Have you ever been injured in an accident, or while playing sports? Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you needed physical therapy in order to aid in your recovery? The answer to these questions is very commonly ‘yes’ – physical therapy is a very common necessity for vast numbers of people around the world. Sometimes a doctor recommends or prescribes PT for a specific reason. For example, if you break your shoulder, a doctor will usually prescribe PT once the healing has reached a specific stage. This helps your injury to heal more fully, and brings your shoulder back into a fuller range of motion.
But physical therapy isn’t always successful. In fact, there are varying degrees of success that are influenced by a number of different factors. Here are three reasons why your physical therapy wasn’t successful.
1. You didn’t do your homework
In the vast majority of cases, physical therapy is not just about the actual time you spend with the therapist. These sessions are, of course, important. They give both you and your therapist valuable insight on how your healing is progressing and what areas need work. The assisted exercises performed in PT sessions are enormously beneficial. But you’ll also be given exercises to do at home in order to keep things moving forward.
2. You stopped too soon
It would be great if physical therapy were all about quick results, but this just isn’t the case. Quality PT is a process, and it requires proactive involvement from both patient and therapist. When the patient doesn’t achieve his or her healing goals after physical therapy, it’s often because therapy was ended too soon. Depending on the nature and severity of the ailment, it can take months or even years of dedicated physical therapy to fully realize the healing potential. On the other hand, great results can be achieved in a matter of weeks. The important thing is that the right duration and frequency of PT is prescribed, and that the patient sticks with it until results are achieved.
3. Your physical therapist isn’t the most skilled or experienced
Like or not, physical therapists come in a range of skill and experience levels. You’ll obviously want to make sure that any therapist you work with has the requisite training and certification to be legally operating in your area. Beyond these basic requirements, you’ll want to find a therapist who has a knack for the art of physical therapy, and who has depth of experience in guiding people who had similar injuries through the healing process. Your doctor will often recommend a physical therapist, and sometimes these therapists are very good. It’s also not wrong to take matters into your own hands and research other therapists in your area, to find someone who you really connect with, and who makes you feel both comfortable and challenged. Physical therapists who don’t do their jobs very well are relatively few and far between, but they are out there. For the best results, find a PT who has developed a strong reputation and is highly rated by past clients.