Questions To Ask Your Physical Therapist During Treatment

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Why Should I Go To Holland Physical Therapy for Treatment?

To pick where to go for physical therapy, it all begins with your connection with your PT. If you are hesitant about going to physical therapy, call or come in to Holland Physical Therapy, and ask to speak with me. I’ve always told the PT students that I mentor that patients “don’t care what you know, until they know that you care.” The best PT’s not only can connect with patients and make them feel comfortable, but offer a high quality of care.

To get the best outcome, a physical therapist needs to be able to relate to people and make the therapy program work for patients’ lifestyle, available free time, and their budget. 

Questions to ask your PT:

What is wrong with me?

  • Seems like a standard question; your PT should be able to tell you what they think is going on, in very clear and understandable terms
  • If they can’t tell you what is wrong, that means that the care you will receive will not be specific for your issues, and it might be what I call “cook book therapy” where every patient is doing relatively the same thing

What can I do to help myself?

  • Home exercise programs (HEP) and activity modifications are a hallmark of outpatient orthopedic PT care. Initial HEP programs focus on pain and symptom relief while a long term HEP should be geared towards functional activities, strengthening, and prevention. See our website FAQ for more on the HEP frequency  
  • Successful outcomes involve teamwork of your PT showing you your HEP, performing skilled manual therapy, and the patient following through and performing the program

What will we do while I’m in PT?

  • The best use of time and money is by your PT performing skilled manual therapy techniques (joint and soft tissue mobilization) to decrease pain from the first visit on 
  • Then, your PT showing you how you can strengthen, stabilize, and maintain range of motion with a skilled HEP
  • One thing you should not do in physical therapy is perform exercises over and over when you could be performing them at home. However, occasional HEP review with your PT watching your form is necessary

How will I know when I don’t need to come to physical therapy anymore?

  • That is different for every patient, but number one is, obviously, when your pain is gone
  • However, once pain relief is achieved, it all comes down to patient goals and prevention of further issues. For example, goals of a marathon runner are different from someone who just wants to garden and walk without pain
  • We look at your range of motion, strength, and most importantly, how you move, and faulty movement patterns that could contribute to pain later
  • Movement patterns and posture, are the single biggest reason for tissue breakdown and pain. Most issues are not from major trauma, but by straining tissue repeatedly until it starts to break down and eventually cause pain

The bottom line is that good PT’s listen to the patient, perform a skilled physical exam, and design a specific and unique program to work on all of the patient’s needs.

At Holland Physical Therapy we are highly trained, passionate about what we do, and we LISTEN and CARE about our patients. I have found that when I truly listen to my patients, both in what they say and in the manner in which they say it, that my outcomes are a lot better. 

Call us at 616-355-4284 to schedule an appointment or visit us at www.Holland-PT.com.

 

Ford Reinink PT, DPT
Director of Clinical Operations

Physical Therapist in Holland

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5 replies
  1. Ben Allen
    Ben Allen says:

    I appreciate the information on how to choose a physical therapist, it was very informative. I agree that it is important to find a physical therapist that can tell you exactly what is wrong with you so that they can work on the exact problem they need to. My brother is starting physical therapy soon and he needs to find a physical therapist, I will be sure to share this information with him.

    Reply
  2. Tomas Killington
    Tomas Killington says:

    My sister recently tore her ACL playing basketball. She’s currently looking for treatment options that can help her get back on the court as soon as possible. I didn’t realize physical therapy can use joint and soft tissue mobilization to decrease pain in the injured area. I’ll be sure my sister is aware of this option.

    Reply
  3. Bernard Clyde
    Bernard Clyde says:

    It’s good to know that home exercise programs that are given and recommended by your physical therapist can help you improve your condition. I think that it’s important to find a physical therapist who can not only help you in the office, but inform you and motivate you to take certain steps throughout each week at home to help you get better. It’s important that you are able to maximize the use of your home time in a way that can help your body to heal itself.

    Reply
  4. Afton Jackson
    Afton Jackson says:

    I didn’t realize that asking a physical therapist what condition you have can help you know if they are treating specific issues. My sister just tore her ACL playing volleyball. Hopefully, these tips can help her find treatment that can get her back on the court soon.

    Reply

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