26 Things Foundation Physical Therapy Wants You to Know

1.  Every patient has a starting point and it’s our job to find it. Just because the person next to you in clinic is doing a hard exercise does not mean they started there nor do they have the same diagnosis as you. DO NOT COMPARE.

2.  We HATE the saying “no pain, no gain.” This mantra has no place in a physical therapy clinic. Sure if you just had surgery your appointment may not be the most comfortable but things should never be painful. Our goal is to prevent and stop pain, not cause it.

3.  When we see you in public we may not always stop to say hello. A lot of the time we don’t want to risk saying something we shouldn’t and violating HIPAA laws. We love our patients; it’s nothing personal.

4.  If you would do the things we told you to do, you wouldn’t need us. We don’t keep any secrets; we give you everything you need to know.

5.  Nutrition makes a huge difference in your healing process. Your body needs the appropriate fuel in order to heal. If you’re eating junk food every day then you aren’t setting your biology up for success.

6.  We can tell when you do or do not practice the exercises we give you for home. We only see you a few hours a week. That means you have a huge percentage of time away from us. These exercises are crucial to speed up your healing process.

7.  If everyone had a strong core, glutes and upper back muscles we wouldn’t have half as many patients. These muscles are what we spend a majority of time strengthening.

8.  Our bodies hurt too.

9.  Even at our absolute best, sometimes we are limited by science. If the majority of your pain comes from muscle weakness then we can only get you better as quickly as your body can build new muscle.

10.  Sometimes it gets worse before it gets better. For certain injuries we need to restart the healing process, especially if you have a chronic injury

11.  We can fix way more than you realize. Nerve pain, headaches, painful joints, muscle pains, rib pain, etc.

12.  What you think is the cause of your pain is usually just a symptom. For example some people come in with knee pain when it’s really their hip we need to work on.

13.  We don’t judge you. We have plenty of patients who have several health issues, are overweight, not happy, feeling helpless etc. We don’t judge. We’ve always seen worse. We understand that regardless of your insecurities, you deserve to feel better.

14.  We can’t care more than you do. We can only match the effort you put in to getting better. If you give 100% effort, so will we.

15.  We actually save you money. CT’s, MRI’s and surgeries are expensive and painful. We don’t cost thousands of dollars and we come with way less risks. Choose to go the less invasive route

16.  The longer you wait to come in, the longer it takes to fix. We can’t get rid of a lingering 3 month injury in 1 week. Don’t wait.

17.  We can’t perform miracles. We’ll give you all the tools you need but it’s up to you to use them. Get stronger. Change habits.

18.  Be honest with us. Especially athletes. If you aren’t supposed to be running but you know you’re competing in a 5k this weekend….we need to know. We work with what we’re given. Tell us what we have.

19.  We aren’t all created equal. Every therapist has areas where they shine. Just because you had a bad experience somewhere else doesn’t mean physical therapy is useless.

20.  Not all physical therapists have the same level of training we do.

21.  We have our own diagnostic process that finds issues which X-Rays, MRI’s or CT’s can’t. We are movement experts.

22.  We are not massage therapists. We will work on deep tissue massage when needed but that is not all we do.

23.  The exercises you do may look easy but will be challenging for you. Don’t let this discourage you.

24.  Crunches typically do more harm than good.

25.  Patients get emotional during some appointments and that’s okay. We understand the healing process is difficult and it can be frustrating to overcome physical limitations. We’ll get you back to normal as fast as possible.

26.  Mindset matters. If you mentally set yourself up for success then you’re already one step ahead.