When patients come to see me I try to paint them a clear picture of their outcome and their journey throughout their time with me. From the minute that I evaluate them I try to make them understand what is going on with them, what we are going to do to fix it, and how long it’s going to take to do that. I feel that when I am upfront with them they understand and are more willing to do the things I asked them to do in the timeframe that I give them. There are times though, patients just don’t buy into it or they’re just plain lazy. When I tell them that they need to be doing their home exercise program twice a day that means they need to do it twice a day! That doesn’t mean that they do it when they’re here take a day off and then do it again just when they’re here! These are the patients that don’t see the results that they want and then blame therapy for not working.
This doesn’t only apply to Physical Therapy. There are people that want to change the way that they eat because they feel bad. They are overweight and want to make a change. That’s the first step, but taking the necessary steps forward are also required to see any type of results. Everyone wants results now. But you can’t switch your lifestyle and expect to lose weight in the first few days. You have to put in the work. Getting on an exercise program is another good example. People feel they should see results within the first week or 2 of going to the gym or starting a new program. You need to put in the work in order to see the results, and if you don’t then you are only hurting yourself.
In the past I had 2 different types of patients I was seeing. And when I say different they couldn’t be any more opposite. Both of them are being seen for an ACL tear/repair. They were about 10 years apart. One was 15 and the other was 25. My one patient came to PT on time every time. They came to get to work every time! They were dedicated, motivated and did everything that I ask of them to do. They wanted to get back to playing basketball. They had a goal and they were not stopping until they got there. They wanted it bad and it showed. I could tell that they did their program at home and that is a huge deal. It makes my job and theirs easier! My other patient with the same injury was a different story. They started therapy being wheeled into the clinic in a wheel chair. In my 12 year career I have never had a young ACL repair unable to walk on crutches with one leg! Their family enabled them to be this way and had no motivation to do anything. They were behind where they needed to be at this point in their treatment. They were not doing anything at home because they felt they needed help and people were not there. They were also never on time for any appointment! Can you guess which patient was more motivated? The 15 year old that’s who! They had a total different mindset and were dedicated to making sure they got better. I eventually got through to my other patient as well. And as PT went on he thanked me for it each time.
When you show dedication and motivation it shows in your results! You are the one person that has control over everything. No excuses should be made just results! You are the one that is effected here and if you don’t follow through you are only hurting yourself!