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Optimal Results Through Personalized Care: The Importance of Intentionality in Physical Therapy and Wellness

In a world where healthcare often takes a one-size-fits-all approach, leaving patients feeling unseen and unheard, it’s crucial to understand the significance of personalization and intentionality in our approach to physical therapy and wellness. Just as shoes and belts aren’t labeled as “one-size-fits-all,” the same principle applies to our health and wellness journeys. It’s time to revolutionize our perspective and embrace a tailored approach to achieve long-lasting results.

The Pitfalls of Generic Physical Therapy and Wellness Programs

With the rise of corporate-owned healthcare and dwindling insurance coverage, many physical therapy clinics default to juggling multiple patients simultaneously, relying on assistants and techs to handle various aspects of a session. Productivity and billing requirements often overshadow the genuine care for each patient, pushing therapists to focus on meeting quotas rather than delivering the best care possible. This overload, coupled with endless paperwork, can lead to burnout and a lack of the essential elements of personalized programming and coaching.

We Are All Different

Every individual has unique lifestyles, structures, symptoms, pasts, goals, and fitness levels. Recognizing and honoring these differences is paramount to creating an efficient and effective plan of care. Taking the time to truly understand all of these unique variables allows the progression after initial pain relief into a sustainable wellness plan. While the primary goal is typically pain relief, this should be achieved within the first 2-4 visits. Subsequently, physical therapy should be highly specific and intentional, tailoring program selection and dosage to optimize movement, recovery, and training. The ultimate aim is to enhance overall health and wellness, ensuring the highest quality of life and preventing re-injury. Yes, movement patterns like push, pull, squat, hip hinge, lunge, and carry should be incorporated into all weekly training programs, the specific variations within each pattern must be tailored to each person and their specific goals. This is where the expertise of a specialist really shines and propels you to your goals quicker and safer.

Finding the Perfect Fit

Imagine shopping for shoes before a big event or competition. You wouldn’t settle for a size that doesn’t fit properly, or a style you hate, compromising both comfort and style. Similarly, in physical therapy and wellness, the treatment and exercise selection must be chosen with precision to provide the most efficient and effective outcomes. Each exercise needs to be selected and modified or progressed based on how it looks and feels for each individual. An expert physical therapist will take the time to explain the purpose of each intervention and each exercise to ensure you get the best outcomes. Communication between the therapist and patient is vital to ensure consistent progress and optimal outcomes. You should be able to ask questions and truly understand your exact plan.

Building Progression and Longevity

Once you are pain free, it is paramount to build on that foundation through appropriate increases in loading and appropriate recovery to optimize your wellness and longevity. Every program should be built and tailored with an emphasis on individual needs and goals. Don’t settle for run-of-the-mill and cookie-cutter programs where everyone is doing the same thing. It ultimately boils down to your desire to achieve your goals and how quickly you want to accomplish them.

The Importance of Personalization

When it comes to improving someone’s quality of life, therapists must prioritize the best interests of their patients. It’s not just about the specific treatments and exercises performed, but rather the “how” and “why” behind consistent progression, training longevity, and achieving desired results. By tailoring physical therapy and wellness plans to each person’s unique needs, we can ensure a personalized and intentional approach that leads to sustained success.

Let’s break free from the constraints of generic physical therapy approaches and embrace the power of personalization and intentionality in physical therapy and wellness. By recognizing our individuality and working with physical therapists who prioritize our best interests, we can build a solid foundation for consistent progress, training longevity, and the results we desire. It’s time to revolutionize our approach and unlock our true potential for optimal health and well-being.

Dr. Brittany A. Forbes, PT, DPT, FAAOMPT
We help athletes and active adults eliminate pain, optimize wellness, and achieve new heights without medications, injections or surgery.
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