Physical Therapy Observations

Just a few observations I’ve had in PT since it’s a big open room and I like to people watch.

It seems as though a majority of the people in PT do not want to be there.  I could be wrong. I mean, I don’t WANT to be there, but I know it will get me to my next phase in life.

I believe, and I see this with patients in my line of work as well, that most people think that surgery is the fix all/end all.  That after surgery everything will be as good as new and you have a couple of painful days afterward, then you will be back to your old self.

If there is one thing I’ve learned in this whole labral tear/FAI thing is that my journey is just starting.  The surgery was pretty easy, now the hard part starts.  Getting through the tiredness, the soreness, the tight muscles, the muscles that don’t want to work anymore, the muscles that want to work too much, etc..

When watching others, I hear (lame) excuses to the PT, although sometimes there are valid excuses but I haven’t heard any.
One woman said, “I can’t do the bike anymore because I see my knee swelling as we’re talking.”
PT: “You’ve been on it for one minute, and it’s not swollen.”

I notice that patients will stop the exercises when they think the PT isn’t looking.  One lady got caught, I had seen her and she had been sitting there for a long time doing absolutely nothing.  The PT saw her and she said, “I’m just resting for a second.”

Other patients will do the exercise, but will only half way do them or do them very sloppily.  A lot of the exercises aren’t about reps, it’s about control and quality.

I don’t understand why people even go to PT if they aren’t willing to work.  It’s costing money, unless they have some awesome insurance I don’t know about.  It’s wasting time and taking away the PT’s attention from people who actually care and want to get better.  Do they go to PT just so they can tell their surgeon at follow up that “Yeah, I’ve been to PT.”

I do my PT exercises twice a day, at home, without someone having to babysit me and make sure I’m doing it.  I go to PT and I make sure I’m doing my exercises right.  I ask questions, tons of them.  You know why?  Because I would like to run again.  I would like to be a normal 28 year old.  I would like to workout and get the regular muscle soreness that most people get, not the aching, tight, spasm pain.

I don’t think surgeons address it enough, but maybe if they would paint the picture that you are going to have to work hard to regain your strength and muscle function, then people wouldn’t just jump into surgery.

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