Seeking a solution to their problem, tired of suffering in pain, feeling increasingly inactive or on the brink of a serious injury they reach out to us for guidance and help. I get excited to be able to help them address their pain and stop it from becoming worse.
But…..they need to understand that Physical Therapy is more than ONLY just FIXING the pain.
To be successful we need to move beyond just fixing the what(pain). By focusing on fixing the why and addressing the how is what gets you out of pain and keeps you there. So, simply fixing the pain is not the BEST THING or only thing we can do for you.
“In your first few session we will be working with you to try to alleviate the pain so we can actually fix the problem prevent the pain from ever coming back.”
There are a lot of conflicting ideas about what a Physical Therapist actually can do for you. We are not here only for your pain relief. That is something we will achieve but it is not the most important thing that we will able to do for you. Neither do we try to patch you up with a bunch of passive modalities (ultrasound, ice and heat packs, electrodes….).
Pain is not the problem. Pain is a symptom or indicator that there IS a problem. One of the mistakes a lot of people make when they go to see a Physical Therapist is that they are focused on the pain, and at the first sign of the pain easing or completely going away then they think they are all fixed. This is why people end up in therapy over and over again.
During a Physical Therapy Evaluation after a thorough assessment we come up with a plan and the steps to reach your personal goals and it is up to you if you want to commit to taking the steps to achieve them. The plan is not just about easing the pain, we can accomplish that in the first few sessions. The plan is going to provide the solution to keeping active, involved in the workouts, sport activities and adventures you love….all without relying on pain medication, injections or multiple trips to the physician’s office. What we have to do is get to the core of the problem and address why the pain developed or progressed in the first place.
If you can let us do that, and agree to the plan that we will specifically set up for you, then you are going to have the best possibility of living the active lifestyle you want free of dependency on pain medications or injections.
If all we do is fix the pain, the main cause of the problem will still be there. Patients are always perplexed as to “why all of the sudden” they are experiencing pain, injuries and feel like their injuries keep multiplying in a domino effect. What I tend to assess and tell the patients is that they simply were able to “get away” with it until now. It is their unique physiology, movement patterns, lifestyle, fitness that can either protect them from or lead to pain and injury over time. Small inefficiencies of movement, pain patterns and restrictions overtime amplify. When we ignore these problems or push our bodies to operate beyond their capacities pain and injury results. This is why it is important to build upon a solid fitness foundation and plan individualized to your unique body and goals.
So, the biggest mistake people make when coming to Physical Therapy is that they STOP GOING to Physical Therapy after the pain goes away when the underlying problem is not fixed yet. The pain going away is the first step in the process of getting you back to the activities you love. The second phase is to fix the main problem that caused you pain in the first place, and equip you with an understanding of your problem and the tools to prevent the pain or injury from ever coming back.
You do not want to become a cascade or boomerang of pain and injuries, have to surrender to "just giving up" the activities you love or relying on a medicine cabinet full medications that are short sighted and only mask the pain and problem. A problem ignored ultimately will lead to something larger and unavoidable in the future.
Our mission at Perseverance Physical Therapy is to educate, encourage, and empower our patients, giving them the best care and utilizing the most essential resources specific to their individual needs and goals. Our practice is built upon fostering mutual accountability so our patients and clients will achieve their goals faster and their life at its best.
Are you ready to address your problem once and for all and finally live not only pain free but without limits?
Call to speak with one of our Specialist Physical Therapists about your pain, limitations and goals, (805) 941-0125. We also offer a FREE Phone Consultations and a FREE Discovery Visit, so we can understand your unique case and better how we can help you.
At Perseverance Physical Therapy & Pilates we help people aged 40+ stay fit, active and overcome mobility loss to be able to live the life they love without fear, limitation and depending on painkillers or procedures.
Yvonne A. Castillo, MSPT, DPT, CPT