How to Tell if Physical Therapy Helps

November 10, 2020 12:22 am Published by Leave your thoughts

How can you tell if your physical therapy is helping? The obvious answer is that you’re all better—but often, physical therapy doesn’t guarantee a linear path to recovery. This depends on a number of factors, such as how long you were suffering from the injury before seeking treatment, the severity of the injury and whether you’re getting the right kind of physical therapy for your specific injury. Here’s how to confirm improvement from physical therapy in Napa County, CA.

  • You’re feeling improvement: This is the best way to tell whether your physical therapy is helping—you feel good! Some people go to physical therapy without ever feeling like it’s having a positive effect. That’s a sign you need to switch physical therapists, because you’re not getting the treatment you need. Too many patients assume their doctors know best, so they don’t question their sessions even when they’re not seeing or feeling improvement.
  • You do well on functional movement tests: Functional movement assessments gauge how well you can perform movements without swelling, pain or having to compensate for those movements in other ways. This can include jumping, squatting, running and other movements. Be sure to let your therapist know if you’re feeling any pain—while some pain might be normal, other types of pain are warning signs that something isn’t healing right.
  • Your objective measurements are good: Your physical therapist will test your strength, flexibility and range of motion through a series of objective tests. As you continue physical therapy, you should see improvements in these numbers; if you don’t, ask your therapist whether you need to adjust the plan or continue.
  • You have more good days than bad days: Another way to tell you’re improving is when you start to have more good days than bad ones. This is why it’s helpful to keep track of your pain levels each day, whether your physical therapist assigns that you do so or not. When you start seeing those consistent improvements in writing, it’s a clear sign that your physical therapy is achieving its aims.
  • You’re in the normal time range for your injury: Finally, if you’re still in the normal time frame for physical therapy (about six to eight weeks for most injuries, although that can vary), that’s an indication that even if you’re not seeing dramatic improvements right away, you’re not on the wrong track. If your injury usually requires six weeks and you’re on week three, keep going. If you reach the higher end of the time frame and aren’t seeing consistent improvements, it’s time to look into different solutions.

Ultimately, every injury and every body is different, so make sure you communicate often with your physical therapist. If you’re concerned that you’re not seeing improvements, ask them for help. They may be able to point out other signs physical therapy is helping you in Napa County, CA, or put you on a different plan.

Focus Forward Wellness & Physical Therapy can help you overcome your injuries—call today to learn more or schedule an appointment!

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