Typical education patients receive regarding pain is a diagnosis of what structure is causing their pain and, in physical therapy, which exercises they can do to help. This information is good, but not comprehensive. At More 4 Life Physical Therapy, we also think it's important for you to understand the following:
1. What caused that structure to start hurting?
Sometimes there is a specific incident that causes pain (i.e. ankle sprain, car accident, fall, etc). However often things start hurting gradually or for no apparent reason. In most cases, there is a reason, its just a matter of finding out what it is and how to fix it.
2. Is there anything besides injured tissues contributing to your pain?
The International Association for the Study of Pain defines pain as “an unpleasant sensory
experience associated with actual
tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage.” It is a complex, multifactorial process and identifying ALL of those factors - not just the structures involve - is important. Learn more about pain
3. What, if anything, can your physical therapist do to help you, and how long will it take?
We want to make sure you have a realistic expectation for treatment before starting. In most cases we can help improve your pain. If we think we can't, we'll tell you that up front and help you get to someone who can. Additionally, we want to make sure you have an idea how long it will take to improve your symptoms. In most cases, with skilled treatment, you should notice some improvement pretty quickly, but for pain conditions that have lasted many months or years, it takes some time to achieve your best possible result.
4. What, in addition to home exercise, can you do to help yourself?
Even if a patient goes to PT 3 hours per week and does their home exercises for 1 hour the other 4 days per week, there are still 161 more hours in the week. M4LPT teaches you the postures that are best for your individual body (not just general "good" posture) and how to move in a better, more coordinated manner to help you do the things that you need and want to do with less or no pain.
Knowledge is power, and by taking the time to thoroughly discuss your needs, goals, and values, More 4 Life Physical Therapy can teach empower you to do the things that make life worth living.