Physical therapy is an important part of the injury recovery process, but it’s not a magic bullet. You must actively participate in your own recovery, in conjunction with your physical therapist, in order to return to normal activity as quickly as possible. One way to do this is to be sure that you are fully informed about what to do, what not to do, and what you still need to learn in a physical therapy setting.
What to Ask Your Physical Therapist During Injury Recovery
Whether you are new to physical therapy or have been through the injury recovery process before, consider asking your physical therapist the following questions to keep you on the fast track to healing:
1. What do you expect from me?
There is only so much a physical therapist can do on his or her own in a clinic. Find out what is required of you in order to get the most benefit from your time with him or her. Potential responses might include:
- Showing up on time
- Not canceling or rescheduling appointments
- Performing the recommended exercises at home
- Applying cold and compression at a certain frequency
Remember: You and your physical therapist are in this together; neither of you can optimize injury recovery alone.
2. What can I expect from you?
Working with a new healthcare provider can be intimidating, especially if you have never been through physical therapy before. Set the stage by asking what to expect for the duration of your treatment. Potential responses include:
- Common treatment protocols for your injury
- A typical recovery timeline
- The frequency of your visits
- The type of progress you can expect at each stage of recovery
Your physical therapist won’t always have exact answers, but he or she should be able to give you a good idea of what to expect in the days and weeks to come. Maintaining open communication throughout the injury recovery process will ensure that you always understand your treatment.
3. Do I need any special equipment?
Because physical therapy doesn’t end in the clinic, you might need to purchase or rent special equipment to help you heal quickly. Here are some examples:
- Crutches or other assistive devices
- Braces or slings
- Exercise equipment like bands or a balance board
- A cold therapy system
Work with your physical therapist to determine the most cost-effective ways to procure these items, including being reimbursed by your insurance provider.
4. What can I do at home to optimize injury recovery?
Limiting your treatment to just the time spent at the physical therapy clinic is not the best way to accelerate injury recovery. Ask what you can do on your own time to continue building strength, increasing flexibility, and improving mobility. Here are some examples:
- Committing to a prescribed home exercise protocol
- Applying cold and compression
- Limiting activity as recommended
- Altering your home to accommodate your injury
This type of proactive approach will ensure that the injury recovery process goes as smoothly as possible.
The more you know about what to expect from physical therapy, the better chance you have of a quick and safe recovery without setbacks. When your physical therapist recommends cold and compression treatment at home, ask about renting a Game Ready cold therapy system. You can find a provider near you to get started today.