"I figured this knee pain was just the way it was going to be. I thought I would have to live with the pain."
This sentence above is one I hear all too often. It is also something that makes me cringe on the inside. Usually, if I hear a sentence like this, I use more than one "No" when answering to emphasis that living with pain is not, and does not have to be normal.
As a physical therapist, the first goal on my list is to develop open communication with my patients. We talk. I take time to listen. It is my goal to develop a patient-therapist relationship that will grow stronger with time.
Next, I take time to evaluate your complaints. A physical therapist looks to treat the root cause of the pain, not just the symptom of pain. Once you are thoroughly examined, we can then move forward with treatment and reducing pain. I promise that physical therapy can help to reduce your pain.
I am able to prescribe exercise that is right for you. Correct intensity, correct movements, correct stress level on the body. I will never prescribe an exercise that is contraindicated for your condition.
source of photo: here
Not only do we have you exercise, but equally important is that we use manual therapy to aid in pain reduction. We are able to use our hands to do things like: mobilize a joint, decrease limited joint mobility, improve postural alignment, or provide appropriate cuing during exercise performance to allow for optimal completion without compensation. In less fancy words our hands can help to decrease stiffness, improve your function and aid in decreasing the pain that you are feeling.
Next, and maybe more importantly, I work to educate my patients. Explaining anatomy and the possible reasons pain is being experienced helps patients to understand, and sometimes even feel more at ease. Education takes place for home exercise programs (yes, you are responsible for exercising at home). Together we will discuss overall goals and realistic expectations of physical therapy intervention.
Now going back to my first point. OPEN COMMUNICATION. I work with you, not against you. To progress with treatment we have to communicate about how you are feeling, discuss any questions or concerns you have, and both actively be involved in your recovery. As a physical therapist, I am here to help and positively support you along the way.
If all of these puzzle pieces fit together, there is a high likelihood that physical therapy will help to decrease your pain! When that happens, it means patients are educated, patients become happier, pain decreases and daily function and quality of life improves. A win for the patient, but also a win for me! The forward progression of my patients is a reflection of my success, but also of the positive patient-therapist relationship that has been created.
If you want a little more confirmation, check out this article with links to research that support my points.
If you are interested in seeing whether physical therapy can help with decreasing your pain, click here for a free consultation.