How To Make Physical Therapy A More Effective Part Of Your Injury Rehab Process

When you become injured, either while playing sports or working, the rehabilitation process can seem daunting. It's tough to take time off when you're used to being active! One part of the injury rehab process is working with a physical therapist. You'll have regular sessions during which they guide you through exercises to stretch and strengthen the injured tissues. Physical therapy can be one of the most effective — if not the most effective — parts of your rehab routine. Here are a few steps you can take to ensure that your physical therapy is as effective as possible.

Get clear on your goals.

At your very first physical therapy appointment, make sure you have a discussion with the physical therapist about your goals. Tell them what you hope to achieve. Do you want to walk comfortably again? Do you want to be able to return to your pre-injury level of competitiveness? Your physical therapist will help you set some achievable goals. Knowing what you're working towards will give you the motivation to keep pushing forward when things get tough.

Make appointments a priority.

It starts off with you delaying one appointment because something better comes up, and before you know it, you've skipped more appointments than you've attended. In order for physical therapy to be effective, you need to be consistent. Skipping just one appointment can stall your progress or even cause you to backslide. You should treat your appointments as a top priority, only rescheduling in case of a true emergency.

If you have questions about your between-session exercises, call and ask.

Your physical therapist will assign you exercises to do on your own between appointments. Sometimes patients get home, find that the instructions are unclear, and then just avoid doing the exercises until their next appointment. This approach will only slow down your progress! If you find yourself questioning how to do a move or wondering if a certain exercise should hurt as much as it does, call your physical therapist and ask. It may take them an hour or two to call you back, but they will. They want you to succeed, and they have the answers and information you need to keep progressing.

Physical therapy can help speed up healing and ensure you come back as strong as you can. The tips above will help you make it a key part of your healing and rehabilitation process.