Is individualized physical therapy more effective?

Posted by: Reform Physical Therapy in Sport Tips on June 26, 2023

In short, we believe the answer is undoubtedly yes. ONE-on-ONE physical therapy is the best and only method for treating each person as they need to be treated, with a care plan calibrated to suit their needs.

Our therapists commonly use the car analogy to help their patients more easily understand the value of their bodies:

  • Do you fuel your car with quality gasoline or fuel? Of course! You wouldn’t put low-quality fuel in your car and expect it to run well, so why would you only fuel your body with low-quality food? Yes, we understand that access to the BEST quality food is a privilege not shared by all, but let’s not forget that frozen vegetables are affordable and pack a good nutrient punch.
  • Do you get your tires rotated and ultimately replaced when they’re starting to wear out? Yup! We hope you treat your footwear similarly… If your tread is worn out, your support has deteriorated or they simply just aren’t a good fit for your feet, get rid of ’em! They’re probably doing more damage than good.
  • Do you take your car for regular oil changes and maintenance? Most likely! Make sure you’re making those same maintenance appointments for YOUR BODY! Make time for that annual check-up with your PCP, get those bi-annual cleanings at the dentist, and check in with your Physical Therapists *before* things start ‘falling apart’.

What’s so different about individualized therapy?

Everyone’s body is different, just like everyone’s injury is different! There are no ‘cookie cutter’ treatment plans at Reform. Each patient’s care plan is tailored to suit their needs, restrictions, and goals. Our PTs take YOUR life into account when they start creating your plan…

LIFESTYLE & ACTIVITY LEVEL: Are you an active person? Do you have a home life that requires you to be active? Maybe you have a farm and have animals to attend to. Do you have young children you have to care for? These things play a part not only in how you’ll recover, BUT what your goals post-recovery will be.

AGE: Your age plays a part, there’s no denying it. And we don’t always mean that the older you are, the harder it will be to recover… Sometimes young people aren’t able to fully understand the gravity of their injury, which leads them to do ‘too much too soon’, ultimately leading to further injury or increased risks. Your PT will take your age into account to be sure your plan is appropriate and has the highest likelihood of avoiding injury,

PREVIOUS INJURIES: If you have a previous injury that may impact your recovery, your PT needs to know and they may need to adjust treatment based on it.

PROFESSION: If you have a physically demanding job, that needs to be included in your end goals. Your PT will work with you to be sure that when you do return to work, you’re returning with the right skills to maintain your recovery and avoid future injuries. If you have a more sedentary job, your PT will make sure you know how often to stretch to prevent your joints and muscles from becoming tight or stiff.

Patients that present for the SAME reason may have vastly different treatment plans:

For example, three patients could need therapy following knee surgery…

Patient #1: The first patient may be young, fit, and have a moderately active lifestyle to return to… In this case, their recovery will probably progress ‘normally’ and will have a few hiccups.

Patient #2: The second patient may have a lower pain tolerance or have had complications during surgery. This patient may have a slower recovery progression, might need increased education regarding body mechanics, or need to be seen for an extended length of time.

Patient #3: This patient presents after a TKA but is also a Type II diabetic. How does this impact things? Type II diabetes can sometimes cause surgical areas to heal at a slower rate than in those without diabetes… If the surgical site is healing at a slower pace, this can also slow the overall recovery process. The PT may need to alter the plan of care to account for this, which could mean strengthening and stretching methods may not be started quite as quickly. This patient would potentially have a much slower recovery.

Those are just three *very* basic examples of how recovery can be impacted by behavioral or environmental factors. None of these patients did anything “wrong” but their treatment times could be very different, which is why ONE-on-ONE physical therapy is the best and only method that can effectively treat each person as they need to be treated.

Looking for ONE-on-ONE physical therapy?

Reach out to us! At our clinics, you’ll work with the same therapist at every. single. visit. They’ll get to know you, your body, and your goals which will help them build the best and most effective care plan to suit your individual needs. You’ll feel appreciated, heard, and understood without the fear of being judged, overlooked, or having your condition downplayed. You’re in the right hands when you choose Reform Physical Therapy.