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Therapist's tactics questioned

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  • Therapist's tactics questioned

    I love the ultimate goal of physical therapy to be stronger, healthier and able to do more. But I question some of the ways mine goes about it. A little background, I am a L1-T12 50-year-old male, 20 years post injury coming off 6 months of osteomyelitis, multiple sores, pelvic problems, HO, shoulder surgery and I will admit it, many years spending too long at work at a desk. I have never been gifted athletically, even pre injury. I once made all three outs in a softball game when my team went around the batting order three times.

    My therapist likes to use comparisons when I struggle in a football coach like manner. "Hey, I've seen quads who can do that. Quads would kill to have what you have." These are two examples of remarks that are deflating for me. I try hard, but he makes me feel like quitting.

  • #2
    Sounds like your personalities are not a good fit. Do you have the option of working with a different PT? Have you spoken to your current PT about how this kind of "motivation" makes you feel?


    • #3
      PT is two things. What to do, and a good PT should know what exercises you need and the will or internal motivation to do it and work hard at it. That needs to come from you, no matter what the personality of the PT is you can't quit or feel like quitting. It is your life and health on the line. If his tactics are detrimental to that tell him, but if you don't have that sort of drive without external prodding he may just be trying to help.


      • #4
        Yeah, you need to vocalize these feelings to him. I'd imagine he's well-intentioned, but what he's communicating isn't being received positively. If he's doing a good job aside from how he's trying to motivate you, then help him better help you.

        If you talk to him about this and he shoots you down, then fire his butt.

        Give him a 2nd chance though.


        • #5
          Funny- I had the exact opposite problem. My PT was content to put in his eight and skate so to speak.

          I felt like I was the football coach our relationship. I quit going 7 months post injury. I am now 15 months out and honestly haven't looked back.

          My opinion is to voice your concerns so maybe he can choose a different tact. I am a lacrosse coach and learned a long time ago that each player is motivated differently. I have to use differing approaches to try to get their attention. Help him figure out what gets you motivated.

          Good luck.


          • #6
            I had one who always said," lets just play today". I was not playing at anything and it pissed me off. She was new and a faker. She had no idea what she was doing.

            It sounds to me that the P.T. you have is trying to get max effort out of you, sometimes it's needed. Just talk to him/her.


            • #7
              Didn't have the greatest experience in rehab, did what I needed to do but just wanted to be done so I could start living a real life. To this day one thing stands out above everything else, we were working on transfers from chair to a therapy mat then swinging my legs up like getting into bed. I have no trunk control so I was falling over while attempting to grab my leg. So, the able bodied therapist demonstrates it one more time as she grabs her leg with one hand while sitting up perfectly straight she looks at me and says "see, it easy". I don't know it just rubbed me the wrong way and I had a hard time taking her seareously after that