Whether you had orthopedic surgery to replace a joint, injured your shoulder, or sustained a sports injury, your physician may have recommended that you participate in a physical therapy program. Physical therapy not only helps restore mobility, but it can also help heal injured muscles, joints, and tendons by enhancing blood flow to the affected areas. While you most certainly will benefit from the effects of physical therapy, you will need to consider the following tips to help ensure that you meet your therapeutic goals.
Ice and Heat
Prior to your sessions, either ice the painful areas on your body or apply heat in the form of a warm compress or heating pad. Your choice of temperature therapies should be dependent upon the stage of your injury. For example, if you recently sprained your ankle and still have extensive inflammation and bruising, ice therapy may be your best option.
After your swelling and bruising subside, consider applying a heat source to the area. Ice and heat treatments can help keep you comfortable during your therapy sessions so that your pain diminishes and so that you have better flexibility and range-of-motion. When you are able to perform your exercises, you may reach your therapeutic rehabilitation goals faster.
Communicate With Your Therapist
The more your physical therapist knows about your general state of health, strengths, and limitations, the better your therapeutic outcome may be. Because of this, it is in your best interest to tell your therapist if you don't feel well enough to complete your session or, conversely, if you are feeling well enough to push yourself even harder.
You should also talk to your physical therapist about the location of your sessions. If it is difficult for you to drive to the therapy center or if you otherwise have no transportation to get to your therapy appointments, ask the therapist if they make house calls. Feeling comfortable in your therapy surroundings is an important part of your treatment. If you feel more comfortable doing physical therapy in your home, you will probably be more likely to reach your therapy goals.
If your doctor recommends participating in a physical therapy program, consider the above ways that might help you reach your goals. When you follow your therapist's treatment plan and when you maintain an optimal line of communication with them, you will be more likely to be satisfied with the outcome.