Falcon Clinic

Lakelands Clinic

Have you ever started physio for an injury and been disappointed with the results? Maybe the injury took longer than expected to heal, you struggled to reach your goal, or your injury came back to haunt you.

Today, I’m going to explain the three biggest mistakes that stop a patient from achieving their treatment goal.

When people come to physio, they come because they have pain, or they’ve realised they can’t do something they used to be able to do. It might be an injury, arthritis, or a change following surgery. It might be they can’t twist during their golf swing, reach to tie a shoe, or balance on one foot. They have a problem and they’re after a solution.

The issue is that often the patient’s goal – eg. to get out of pain – is not the entire goal. See, the pain is a symptom of a problem. But it is the underlying problem that is causing the pain. If your therapist treats your pain but doesn’t resolve the underlying issue, then your pain will return.

Mistake #1: Stopping treatment because your pain has resolved.

Let me give you an example. Tennis Elbow – a common problem where the tendon becomes inflamed and angry due to overloading of the tendon. Initial treatments are aimed at decreasing pain, modifying load and maintaining or regaining function. After 3-4 weeks of treatment normally the pain settles, function is getting better – but the tendon is still weak. It takes 2-4 months of gradually reloading the tendon with strengthening exercises to get the tendon strong enough so that it can cope with the normal activity load. If you stop your rehabilitation early, the tendon will flare up again and you’ll be back at square 1.

If you’ve just gone – ah ha – that’s me. We can help you. Comment below with “mistake” and we’ll be able to work out where you are at in your rehab (or if you need to get started!) and get you back on track.

Mistake #2: The failure of communication between the patient and therapist.

This can cover lots of topics, but let me cover the main ones that affect treatment outcomes.

Medications and other health conditions. We need to know about these things as they can affect your healing times and how you manage your pain. A good example of this is diabetes. Diabetes will slow your healing time and we may need to adjust your plan to accommodate this. Another example is not being open about any reasons you may not be able to stick to your plan. If there are financial, work or personal difficulties, we can work with you to modify your plan so that you get the best outcome possible.

Is this something you’ve done previously? We’re more than happy to revisit your plan and help you reach your goal, even if it takes a little longer. Comment “mistake” and we’ll see where we can help you.

Mistake #3 (most important): Not doing your exercises!

The exercise part of your rehabilitation is THE thing that will ultimately correct your problem so that you can confidently return to sport, work and leisure activities.

If you’re not doing the exercises, then there’s no chance that you can correct the problem.

If you are doing your exercises (firstly good on you!) the exercises need to be progressed and at a level that is challenging your muscles so that they can get stronger. If your exercises aren’t hard enough, you won’t get stronger, and you won’t reach your goal. Getting your exercises reviewed fortnightly during this strengthening stage of your rehab is crucial.

Right – so now you know the 3 biggest secrets to successful rehabilitation –

  1. Fix the problem, not just the pain
  2. Keep open and honest communication with your physio – we really do want to help you.
  3. Do your exercises!

So – if you haven’t reached your goal, and you need some help, give us a call. Whether you have a painful problem or something limiting your movement, we will be able to help you.

Miami Physiotherapy

Fast effective treatment when and where you need it.

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