When you are a patient, your physical therapist has a clear agenda for getting you back to good health. It starts with an in-depth assessment of your injuries, consultation to discuss what happened and what issues you might have, discussion about the types of therapies to be used and, finally, the goals that are expected from the therapy.
As the physical therapist is administering the therapy over the many sessions you attend, the therapist is paying close attention to you & your progress. Here is what the therapist is paying attention to, and trying to understand.
Are You Getting Stronger?
Each physical therapy session will include physiotherapy exercises and perhaps remedial massage that are designed to strengthen muscles, tendons, joints, ligaments, and bones. In the beginning you might be very weak because you are exercising muscles that have not been used in a while, however after a short while your strength should steadily increase until it is back to where it was before the accident, possibly even stronger. If you are not getting stronger through the therapy sessions, you will find that the physical therapist will make changes & adjust accordingly so that you do start getting stronger.
Is Your Range of Motion Increasing?
One typical issue with a patient, is a loss of range & motion in a joint, muscle, tendon or ligament. Physical therapists will pay close attention to your body to see if any range of motion issues are found. Loss of range of motion is particularly challenging because it is often more than one part of the body that is to blame. This requires a series of exercises or therapies in order to treat the affected areas.
Are You Responding Well to the Therapies?
A good physical therapist always pay attention to the patient and how they are responding to the therapies being administered. Everyone is different and one particular therapy might be ideal for one person yet hardly effective on another. By paying close attention, the physical therapist can decide when or how often to modify or switch therapies in order to get the best results.
Is Your Stamina Increasing?
At the beginning of your physical therapy sessions, you’ll often find yourself exhausted. As time goes on however your stamina should increase to the point that you can get through an entire session without too much trouble. Again if you are not showing signs of an increase in stamina your physical therapist will increase the intensity or resistance of the treatments that you are receiving. Remember the goal is to get you healthier and the only way that will happen is if you’re making steady progress in all areas.
Physical therapy typically takes a long time to show substantial results. Sessions may be painful or boring, but if you continue with the regimens, you will get healthier.