Physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists (also known as physiatrists) treat patients with conditions of the bones, muscles, joints and nervous system that affect normal, everyday functions. Patients of all ages with a broad range of disorders, anything from chronic back or neck pain, to sports injuries, strokes, fibromyalgia or arthritis, could benefit from the care of a physiatrist.
Physiatrists are experts here to help you. Here are a few things you should keep in mind to maximize your physical rehabilitation experience and get better as soon as possible:
- You are an instrumental part of a team. Your therapists, physicians, and other team members are there to teach and guide you, but you are key to your success. Rehab is not passive on your part. This can be empowering as you have the ability to influence your outcome.
- Know that it takes time. Sadly, some people give up after just a few sessions of therapy for an issue that they have been struggling with for months or even years.
- Treat your body right during and after your rehab – eat well, meditate, pay attention to your mental health, sleep, stress levels and interpersonal relationships. A person who sleeps poorly the night before, is stressed all day at work and scarfs down a pizza before therapy is not likely to gain as much as someone who pays attention to their sleep, nurtures their stress levels with daily meditation and eats real whole foods.
- Create a sense of community. Get inspired and inspire others along their journey.
- Share your goals with all your team members. You are an individual and everybody has a different motivation. For one person, the goal may be to get back to running marathons. For another, it may be to be able to interact with their grandchildren in a more meaningful way. For yet another, it may be to improve their level of independence with basic daily activities. What do you want to get out of your rehab?
Think you might benefit from treatment with a physiatrist? Schedule an appointment with Ochsner's Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at 1-866-624-7637.