Be a good historian. It is helpful when patients can say when their pain started since certain conditions are more easily identified if a timeline is given.

Set goals. Think about goals for treatment – is it to return to a particular sport or activity, or the ability to walk the dog without pain? The goals will help determine the course of treatment.

Do the homework. When it comes to physical therapy, patients do have to do some work outside of the visit. If patients don’t follow the directions, it is difficult to know why their symptoms may not be improving – and as a result, it’s difficult to know how to adjust the treatment plan.

Find a dedicated space to do the work. Whether it’s a gym or a spare room in the house, having the space to move and focus on the exercises can help.

Don’t skip. Patients might be tempted to skip their appointment when they’re experiencing pain. PTs are highly skilled in assessing and effectively treating pain and can adjust the treatment for the day to help.

Speak up and ask questions. Some people may think an ache or pain is normal, and not mention it. PTs want to make sure a patient’s concerns are addressed and that everyone is comfortable with the plan moving forward.

Keep up the good work. The biggest risk of injury is a previous history of an injury. Once treatment has concluded, PTs can recommend how to prevent injuries in the future through things like exercises, adjusting equipment like a bicycle set up, looking at running gait and more.

For more information, call Bear Creek Rehab at (641) 522-5826 or visit

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