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Why Patient Education is part of the BIM Philosophy

The Importance of Patient Education

Each therapist at Back In Motion offers a wide range of treatment techniques that are specific to their education at their university and post-graduate continuing education conferences and courses. There are several therapeutic approaches that we all agree on such as manual therapy, exercise prescription, and especially patient education on the day of the initial evaluation.

Step 1

The first step in patient education is crucial in a complete rehabilitative program. The patient must be properly educated in their diagnosis, their expected outcomes/goals, and their approximated length of treatment to bolster compliance with the therapeutic prescription of care. If a patient does not understand why they are coming to treatment they will likely not attend appointments and then cannot realistically expect improvements in their function and reduction of their pain.

Step 2

The second step of patient education is to avoid pain-invoking movements or movement patterns. Identifying all the activities/movements that increase the patient symptoms is crucial. If reaching up into the cupboard to get their favorite morning coffee mug increases the patient’s shoulder symptoms, then the mug should temporarily be moved down onto the counter while we work through rehabilitation. If the mug is not moved then the patient starts every day by aggravating their symptoms and delaying their recovery. This can be equated to having a bruise on your forearm and expecting it to go away when you wake up every morning and firmly poke the bruise.

Step 3

The final step in patient education during an initial evaluation is to find comfortable sitting, standing, and sleeping positions. These three activities are performed for hours a day and must be as painless as possible. Proper sleeping position is the most crucial of the three in my opinion because we can alternate sitting and standing through the day but we lay in bed for 7-8 consecutive hours without getting up. There is no “perfect sleeping position” that fits everyone, and finding the most appropriate sleeping position for the individual patient’s symptoms is key. Without a comfortable position we do not sleep and without sleep we cannot heal.

How we can help

Patient education is one of the many treatments you will receive as a patient at Back in Motion Physical Therapy. If you are interested in learning how patient education can help accelerate your recovery come on in for a free ½ hour pain consultation!

Edward S. Greeley II, PT, DPT, CSCS, SFMA

Portland Clinic

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