benchmarks aren’t always hit at the pace a patient hoped they would.
There’s also a vital role for encouragement alongside the patient education aspect of care. A great therapist can convey what’s going on in your body and why therapy is important for improving the situation, all while doing it in a positive and encouraging manner. If your therapist is having a conversation at you instead of with you, it doesn’t always lead to the best outcomes. The best physical therapists encourage the patient to come with questions or to interrupt if something they just said doesn’t quite make sense. Encouragement doesn’t just have to motivate physical tasks, it can also improve dialogue and communication, which also helps drive home a successful rehab.
At OrthoRehab Specialists, our team is highly educated in all things physical therapy, but being extremely knowledgeable about meniscus tears or rotator cuff injuries isn’t what sets us apart from the rest. It’s also the fact that our team is very encouraging of our patients in a way that helps them get the most out of their recovery. Now, we’re not going to sit here and tell you you’re doing great when there’s room for improvement and you’re missing normal benchmarks, but as the old adage goes, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar, so we need to be able to convey our message to you in a positive manner that fuels your motivation to get better. We’ve done that for countless clients in the past, and we look forward to looking at your individual issue and finding a way to do the same for you. For more information, or to talk to a member of our therapy team, reach out to OrthoRehab Specialists today at (612) 339-2041.
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