Answers, like really correct answers are difficult to come by especially to difficult questions. Most often we have the question, but rarely do we get a beneficial answer. And, especially an answer that we want to hear.
After being in physical & rehabilitative medicine for over 25 years, I have heard & been asked a ton of questions. Some common and some not so. Most often, I am asked: “Will this get better?”; “When can I start or get back to…?”; “I want to be able to _________ by this date, will I?” While these are questions, these are not very good questions to ask when sitting in Physical Therapist’s or Medical Providers’s office.
Questions one should ask are very similar to one of John F. Kennedy’s famous quotes – “Ask not what your country can do for you – Ask what you can do for your country.” *8715
In today’s medicine, there are basically 3 major ways to heal: Pharmacological (aka medication); Surgical; Rehabilitation. Rehabilitation or more commonly known as Physical Therapy is often needed in conjunction with & during pharmacological & surgical interventions as well. Just because you are out of pain with the newest & greatest medication and/or the surgeon has “fixed” the issue does NOT mean you will move normally and correctly. And if you are not doing that, you will eventually end back re-injured and in pain again.
So let’s take JFK’s quote & use it as a “template” for 3 important questions. One, a patient should NOT Ask what I (or any physical therapist) can do for them, their pain, and their inability to move normally. As physical therapist’s, we don’t take care of people – we assist them in their healing. We educate and coach an individual to set themselves up for a successful recovery. If you have the mindset of what a physical therapist can do for me, you have a passive mindset to healing. This will never work! Be an active participant in your healing. Ask the correct question and receive valuable information.
Two, Ask what you can do to start the healing process & help your body progress to your final goal. Most importantly, what you can learn & start practicing in addition to what one should stop doing that is causing you pain & dysfunction (i.e. abnormal movement). Almost always, I educate patients via a home therapy program how to jump start the body’s healing process (which is unique to them and their condition) as well as what activities, movements, and/or positions to avoid and that would further perpetuate their pain & injury. Prevent & Progress!
Three & finally, Ask what you can do to reduce this from happening again. Most likely this occurred during ADLs (Activity of your Daily Living). A few things that a physical therapist can do to reduce a chance of it happening again is by evaluating your fundamental movements, give you helpful movement strategies, and how you can correctly prepare and recover from special ADLs.
Only by Asking the correct question can one arrive at an answer. It may not be the answer you were looking for, but it may be the best answer FOR YOU! Someone else’s answer may not be correct for you…so if you have pain and/or not moving normally – go ASK the right questions, get Your Answers, and let the correct answers to your questions get you back to your active lifestyle!
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Now back to your regularly scheduled programming…
ps: If you found this *, be the first to call, give the four digit code and you will win a prize. Need to come to the clinic by Wednesday (11/13/19) to claim it in person.