Physiotherapy is one of the most effective methods of relieving pain caused by strains, sprains, and other injuries. However, the effectiveness of your physiotherapy treatment can be improved or diminished depending on both the patient and the therapist, as well as their collaboration together. This article will outline four tips for maximizing your physiotherapy, giving you the best chance at an efficient recovery.
Think about your presenting symptoms and condition.
An extremely valuable part of the physiotherapy assessment of any condition is a thorough analysis of what makes it better or worse. This enables the therapist to clearly diagnose the problem, but also to set irritability levels. This gives the therapist a better idea of how much they can do in a session without potentially making you sore afterwards.
Prior to your initial visit, think about your presenting symptoms or condition. How long your symptoms have been present? Was there a specific mechanism or even that brought on these symptoms? Have your symptoms been getting better or worse? Have any additional investigations been conducted (examples may include: x-ray or radiographic imaging, MRI, diagnostic ultrasound)? Have you had any alternative treatments (examples may include: chiropractic, massage)? Overall, these are just a few examples of questions your physiotherapist may inquire about during the initial assessment.
Take the time to reflect on what you value and what your personal goals are with physiotherapy. Share your goals with your physiotherapist to discuss if those goals are feasible.
A recent study found that when patients were actively involved in setting their treatment goals they had measurably better outcomes in range of movement, strength and balance. Start by thinking about your goals and by finding someone who is committed to working with you to achieve those goals. Working with patients on the things that they care about is part of a physiotherapist’s professional standards, and is at the heart of the treatments they provide.
Set a course for action and map a plan to achieve your goals.
Work with your physiotherapist to create a schedule that works for you. Be sure to tell your physiotherapist when something isn’t working for you so they can work cooperatively with you to develop a plan that fits into your individual lifestyle.
Work actively to achieve your goals.
Whatever your condition, the secret to success is that you get out what you put in. This is a message that’s often forgotten by both patients and therapists. Everyone struggles to start new routines. If your therapist has given you new exercises to treat your condition and you know you cannot fit them all in as they take you over an hour to complete, then you must say. Saying you’ve done them when you haven’t will potentially reduce the therapist’s confidence in their diagnosis, as they would have expected you to improve within certain time scales. Conversely, not doing them means you won’t see the benefits attached, so be honest and get a short succinct program for you that is manageable.