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What You Should Never Tell Your Physical Therapist in Morningside Heights

Meeting with a physical therapist weekly means they’ll probably start to feel a little like family. Having casual conversations with your therapist as they make manual adjustments is natural, but many people wonder: Are there lines you shouldn’t cross when talking with your PT?

Our physical therapists at Park North Physical Therapy have put together a guide for what you should never tell your therapist. While some of the information below might seem a bit strict, just know that we welcome any and all communications with you. Never hesitate to ask questions or give us important details about your treatment plan. We’re all ears!

Don’t Downplay Your Symptoms

After struggling with chronic pain for some time, you’ve probably gotten good at putting up a brave front. Some of that behavior may also show up in your physical therapy sessions.

Are you experiencing knee pain, neck pain, or any other sort of discomfort before a session? While many people hesitate to tell their therapists about mild symptoms, this can backfire if you’re not careful.

Your physical therapist doesn’t want you to downplay or mask your symptoms. They want to know exactly how you’re feeling to help you feel comfortable during your session.

So, don’t hesitate to tell your therapist about even mild pain — after all, their goal is to make you feel better.

Don’t Lie About Doing Your Homework

Your physical therapist will give you homework to complete between your appointments — such as exercises, stretches, or activity logs that help you maintain your progress outside of your sessions.

When your physical therapist asks whether you did your homework, you may be tempted to give them the answer they want to hear rather than the truth. For instance, maybe you only completed your exercises on two days rather than all seven.

You should never tell your therapist a lie about your progress. Don’t worry about disappointing them; there’s no judgment! Instead, they need to know the truth to better understand your progress.

Don’t Rush Your Physical Therapist

Have you ever tried to rush through a PT session? Maybe you had somewhere to be and needed to leave your appointment early.

But trying to rush through the appointment could lead to an injury. Instead, let your therapist know about your schedule conflict, and they’ll get you out on time.

Additionally, don’t hesitate to talk to your physical therapist about any concerns you have with the speed of your progress. They can help you understand why your injury is taking a while to heal, but they may also make a few changes to your treatment plan to better meet your goals.

Don’t Say You Understand an Exercise If You’re Still Unsure

When introducing a new exercise into your treatment program, your therapist will explain the steps of the exercise and demonstrate what it should look like. Then, they’ll invite you to try the stretch, observing your form and making adjustments as needed.

Maybe you zoned out during your therapist’s explanation, or you simply don’t understand what they’re inviting you to do. Either way, don’t say you understand the exercise just to make them happy. Moving the injured area the wrong way could worsen your pain and stunt the healing process.

Instead, if you don't understand what your PT or any medical professional is saying, simply say, "Talk to me like I'm a 5th grader!”. Your therapist would be happy to explain in more easy-to-understand terms.

Don’t Lie About Why You’re Canceling an Appointment

Are you thinking of canceling your next physical therapy appointment? Forgetting about an appointment or overscheduling yourself is understandable. But you shouldn’t cancel an appointment because you’re in pain.

You may think that going through with your therapy session will only increase your pain levels. But your therapist can adapt your program to maintain your progress while staying mindful of your pain. They may also want to reassess your injury to understand why your pain levels are higher than normal.

Speak With Our Compassionate Physical Therapists Today

At Park North Physical Therapy, we believe communication is key to a successful physical therapy program. You should never feel uncomfortable communicating anything to our therapists. If anything, we actively invite your concerns, questions, and comments.

But the main answer to what you should never tell your therapist is “a lie.” We want to know exactly how you’re feeling so we can provide the best care.

Contact Park North Physical Therapy at 212-222-6525 for comprehensive physical therapy services and to book your appointment today.