5 Tips to Get the BEST Results from your Physiotherapy Treatment
Physiotherapy treatment is a collaborative process - you and your physiotherapist working together, which means both parties need to do their part to achieve success.
You’re investing time, energy, and money into treatment so why not do everything you can to get the most out of it?
There’s a lot you can do to ensure you’re getting the most benefit out of each treatment, and after years of providing physiotherapy in Burlington, and seeing clients succeed, and sometimes not succeed, we're here to share the most impactful things you can do to get the most out of your physiotherapy treatment.
Here are our top 5 tips on to get the most out of your physiotherapy treatment
1. Come prepared
Fill out your forms before you arrive, or come a few minutes early to fill them out before your appointment starts. This way, filling out forms won’t cut into your appointment time. This also allows our administrative team to set up direct billing (when available!). Check into the details of your plan ahead of time so you know if you have coverage. At Fit For Life, our clients have the option to fill out forms online ahead of time, or when they arrive to the clinic.
Make sure to wear comfortable clothing that will allow you to move with ease. Your Physiotherapist will ask you to move your body to assess functional movement, range of motion and strength to get an understanding of what is going on.
It can also be important to see the injured body part, so wear appropriate clothing to allow that to happen. For example, if you’re having knee pain, make sure to bring shorts or wear pants that can be pulled up well past your knee. If it is a shoulder assessment, you might want to consider wearing a tank top. You get the idea.
2. Communicate openly with your Physiotherapist
Share your story, your pain points, barriers, concerns and goals.
Your physiotherapist will ask lots of questions along the way to gather more details and understand more about you and your health history, your lifestyle and goals. They’ll use this information to guide the physical assessment and create a treatment plan that is individualized to your needs.
And that is just the beginning!
Throughout the treatment process it’s important you share honestly how things are going.
Let your physiotherapist know how you're feeling, how you feel when doing your home exercises and how you felt during or after hands on treatment sessions and if you're seeing progress.
It’s possible that after a session, particularly after the initial assessment, your pain is worse. Don't keep this from your physiotherapist! Share it with them. It won’t hurt their feelings, or make them question their skills, but it will help them adjust treatment.
Hearing about how you felt after treatment or your home exercises or after getting back to work helps your Physiotherapist understand your tolerance to movement and activity and helps them direct treatment. If things are working - great, let's stay on track! If things aren’t, then it’s time to adjust. Your physiotherapist can’t adjust treatment if they don’t know things are off track.
If you’re not doing your home exercises - don’t hide it! Your physiotherapist will probably figure it out anyway... but if you let me know they can help you problem solve, develop strategies for accountability and adjust exercises so that you can have success in your home program - but they can only do that if they know how things are going. You’re not in trouble, it’s about helping you succeed!
Ask questions along the way - this opens the door for great conversation and education.
Share if you're feeling discouraged or frustrated. You may be making great progress but holding unrealistic timelines, or expectations of yourself, and your physiotherapist can help guide you through that!
You're going to need support along the way and the more honest and open you can be with your physiotherapist, the better they can make sure your needs are being met.
Share the good stuff with them too! No success is too small to be celebrated! They want to cheer you on and high five your every success!
3. Set goals with your Physiotherapist
It is important to be clear on what your goals are.
What do you want to get out of your physiotherapy treatment sessions? Some people might say it's obvious - I want to have less pain or no pain!
But think about what that really means for you. If you have less pain, what will that mean that you are able to do more comfortably or able to return to doing?
Does it mean that you can walk for a half hour or go up and down the stairs comfortably. Maybe it means picking up your child or grandchild with confidence. Maybe it means that you can return to your sport.
Having a goal gives direction and purpose to your treatment and can help you feel more committed to the plan.
Being specific about what you want to achieve will make it easier to see how you are improving and for your physiotherapist to set up a treatment program that is really specific to your needs.
4. Commit to your physiotherapy treatment plan
Show up for your appointments.
Book your appointments in advance.
Don't cancel your appointments the minute you feel better (the work doesn't finish there!) - addressing pain is only part of treatment plan!
Do your home program.
Your treatment plan extends beyond the walls of the clinic. While you may feel your physiotherapist has “magic hands”, it is also really important to do the homework they give you. If your physiotherapist is including manual therapy techniques in their treatment plan, they should also be providing you with a home program of movements or exercises that support their treatment. It may not need to be a long laundry list of exercises but a few key ones that will help to reduce pain or restore mobility - whatever the primary need is.
Making time to do the exercises is very important, and quite honestly likely more important than the treatment provided in clinic a few times per week. You have the opportunity to do these self care movements more often than your in clinic treatment sessions which will lead to reaching your physiotherapy goals.
5. Be persistent and patient with your physiotherapy treatment plan
Remember that it takes time to make changes, not just changes in your habits, but changes to the tissues in your body. You may be very fortunate and see a resolution of symptoms within a few visits. But even if you don’t, it doesn’t mean you should give up on your treatment plan. You should, however, see some changes as you progress through your treatment plan. If you are not seeing improvements, talk to your physiotherapist about the plan of care.
Your lack of progress could be due to a few factors…
- You're not doing the exercises often enough
- You're doing the exercises or movements too much! (Yes - more is not always better!)
- The exercises are not being done correctly
- The exercises are not the right ones for you and need to be modified or changed completely
- You just need a bit more time to see change
This is where that open communication with your Physiotherapist comes in 😉
Your physiotherapy treatment plan will need to change over time based on how you are doing.
Don’t just give up and assume this is not working for you. Your physiotherapist has a big bag of tools to help you. Work together to find the right combination for you. Click here to learn more about Physiotherapy.
Consistency is also KEY - with treatment and with your home program. One of our favourite books about habits and making them stick is "Atomic Habits" by James Clear - check him out if this is something you struggle with.
There is no greater investment you can make than your health.
Be an active participant, and get the most out of your investment!
Physiotherapy is here to help, but there is no magic, you'll need to put some work in too.
After years of working with clients in Aldershot, Burlington and Hamilton, we're confident that these tips will help you get the most out of your physiotherapy treatment!
Physiotherapy has a positive impact on your ability to move well, live well and be well.
We've been voted best Physiotherapy Clinic in Burlington since 2009 🙌
Our team of Physiotherapists will work WITH you to help you meet your goals and be Fit for Life!
Ready to feel better? Book your first appointment or FREE 15 minute consultation here.