In the days of technology we all want things quickly. You can literally shop for food online and have them deliver it to your door! How cool is that? You can order something from Amazon and it will be at your door in 2 days. And sometimes that isn’t fast enough! You can look on Youtube and get information on just about anything, and get the job done quicker yourself. Nobody wants to wait for anything anymore. Things need to get done now! Everybody wants the quick fix for everything!
As a Physical Therapist I want my patients to respond to treatment quickly and efficiently. Sometimes even I can get ahead of myself wanting them to get better a lot faster than possible. Early on in my career I was out to save the world! I had that attitude that I was going to be able to cure everybody. And it was going to be fast! Well, I was rudely awakened after just a few short months! I slowly came to the realization that I wasn’t the quick fix that most were wanting. I was the long term fix that people didn’t know they needed!
We get all kinds of patients feeling that they should be fixed in just a few visits. Every now and then you will have that patient that gets that relief and feels great after only a week or two. But those patients are few and far between. I love getting the patients who come in for an evaluation and tell me “I am going on vacation in 9 days…I need you to fix me so I can walk on the beach without pain by then!” Or I will get a patient that has had chronic LBP for years and says to me “The last Physical Therapy place I went to didn’t help me.” “ I went there for 3 visits and I wasn’t getting any better so I stopped going.”
I am up front with all of my patients. Especially the chronic pain patients. I always tell them if it didn’t come over night it’s not going to go away over night either. What a lot of people don’t realize, including an earlier version of myself, is that our bodies don’t care what we want. We need to understand that over time the body starts to be stubborn and takes longer to do what we want it to. We also need to take into account healing time of different tissues as well as the time it takes to strengthen a muscle. On average it takes 6-8 weeks to actually show strength from an individual muscle fiber. People go to the gym and start working out expecting to see results in just a few weeks. The body doesn’t work like that. The quick fix does not apply, especially in Physical Therapy, we are the long term solution that you had no idea that you needed.