The relationship between a therapist and patient is an integral piece in successful rehab. To achieve goals and have a positive outcome there needs to be trust between the two parties. The patient needs to understand and trust the guidance of the therapist. Without this trust there will not be the “buy in” from the patient. This is crucial in the healing process. For starters, compliance will be poor without the “buy in”. I always tell my patients that therapists are not healers. We instead facilitate healing, and the body does the rest. So, what patients do to their bodies in between therapy sessions is as important as what we do at the sessions. Also, it can’t be overstated the power of positive thinking. If a patient does not believe they are going to get better, they will not!
The therapist also needs to trust that the patient is providing them with the most accurate information as well as doing all of the exercises and recommendations provided. We use this information to guide our treatment plan. If a patient is not getting better, but I am under the assumption that they are doing the exercises that I gave them and avoiding activities that are irritating, then I may change the treatment plan that could in fact be the plan that will get them to their goals.
This relationship is so valued at Apex, that we have it in our mission and vision statements. We believe that it is so important that we allow for longer treatment times than most other clinics. This rapport between us therapists and our patients is what has grown a small practice of 2 therapists to 15 Physical Therapists, 2 Massage Therapists, and 3 clinics.
If starting Physical Therapy, or currently in rehab, here are 4 ways to do your part as a patient;
- Have an open mind
- Be optimistic, and realistic with the time it takes to heal
- Ask questions, especially if you do not understand something
- Be open and honest with communication