You went to the doctor, you got your XRAY, and you’ve booked a few appointments, but your pain hasn’t gone away yet. Sound familiar? Before you say physiotherapy isn’t working for you, there are a few things you should consider.
Physiotherapy takes time. There are no miracle one-stop cure-all solutions, and while we try our best to get you back to your best shape as soon as we can, we can’t always give a definitive number of treatments or how many weeks until you feel better. Every patient is different, and will respond at their own pace.
You get out of physio what you put into it. Many factors contribute to your success in the program of care recommended by your physiotherapist. The recommended modifications and exercises are designed to help you develop the areas you need. Committing to doing a little every day will yield the best results. Similarly, the frequency of your appointment will also contribute to your success. If you only come once a month when you start out, you probably won’t see the same progress as weekly or biweekly appointments.
Continue your care for long term results. If your doctor prescribes 2 antibiotics a day for 2 weeks, you wouldn’t change the dose! The same can be said for physiotherapy. Your physiotherapist can usually give an estimate for how many weeks you should commit to your line of care. Even if your symptoms are decreasing, it is best to stick to the plan and wait out the full term before you discharge. Gradually spacing out your treatments for maintenance is a terrific idea, but to start, stick to what you’re given.
The severity of your condition plays into your recovery. Acute conditions are managed differently than chronic conditions, as chronic pain is liable to return time and time again. Even with physiotherapy, some conditions will never fully go away. With chronic, degenerative conditions, as well as with some neurological conditions that affect the body, physiotherapy can provide the tools for pain management and maintenance, and strengthen to correct and protect the musculature from future problems. While physio can help manage some symptoms, we cannot guarantee that the condition will be fully resolved or that it will not worsen over time. Physically demanding jobs or work involving a lot of repetitive movement will also tend to aggravate the condition over time.
Take care of your body so your body can take care of you. There are so many elements of physical health that influence your body’s recovery time. Your weight, your age, and how much rest your body is allowed are all critical elements to how your body heals, so it is important to be realistic about your recovery goals.
Finally, and most importantly, trust your therapist, and trust the process. If you can commit to your program of care, its timing, exercises, and are willing to make a few adjustments to your lifestyle, the condition of your body will eventually change over time.