Physical Therapy 101: 3 Tips To Help You Get The Most Out Of Your Sessions

Physical therapy is division of medicine that helps people get their mobility back by using exercises. It is often used after severe injuries, such as torn ligaments and tendons. If you have never participated in physical therapy before, you might not know what to expect or what to focus on. Don't worry, you can easily make the most of your sessions by following these four tips:

1. Be Specific About Pain

During your sessions, the therapist will usually ask you about your pain. Describing pain might seem easy, until it's actually time to do so. Before you go into your sessions, take some time to think about the pain you are experiencing. Is it an aching pain? Is it a stabbing pain? Is is a throbbing pain? How severe is the pain? When do you feel the pain? By answering these quick questions, you can better inform your therapist about your pain; which will make it easier for them to develop a treatment plan for you.

As an example, a dull constant pain during rest might be an indicator of a more chronic injury. On the other hand, a throbbing pain usually indicates a more severe injury that requires quick treatment. During treatment, it might be helpful to make a note of the pain you are feeling and when; as this can help your therapist understand your injury better. 

2. Bring a Pen, Paper, and Camera

During each session, your therapist will go over specific movements to help you heal. Sometimes, these movements can be difficult to remember. So to make it easier, consider bringing along a pen and paper. Jot down the movements, how to do them, and how many sets you should do. To make it even easier, consider bringing along a camera and photographing what your therapist does. Be detailed and photograph each step of the movement. This will significantly help you when it comes to practicing these moves at home.

3. Be Patient

Finally, make sure remain patient with yourself. Remember, you are suffering from an injury and injuries take time to heal. No matter what you do, you won't be able to heal overnight. In fact, it usually takes about a month for most sports injuries to heal according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. So go easy on yourself and don't push too hard, even when at your physical therapy clinic. If something hurts when doing your exercises, ease up. For example, when you are stretching make sure you do not stretch so far that you are in constant pain. Just make sure that you do your exercises as prescribed and visit the therapist as scheduled. 

Physical therapy might sound scary, but there's nothing to fear. With these four tips and some diligence, you will be well on your way to playing sports, running, and enjoying life like you used to.