If you ask a random group of people who have done physiotherapy, some will inevitably tell you they’ve had success, and some won’t. What determines who have success and who do not? Aside from medical considerations, there are four important elements you need to have to maximize your likelihood of achieving positive outcomes.
Have an open mindset.
If are needing the expertise of a therapist, you will be seeking advice and recommendations from someone who is more knowledgeable than you about human physiology. Our preconceived notions about our problems can lead to certain biases that may hinder your recovery. For example, you may believe that a specific event must have caused lingering pain to your hip when the pain is really due to weak muscles in your foot.
The role of the physiotherapist is to tell you what you need to know, and not necessarily what you want to know. You have to be open to new ideas and concepts that can help you understand the source of your problems and how they can be rectified.
Participate in your rehab.
In almost all cases, a home exercise program is going to be critical for maintaining good health and preventing re-injury. While in today’s age we may have gotten used to having things automated or done for us, improving our body’s physical function is still largely a personal responsibility.
There is a plethora of modalities that can reduce pain, such as acupuncture, massage, ice, nerve stimulation, and heat, but they do not help strengthen the body. Only you have the ability and control to make your body move the way you want.
Set realistic expectations.
Different injuries have different timelines and potential for recovery. There are also individual factors that can delay healing, such as diabetes and blood thinning medications. Often times, what you read on the internet and hear from friends can misguide your expectations going into your initial assessment.
Having a discussion about prognosis with your physiotherapist, and understanding what to expect, can help avoid frustration and disappointment. Doing so ensures that your rehab progress aligns with your expectations.
Be ready for change.
Chances are, if you are in need of physiotherapy, your pre-injury condition or habits were less than ideal. Perhaps you were eating poorly, not sleeping enough, or your running form was inefficient.
Although lifestyle or physical changes are usually tough to make and sustain, they are necessary for a successful course of rehab. Be sure to prioritize time in your life to work on your well-being.