“I tried physical therapy in the past and it didn’t work for me”. “I’m not sure physical therapy works…”
I hear these statements all the time. Let me tell you this, if you are believing them you are only hurting yourself. Let me tell you why. Just like there are so many different yoga teachers and styles of yoga here in San Diego, there are different types and styles of physical therapy. What works for someone might not work for you. Unfortunately quality of physical therapy clinics varies as well, as some clinics have high volume of patients just to keep the doors open because insurance reimbursements are so low. It’s why I do not accept insurance at Ignite. But, let’s talk about how physical therapy can help.
The key is to find a therapist who will listen to your problems, limitations in life due to your issue, and then work a solution around your answers. Not, just give you the same exercises they gave to the person before you because the answer is based solely on a physical issue.
In my opinion physical therapy is more than just the exercises. It’s creating a lifestyle change that helps to heal your issue, and prevent future occurrences. It takes work and effort on your part, and it’s not like a light switch. For example, very rare does it occur that suddenly after three visits a patient will wake up with no pain forever more. No, the work is more like a dimmer slowly dialing back intensity and frequency of pain, while dialing up more periods of relief with consistency of work and effort. And, most likely there will be the occasional set back, or days when your pain or discomfort catches you by surprise. It’s part of the process of on going evaluation, analyzing and listening to your body. IT NEVER ENDS. That’s right I said it. Taking care of yourself will never end. It’s why often when you stop physical therapy or taking care of yourself cold turkey, you end up with an issue again several months or years down the road. I’m not saying you will always be in pain or discomfort, I’m saying the maintenance work never ends. It’s best to change your mindset about this, so you can remain pain free. To stay this way is going to be work, effort, money and time. But, it’s best to invest in yourself now. Do fun things like receive bodywork, or hang out on the Yoga Wall, schedule a 1:1 session, go to workshops- usually enjoyable activities vs. an emergent surgery where you have no choice with an undesirable long rehab road because you waited to take action too long on a nagging issue, and it came back to bite you.
We take care of our cars every so often- fill the tires, go in for oil changes and maintenance, car washes etc. We hardly ever plan to check in with the mechanic of our body a few times a year (except if you have been to my office and are a loyal patient- you guys rock!!). My patients that succeed in feeling good the majority of the time and more importantly are able to participate in life the way the want, are those that are on some type of maintenance plan. Whether that be a once a month visit, every 6 weeks, or every quarter. If you know me you know I practice what I preach here. You will see me in yoga classes, workshops, my therapists offices. It’s how I keep feeling good despite obstacles I’ve had.
You will never regret making the decision to invest in yourself, it will pay off more than you think it will. But, can you afford not to invest??
If you are a skeptic of physical therapy sign up for a free consult here so I can listen to your doubts: http://igniteurwellness.com/schedule-and-forms/
If we are not a good fit, so be it, but I would rather invest my time freely to try to help you if I can.
PS- for more ideas on how to take responsibility for your health watch this interview with Tina Dicky on “Living without Excuses”