HOW TO GET THE MAXIMUM BENEFIT OUT OF YOUR REHABILITATION

There are so many factors to consider when choosing the best place to get your physical, occupational and speech therapy treatment.  Finding the best therapist who is both knowledgeable and caring is critical. It is also important to note if the site is well-equipped with the latest in rehabilitation technology, follows the sanitation and disinfection protocols by CDC and DOH and most importantly, conveniently located to one’s home, school, or workplace in order to ensure ease of accessibility.  Patient engagement is essential in the success of their rehabilitation and here are some of the tips that are commonly suggested by various clinicians:

Give a thorough history during your evaluation:  On your initial appointment, the therapist will ask you what your problem is and base their examination on the symptoms and co-morbidities you provide.  The more detailed the information you give your therapist is, the better able they are to rule out other conditions and focus on your primary issue.  It is very helpful for patients to give a timeline of when their symptoms (e.g., pain, discomfort, weakness…) started and important events/dates like when someone fell/tripped, or date of an old surgery for clinician to be aware of future precautions.

Commit and don’t skip:  Rehabilitation requires a commitment to show up for your follow-up sessions and to follow the instructions given by your therapist.  The number of visits required for each condition varies depending on the complexity, severity and acuity of the injury or condition.  Earlier intervention usually results in quicker recovery.  

Set realistic goals:  Be involved with your plan of care and do not be afraid to ask your therapist what you can and cannot do.  Better understanding leads to faster rehabilitation, as this will prevent you from doing things that can jeopardize your recovery.  Discussing what your goals are with your therapist will help both of you stay focused and motivated.

Keep a clear line of communication: Effective communication with your therapist will ensure that your concerns are addressed and that everyone is comfortable with the treatment plan moving forward.  Even the smallest detail can help guide your therapist on how to deal with your problem and create an individualized treatment plan.

Be compliant and do the work: Compliance is critical for the success of your therapy.  An essential part of one’s therapy is having a home exercise program and sticking to it.  These exercises are designed to help improve one’s strength, endurance, joint mobility, and balance and requires consistency and repetition over time before results are seen.  If patients are non-compliant, it will be very difficult for a therapist to know why the patient is not improving and as a result, will be unable to adjust the treatment plan accordingly.