You may already know that physical therapy primarily helps manage pain, increases mobility and muscle function, and gets your body back to how it was before the injury. PT isn’t always a quick fix but for many patients can provide much-needed recovery and lasting results. Straight from our own physical therapists, here is what you should know about physical therapy:
We are educators and mentors in your recovery. We can provide the advice and education but the patient must provide the effort and be honest. As a team, we can help you towards your goals or even exceed them.
Ken Breath, PT, ATC, LAT, Cert DN
Manager of Motorsports Outreach
Plenty of patients are dedicated to coming to physical therapy but not as dedicated to doing the exercises we ask them to do at home. I can’t emphasize how important it is to do the exercises we give you at home – they play a big role in how quickly you recover.
Tyler Brady, DPT, OCS
You are capable of doing more than you think, and it’s our job to help you realize your potential. Nothing is more satisfying to me as a physical therapist as when I see you reach your movement goals and watch you live your best life!
Claire Bingham, DPT, ATC
I see a number of patients who are ready to make a drastic life change pertaining to their health and to their fitness level. It’s difficult to do so when there’s an orthopedic condition. My advice would be to relish every win: every vegetable consumed, every potato chip avoided. I would also suggest the patient think about every home exercise completed as a behavioral change towards exercise. It’s the slow and steady habit changes that really stick and establish a healthy lifestyle. I truly believe recognizing and rewarding yourself for those changes is important.
I’ve seen patients who utilize exercise as their outlet and as a sense of accomplishment. Often patients who are used to those outlets have some difficulty. For these patients I would suggest focusing on improving an area of life, which is outside of exercise. Examples could include volunteering, advocacy, and any form or meditation or deep breathing (or prayer). These activities could also bring a sense of accomplishment while helping others.
Mary Jean McKinnon, PTA
Ask your physical therapist what to wear for therapy. For example, if you are being treated for a hip or knee problem, tight jeans may prevent the best interventions from being performed.
Mark Miele, PT, MPT, Cert. SMT, Cert. DN, Dip. Osteopractic,CSCS
Clinic Manager, OrthoCarolina Gastonia
Physical Therapy is more than just recovering from injury or surgery. It is about living your best in your body. I see my goal as a PT to partner with you to help you understand your body and how to live your best through every experience.
Jessica Nelsen, DPT, OCS, MTC
I frequently get patients who are VERY nervous about PT because their friends have shared horrifying stories with them. I would like people to know that we are not nearly as mean as the stories they’ve heard from their friends and that PT does not HAVE to be painful. In many cases, we are able to accomplish our goals with minimal or no pain. In some cases, it is necessary to push patients into their “uncomfortable” range and sometimes this is painful. We do not enjoy pushing people into pain but realize that sometimes it is necessary to achieve the outcome that the patient is expecting.
I would tell patients to make sure that they ask- and get answers for- the questions that are on their mind. An educated patient is a PT’s best friend because their knowledge helps them self- limit their activities and that helps to protect them from further injury or damage.
Shaun M. Riney, MPT
Clinical Manager, OrthoCarolina Monroe
A lot of people think of physical therapy as a tool to regain their range-of-motion, reduce pain, and improve strength; however, I think of physical therapy as a tool to facilitate the regeneration and repair of the body’s tissue by a good understanding of mechanobiology and utilizing its principles.
Physical therapists are constantly striving to gain a better understanding of the movement patterns, the movement systems, and the etiology of injuries to lead the way in conservative treatment and prevention options. They also are becoming leaders in understanding the biopsychosocial model of pain and coping behaviors to help relieve and manage chronic pain in a safe and effective manner.
PT, DPT, OCS, Cert.DN
Doctor of Physical therapy, Orthopedic Clinical Specialist, Dry Needling Certified
A successful outcome is very much dependent on collaboration and teamwork. Your physical therapist is able to give you the tools you need for success; following through at home will determine if you will achieve the outcome you desire. Doing your homework is key!
Kelli Tryon, PT, DPT, OCS
Clinic Manager / Physical Therapist,Eastover Physical Therapy