Physical therapy is a modality that is so much more than exercises to build strength and improve mobility. 

Each physical therapist (PT) has their own style and areas of expertise. While many focus on general orthopedics in Central Oregon, a select few have very specialized focus areas. These PTs have advanced their education to competently treat conditions such as incontinence and pelvic dysfunction, concussions, and neurological disorders. Others have received additional training in therapies that complement treatment. This may include therapies such as cupping, massage, myofascial release, and joint mobilization.  

While advanced training cannot be understated, the PT’s expertise is only half of the equation. The other half is YOU. Five of our PTs shared their favorite tips for helping patients get the most out of their physical therapy program. 

Taylor Hagel, PT, DPT (Redmond):
If you have concerns about treatment scheduling or the ability to do your exercises, talk to your PT about it. If you don’t understand why you are doing something, ask the PT. In general, if you want to know more, you should ask.

Marcus Ainsworth, PT, DPT (Bend):
For people with chronic conditions, or those going to PT for balance, I tell them physical therapy is like dieting. You might lose a few pounds over six weeks, but if you don’t change your lifestyle and continue with some form of exercise, you’ll “gain the weight back.” Therefore, I like to recommend any form of exercise and to be regular with it. The best exercise is the type you enjoy. That way it’s not work, it’s fun, and you are more likely to continue with it.

It is never too late to start some form of regular exercise. The best exercise we can all do is to begin a walking program and stick with it. Walking helps with hip and back strength, lung and heart health, and improves balance. It is also good to get outside and smell the roses, literally and figuratively, as it allows you to have time alone and get away from life’s distractions. 

Laura Ahmed, PT, DPT (Bend):
Set an appointment on your calendar for your home program to keep yourself accountable and consistent! Scheduling time for self-care is critical!

Barrett Ford, PT (Redmond):
Talk about YOUR specific goals with your PT.
Attend your sessions consistently and as recommended by your PT.
Be on time, every time. Don’t short change yourself.
Do your homework – your exercises.
Get written instructions to help with the recollection of exactly what you are supposed to be doing.

Chris Campbell, PT, DPT (Redmond):
Don’t get discouraged early on if it is not going the way you initially planned. Talk with your PT about ways to better meet your expectations. Identify your expectations. Every PT uses different treatment techniques. Patient expectations will vary and may differ from what your PT has planned. Communication is critical for success. Having a conversation with your PT will ensure you are both on the same page. 

Whether you have an injury that keeps you from doing the things you love, or you want to improve your sports performance while decreasing your risk of injury, we are here for you. We have four locations throughout Central Oregon, including Bend, Eagle Crest, Redmond, and Sisters. Give us a call; we look forward to hearing from you.