There are many times in life when we question the necessity of certain things. Some things are simple to figure out if we really must have, while others aren’t quite as cut and dry. However, when it comes to your health I really want to stress that you should NEVER take anything but the BEST of treatments, ideas and therapies. Simply put your health is your life line and taking shortcuts is like trying to create a 5 star meal with budget, low end ingredients that are past their expiration date.
Physical therapy should really never be an ‘optional’ choice and here’s why.
Physical therapy generally takes on three major categories of justification or reason.
- Physical therapy after an operation or medical procedure. This is the common thought process of what PT is for most. It helps you to recover faster and better than if you were to simply sit around and wait for the medical procedure or operation to heal itself.
- Physical therapy to strengthen. This type of physical therapy can help you get ready and strengthen a particular area of your body before a scheduled surgery or it can strengthen an area that is weakened and could cause more physical harm if left weakened.
- Physical therapy to repair, re-generate, or strengthen. This type of PT is used when a person becomes weak in a particular area or tears an area; often a sports injury or even a symptom of aging.
No matter “reason” for physical therapy is, there should never be a time when you question if you should or shouldn’t actively attend therapy if you’ve been told it’s necessary. You should, however, question if a therapy is not working for you or doing what you need it to do; because then it’s a matter of the proper therapy or the proper therapy technique. By putting off physical therapy you are jeopardizing your health and possibly even your life.
I had seen too many physical therapy patients in my beginning years of practicing physical therapy who quit their PT for one reason or another. They will often justify not going to a physical therapy clinic by saying things like “Oh I feel fine now,” or “I’m just like new!” Unfortunately, this type of attitude towards physical therapy is detrimental and self defeating. Yes, because you participated and did your exercises and movements you started to heal and even began healing nicely; however, you didn’t heal completely so the next thing you know you’re still dealing with a weakened body part that very often will go right back to the way it was when you were first told you needed physical therapy. You don’t strengthen the body enough to hold up on its own and you’ve basically just put an extra bandage on the problem in order to keep your body from feeling bad for now. Because you didn’t complete the effort you can actually end up not only repeating an injury or creating an injury, but making your health even worse.
Seeing clients quit PT is probably one of the biggest reasons I decided to do in-home physical therapy. I saw that people got tired of having to gather themselves up two and three times a week, over and over again, to come to therapy sessions. Often they’re already in pain and having to worry about even the most simple of things like putting on their shoes or pulling on a pair of boots could be daunting. Add to that the factor of inclement weather, traffic, finding parking, walking to the office for the therapy, paying for parking or figuring out the public transportation to get to and from over and over again, and suddenly it’s just not so easy or desirable to be at every appointment. Once a patient starts feeling better they quickly begin to find it easier and easier not to push themselves anymore.
What I also noticed is that when I started making it easy on them to attend their physical therapy sessions by coming to them, they didn’t bother to try to find reasons not to participate. Instead they began to not only look forward to working towards full recovery and strengthening, but even to the social visit they had. Once they stopped worrying about everything around them and were able to concentrate on getting better they were more likely to complete their physical therapy 100%! To me, 100% is a win/win situation for all of my clients.
So the next time you wonder if you really HAVE to have physical therapy ask yourself if you really WANT to get better, stronger and healthier.
Dedicated To Your Health & Well-being,