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motivating physical therapy patients

Motivating Physical Therapy Patients

by Howard Gerber on January 3, 2012

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Physical therapists are heroes and villains in the story of recovery. At first, they are the villains of the story because they make the patient hurt more. The patient has dutifully been “taking it easy” for a bit after their surgery or accident and they have begun to feel a smidge better. Then they are suddenly being asked to bend, stretch, and move in ways that make the pain come back tenfold. This is, of course, a necessary component in healing and regaining full motion – but it still hurts. Usually it isn’t too terribly hard to motivate a patient to come back for their therapy appointments during this initial stage because it is all too obvious that they desperately need help to get back to their pre-injury state. However, motivating the patient to complete their exercises at home can be quite the challenge. The task of motivation becomes even more challenging once the initial phase of therapy is over and the time for maintenance begins. [continue reading…]