What is Expected of You as a Physical Therapy Patient

As a physical therapy patient, you will have 2 responsibilities that will be key to a successful outcome. If not fulfilled, your chances of success are significantly reduced. Although it is important to find yourself a high quality, manual Physical Therapist in a healing environment that will provide guidance and skilled manual therapy, it will be imperative that you take an active role in the overall process.  Let us look at what to expect and what is expected of you should you desire the best chance of recovery. 

 #1: It is imperative that you actively participate in your rehab with a home exercise program. This program should be patient specific to you and your injury. This should not be a generic program, yet a program that was designed by your Doctor of Physical Therapy unique to you, your goals, and your injury. It is generally performed daily. If you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Most patients typically attend physical therapy 2-3 x per week for 1 hour per session for a total of 2-3 hours per week. This is simply not enough rehab time. You must plan for a 15-20 minute home program in order to reduce or eliminate your pain, improve your mobility and/or strength and return you to the activities you have been missing.

#2: This one is relatively straight forward, yet often overlooked. You must show up for your scheduled visits consistently. This is simple, you need to schedule your sessions typically 2-3 x per week for a specific duration often dictated by your referring Physician and your Doctor of Physical Therapy. Consistency and commitment are essential. Try your best to avoid letting anything get in the way of you attending each one of your scheduled sessions. Like a diet or new gym routine, slip ups and noncommitment will hinder your outcomes.

 With an emphasis on the 2 above responsibilities, you can assure yourself the best possible opportunity to meet your rehab goals! Now, focus, commit and great things will happen. 

By Todd Sparks PT, DPT