Why Physical Therapy is About More Than ‘Getting Better’

Why Physical Therapy is About More Than ‘Getting Better’

When a patient makes an appointment with a physical therapist to rehabilitate after a shoulder injury, for example, it’s because he wants to get better, right? Well, yes, but what exactly does that mean? As it turns out, “getting better” means different things to different patients. To some, proper recovery from a shoulder injury means being able to carry a golf bag and swing a club while to others, it means being able to lift their children in and out of their car seats.

Here’s the thing: Helping your physical therapist know and understand your own personal goals is the key to success. As a patient, that means speaking up early and often about how the injury is limiting the everyday activities that are most important to you. With this knowledge, your PT can adapt her approach and individualize aspects of the treatment plan to ensure that you meet your goals.

It’s part of a physical therapist’s job description to work with patients to reduce pain and to improve strength, range of motion, balance and mobility. Your PT will address these aspects of your treatment regardless, but if you return home to unload the dishwasher and realize that you still can’t reach to place the coffee mugs on the shelf, then that’s a problem.

Your PT can’t possibly know everything that’s important to you—or the obstacles that you face—unless you share that information with them. One way around this is to bring a list to your first therapy session of the chores that are most important to you in and around your home and the activities that you participate in that bring you the most joy. To take it a step farther, whittling that list down to one main goal can give you something to focus on in therapy—and motivate you to keep showing up and following the home exercise program that your PT designed. That number-one goal may be different for each patient but the desire to attain it should be the same.

With a little of effort on both sides, patients and their PTs can work together to individualize the therapy sessions and select the most appropriate interventions. Afterall, physical therapists want nothing more than to help their patients return to previous levels of function as quickly and effectively as possible. Let one of our physical therapists help you get back to the activities you love!

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Covid-19 Notice

11/15/2020 Covid-19 Notice:

For the past 5+ months we have safely operated under our Covid-19 Exposure Control, Mitigation and Recovery Plan. This has allowed us to continue caring for our community and helping our clients return to the activities they love! As King County and all of Washington State are facing the third wave of Covid-19 cases, we remain open and committed to keeping you moving while also lessening the load on our primary care offices, urgent care clinics and emergency rooms. Our PT team is available for both in-clinic and virtual physical therapy visits and Pilates sessions. This allows us to comply with Governor Jay Inslee's Covid-19 Guidance on 11/15/2020, while also meeting our obligation as essential infrastructure workers. For in-clinic treatment/Pilates sessions, the PT will wear a mask and the client needs to wear a mask of their own. Social distancing is observed throughout the clinic and rigorous cleaning guidelines are followed. At times during your PT treatment, it may not be possible for your PT to observe social distancing, such as during certain manual therapy techniques. The need for in-clinic treatment vs. virtual or telehealth treatment will be a joint determination between you and your PT. You may review our Covid-19 Exposure Control, Mitigation and Recovery Plan for the details of how we provide safe, in-person care.

If you are seeing your extended family indoors or traveling via plane during the Thanksgiving holiday, we ask that you inform your PT so that we may switch your visits to telehealth for 14 days after these holiday exposures. Thank you for understanding that this policy is in place to allow us to meet our responsibility to all clients, which is to do no harm.

We remain passionate about helping you improve and maintain the function of your movement system so that you can do the activities you love. We invite you to follow/Like our Facebook page, where I am offering complimentary weekly Pilates mat class on Wednesdays at 7am. All are welcome to participate in these classes or view them anytime on our Facebook page.

Please contact me directly with any questions or concerns. I am available via clinic phone (206-535-7356) and email (elizabeth@elizabethrogerspt.com). We will update you here and our Facebook page as things change.

Thank you for your support of this small, locally-owned physical therapy private practice!

Elizabeth Rogers, PT

Owner, Elizabeth Rogers Pilates & Physical Therapy, PLLC