Rehab is the most challenging part of an orthopedic injury. Long after the acute pain of the injury fades, you may be left with seemingly endless exercises and physical therapy appointments. This can be a significant mental challenge that leaves even the most motivated patients feeling mentally drained. Use the following tips from our physical therapy experts to get yourself through mental blocks when rehabbing your injury.
Stay Focused on the End Goal
When working on rehab, it helps to remind yourself of the end goal. Perhaps you want to be able to return to a sport or participate in a specific competition. With the help of your orthopedic doctor, you can set goals for functional independence. To stay motivated, stick a picture on your refrigerator of your pre-injury-self doing something you love. Every time you walk through your kitchen, remind yourself what you are working toward.
Set Smaller Goals for Yourself
Setting the big goals helps, but it is the smaller goals that will get you through day-to-day challenges. Create a list of goals between your current level of functioning and your end recovery goal. Perhaps it is to walk one block without stopping. Or maybe you want to be able to do one set of 20 leg exercises without stopping. Celebrating these smaller milestones along the way will keep you motivated to engage in the rehab process.
Talk to Your Physical Therapist
Too often, patients feel reluctant to share their fears or concerns with their physical therapist. Unfortunately, this can be counterproductive. Failure to make progress or worrying about your recovery may actually make you less likely to comply with physical therapy. And that really will set you back.
So talk to your physical therapist! Explain that you are having a hard time with the rehab process, and ask for help. If you feel like a specific aspect of therapy is not going right, it may be possible to alter the treatment plan somewhat. Your physical therapist is on your side and rooting for you to make a full recovery.
At Southeast Orthopedic Specialists, we pride ourselves on helping patients through every step of the injury process, from initial diagnosis through the entire rehab process. We understand how challenging rehab can be. Contact us today to learn how our team of orthopedics professionals can help you navigate the rehab process.Return to Blog