Join us in celebrating National Physical Therapy Month this October! It is a great time to share the benefits of physical therapy and help keep you motivated. A patient’s motivation is key when it comes to recovery, but we know that it is easier said than done. Staying motivated is hard. Some clients are enthusiastic about doing their exercises, while others struggle to find their drive. It is easy to push physical therapy off when they are not in pain or they are bored with their exercises. However, it is extremely important to prioritize physical therapy to regain mobility – if not for now, for the future. 

What is physical therapy?

Physical therapy is a healthcare specialty for people who have limited functional mobility. The goal of physical therapy is to develop, maintain, and restore maximum body movement and physical function. Physical therapy is commonly used to:

  • Prevent or recover from an injury
  • – Relieve pain
  • – Treatment for a chronic condition or illness

Physical therapists are specialized to work with a variety of physical needs. For instance, they work with individuals experiencing back and neck pain; sprains, strains, fractures; arthritis; amputations; neurological disorders, such as stroke and cerebral palsy; injuries related to work and sports, and the list goes on and on. If it is a condition or ailment that is affecting one’s ability to move freely and pain-free, a visit to a physical therapist is probably not far off.

What is a physical therapist?

Physical therapists are specialists who evaluate and treat a patient’s limited mobility. They are there to help patients improve their movement and decrease their pain. They will evaluate the patient’s range in motion, pain, strength, and functional use of the extremity and then make a diagnosis and treatment plan. 

According to the American Physical Therapy Association, there are 175,000 practicing physical therapists in the United States. These professionals have completed years of training and schooling to get to where they are today. They practice in a variety of settings including hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, sport and fitness centers, workplaces, and schools. 

What are the benefits of physical therapy?

  1. Improve mobility and range of motion – Being able to move is a pretty essential part of life, wouldn’t you agree? If someone is having trouble getting around, their quality of life will be affected. Physical therapists can help patients rehabilitate from an existing injury, as well as help, prevent injuries by working to improve strength, coordination, balance, and flexibility. 
  2. Manage pain without pain medication – Physical therapists can help their patients get control of their pain through a more natural treatment compared to pain medication. Physical therapy can not only relieve the pain, but it can also address what was causing the pain. It is a great drug-free alternative with regard to managing pain.
  3. An alternative option for surgery – Surgery may not always be the best course of action for conditions, illnesses, and injuries. Research has proven that it is a valuable option for getting patients back to their pre-pain lifestyle. In many cases, physical therapy can get patients back to work sooner, it costs less, and it is more likely to prevent future problems rather than surgery. Physical therapy works well, and it might even better an option!

How to stay motivated during physical therapy?

  1. Setting goals – In physical therapy, it is important to recognize that “you can’t run before you walk.” Setting short terms goals can maximize patient engagement and be extremely motivating to work towards. The short term goals may seem like small successes, but they lead to real-life milestones, like getting back to tennis or living independently.
  2. Exercising at home – Physical therapists will assign at-home exercises and then monitor progress over time. The best way to stay motivated for these exercises is by making it an enjoyable experience. Turn up the pump-up music, track the progress, and only allow positive self-talk.
  3. Finding a support system – A major factor in a patient’s recovery is the team behind them. Family members and friends play an important role in helping the patient achieve their own goals by keeping them focused and holding them accountable. In addition, having a team of specialists that are knowledgeable and invested in the patient’s recovery will most definitely keep them moving forward. At Prairie Orthopaedic, all of our therapists have years of experience with general orthopaedic injuries, including the neck, back, hip, knee, and ankle. With over 65 years of combined experience, we will find the right fit for our patients and provide excellent care.

Closing thoughts

As you go about National Physical Therapy Month, please remember the benefits and tips to keep you motivated. Physical therapy is just like in any other aspect of life – the more you invest in yourself, the better the results will be. At Prairie Orthopaedic & Plastic Surgery, PC, our therapists would be happy to meet with you, evaluate your needs and condition, and then work with you to help design a therapy plan that fits your lifestyle and brings you results. For more information, please visit our website at https://prairie-ortho.com/.

TAGS exercise , Injury , mobility , orthopaedics , physical therapist , physical therapy