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Communicating with Your Physical Therapist

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Physical therapy after an injury is one of the most difficult parts of the recovery process. Recovering becomes even more problematic when miscommunications happen. Medical miscommunication is more common than we think, and can severely hinder your path to rehabilitation while wasting time and money in the process. A quality working relationship with your physical therapist is, therefore, essential to getting past your injury. Here are some important things to remember when communicating with your physical therapist.

Full Disclosure

Make sure to mention any other injuries you might have suffered before this one regardless of whether it is related or not. The therapist’s program may include exercises that utilize previously injured muscle groups, which can cause those old wounds to flare up. Remember to discuss any arthritis or chronic pain you feel as well. There are a variety of approaches to physical therapy, and your therapist can make changes to mitigate your discomfort.

Being Honest with Pain

Your PT (personal trainer) relies on measuring your pain to determine progress, and adjust the intensity of their approach. Pain management while still working the affected muscle group is key to making progress without causing setbacks. Being tough during physical therapy is important; pain and struggle are part of overcoming the injury. However, don’t feel pressured into lying about your pain level one way or the other. Communicate what you are feeling to the therapist and let them amend their approach if necessary.

Discussing Progress

Be upfront with your therapist if you feel like progress is coming along slowly. Give them the opportunity to show you any measured progress they have noticed through your treatment. We can sometimes overlook progress by getting caught up on all the things we are still unable to do. Your therapist can take appropriate measurements, gauge pain level, and show flexibility differences to let you know that the treatment is working.

 

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