How To Stay Motivated Through Physical Therapy

Physical therapy helps you regain strength and mobility after an accident or injury. However, in many cases, physical therapy can be a slow process, and that can get discouraging. To keep your spirits high, check out these tips.

1. Understand the Scale

Physical therapy isn't necessarily about meeting certain benchmarks by a set date. Instead, it's about demonstrating growth and moving in the right direction. Don't set arbitrary goals for yourself — it can get frustrating if you don't meet them.

Instead, talk with your physical therapist about his or her measurements and expectations. In most cases, your physical therapist takes inventory of your abilities when you start, and he or she tracks your growth. If you understand the scale and measurements used by the physical therapist, it can be easier to see your successes and in turn, easier to keep working.

2. Get a "Workout Buddy"

Many exercise enthusiasts find it easier to stay motivated with a workout buddy. In many ways, your physical therapist acts as your "workout buddy," but you may also want to create a connection with another PT patient.

Even if you don't do your physical therapy together, that individual can be an emotional comfort and a motivating force. It's often easier to go through something if you have a friend going through the same experience.

3. Use Music

Do you have a song that makes you feel great? Whether you love classic rock, dubstep, country music, rap, show tunes, or anything else, you likely know songs that make you feel upbeat. Create a playlist and ask your physical therapist if you can listen to that music as you do your therapy.

If it's not possible to listen to your personal "jock jams" while you do the therapy, get yourself revved on the way there by listening to your tunes at top volume. Additionally, if your physical therapist assigns workouts for you to do at home, try to use your music during that time.

4. Read Success Stories

If you only have a toe wiggle and you're working toward regaining feelings in your leg, it can be easy to think that it might not happen. However, for your therapy to be successful, you need to work hard and give it a chance. So that you don't get down in the dumps, read success stories.

A quick internet search of success stories of people who've suffered your condition can yield everything from blogs to vlogs. Alternatively, a physical therapist like Physical Therapy Institute may be willing to share success stories of previous clients.