Recovery takes time and your Physical Therapist is committed to being there during that time, helping you navigate the path toward your goals. Just like your doctor prescribes medications, Doctors of Physical Therapy prescribe movement, some of which can be applied during your sessions, while some must take place outside of the clinic. For your Physical Therapy treatment to be most effective, your movement prescription from your Physical Therapist must be adhered to.
Movement is Medicine.
The collaborative development of your treatment plan with your Physical Therapist is just the beginning of your recovery process. This collaboration is the preparation phase of your recovery. Together you have constructed a plan for change. After that plan is made, action is required to adopt the new habits necessary to achieve the desired change.
This is where being consistent with your prescribed treatment plan comes into play.
Remaining compliant during your Physical Therapy sessions is often easier than remaining compliant outside of your appointments. Show up to your appointments and engage in the sessions that your Physical Therapist has structured for you and Voilà! you are being compliant!
Good Job, that is really important!
However, once you leave that session and your Physical Therapist is no longer by your side it can be much more challenging to stay consistent with your treatment plan.
Don’t give up, this is JUST as important as the time you spend in the clinic!
Following your prescribed plan of care to the best of your ability, during your appointments and outside of your appointments, is directly correlated with your outcomes.
The more compliant you are, the better your outcomes will be.
Remaining compliant requires genuine effort; but difficult exercises can become more palatable when you understand the reasoning behind the prescription of those exercises, feel connected to that reasoning, and can easily incorporate those exercises into your daily life. Your Physical Therapist is your best resource for helping you acquire that knowledge and skill.
If you find yourself struggling with keeping yourself on track outside of your sessions, speak up!
Experiencing struggles, for any reason, during recovery is normal. It happens to the best of us. Taking the initiative and opening that line of communication between you and your Physical Therapist will help. Being honest about those struggles and communicating with your Physical Therapist is another important part of the recovery process!
But wait, there’s more.
What about continuing to stay on track even after you have “graduated” from Physical Therapy? Sustaining new behaviors requires continued commitment. Remember, recovery takes time. Ongoing practice of your new, healthier behaviors is important to your recovery in the long term. It is also important to know that even after your treatment in the clinic has come to a close, your Physical Therapist is still there for you and you can always reach out!
Keep up the good work!