I see it all the time. People who’ve been injured or who have had major surgery and don’t follow through with physical therapy.
I understand that it’s time-consuming and that there are copays involved. But here’s the thing: there are serious consequences for not following the program of PT you’re routinely prescribed for serious juries and post-surgical rehabilitation.
Those consequences manifest as impeded mobility and a probable continuation of pain – even reinjury. It’s therefore entirely necessary that if you’ve been prescribed physical therapy as part of your recovery plan, that you do it. You do it and you do the exercises your physical therapist will give you – religiously.
So, what happens when you don’t do PT? Let’s find out.
Healing Is Not Promoted
Physical therapy is an evidence-based treatment, proven to promote healing.
You’ll be weak after an injury or surgery and that weakness can become a permanent problem if you don’t heal properly.
Physical therapy helps you regain lost muscle strength. You need that to get back on your feet.
Pain Is Not Controlled
Some pain after surgery is inevitable. Drugs can help for the short term but taking drugs for the long term to control pain is not an option.
When you attend physical therapy, your therapist will hook you up with a variety of treatments to control pain. These can include anything from heat/ice to electrical stimulation to massage. Your PT is also trained to correct posture and movement problems.
When you don’t go to physical therapy, there’s going to be more pain than necessary. You can avoid that eventuality. Physical therapy is how.
Flexibility/Mobility Not Restored
Surgery on its own isn’t going to restore flexibility and mobility. Surgery addresses the underlying problem. It’s the same deal with serious injuries. Rest isn’t enough. You need the services of a physical therapist to restore lost joint mobility and overall flexibility.
With the help of your physical therapist, your body will begin to let your brain know that you’re on the mend. Your muscles will be more relaxed. What’s more, you won’t be unconsciously resorting to poor posture to compensate for problems caused by lost mobility and flexibility.
You Won’t Recover as Quickly
Everyone wants to put serious injuries and major surgeries in the rear-view mirror as quickly as possible. But that’s not going to happen if you don’t do physical therapy.
A physical therapist’s services restore lost function and train your body to operate as it did before the injury or surgery. I’ve seen cases in which people never fully recovered and all because they didn’t attend PT and/or didn’t follow through with their end of the bargain – doing the prescribed exercises.
What happens if you don’t do PT is that your recovery prognosis is diminished. So, why even have the surgery? Why even go to the doctor at all? You need to hold up your end of the bargain and follow through to get where you need to be – full recovery.
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