Having an injury or chronic pain is never any fun. If you have discomfort in your muscles or limited range of mobility, you could benefit from physical therapy. If you are not familiar with the types of treatments offered, though, you might not know if you would be a candidate. It is important to understand what steps you should take if you think you need physical therapy. Everyone’s situation is different, but there are a few basic principles to consider.
Track Your Symptoms
It can be difficult to remember when you first started having pain symptoms if you are not tracking them regularly. Try to keep a journal that lists any pain or limited mobility that you notice. This will help you identify problems that are not going away on their own. It can also help your physical therapist direct your treatment. On the other hand, once you start therapy, you can use a journal to track your progress. You can rate your pain levels or mobility on a scale from 1 to 10 each day.
Schedule an Appointment
You will never know for sure if you need physical therapy until you set up an appointment. In many cases, you can set an appointment directly with your chosen clinic without a referral from a doctor. If you would like to see your physician first, though, this is also an option. Your physician may order tests like an MRI or CT scan to diagnose your condition. If appropriate, he or she can refer you to a physical therapist for further treatment.
Keep Up with Follow-Up Visits
Once you determine that you do need physical therapy, it is important that you keep up with all of your visits. While you may feel better after just one or two sessions, it will likely take multiple visits to see full results. If you start treatment in the middle, you will not have as successful of an outcome. It is important to follow your appointment schedule as outlined by your provider. If you have trouble keeping up with your appointments, ask for a reminder call from the receptionist a day before your appointment.
Physical therapy can be beneficial for many people, and it is important that you recognize symptoms that indicate you need physical therapy. This is especially true after you sustain any type of injury or if you start noticing chronic pain in any part of your body.