ABC by Paley – PHYSIOTHERAPY
The patient’s well-being and the relationship between him and the physiotherapist play a major role in the process of physiotherapy. Our team makes every effort to ensure that this process runs as smoothly as possible, and at the same time the patient feels good during the classes.
Patients who go to physical therapy struggle with many changes not only on the level of physical but also mental functioning. Convalescence after surgery or illness, change in quality of life, pain, anxiety and all previous life experiences of the patient – all this is the baggage with which the patient comes to physical therapy.
Sometimes working with a child may turn out to be a greater challenge, requiring the development of new action strategies. A child is rarely a voluntary patient. Usually, parents and doctors decide about the need for surgery, and then about physical therapy. Of course, this is for the child’s best interests and quality of life, but your child may have a different opinion. Therefore, working with a little patient requires a special understanding, empathy and devotion to this little person who may protest during exercise or be very afraid that he will feel pain.
The role of parents and a physical therapist is to explain to the child what will happen during the classes and what their purpose is. If a child knows that thanks to exercise, his body will function better, and thus will more easily achieve his goals, e.g. he will be able to play football, eat independently, walk without the use of crutches, thus he will be more willing to engage in exercise.
Before you can celebrate success, however, you will initially have to deal with the anxieties and fears that often arise in the perioperative period. Any doubts related to the physiotherapy process should be discussed with a specialist. The physiotherapist, based on his knowledge and experience, will provide advice on which activities and activities are safe for the patient and which are better to avoid. This approach will help ease the anxiety that appears as a natural response to the unknown.
Patients who experience postoperative pain may be afraid to take on new challenges during physical therapy. Your child may not want to move a part of the body that has recently been operated on for fear of pain and the belief that it may be dangerous. In such situations, it is important to calm the little patient, accept his experiences and fears, and ensure that what is happening during physical therapy is safe and beneficial to health.
When attending physiotherapy, it is worth remembering that the best results will be achieved through regular meetings and exercises at home (according to the instructions of the physiotherapist). It is also worth including elements of the child’s hobbies and interests in the physiotherapy process.
The parent’s attitude to exercise may influence how the child perceives the need for regular physical therapy. Emphasizing the importance of how compliance can improve your child’s physical condition and lead to a child regaining more control, independence and fitness than he or she is today can have a profound positive psychological impact. As a result, this will lead to a greater involvement of the child in the entire process.
Pain, anxiety and even severe depressed mood are common phenomena as patients recover from surgery. They have to come to terms with changes, immobilization and restriction of activity. From the perspective of a healthy person, it can be difficult to imagine what a person experiences after a surgical procedure, which is why it is extremely important then to be mindful of the patient, his needs and the signals he sends us.
If the fear of exercise is too strong and hinders further work, it is worth using the support of a psychologist who, in cooperation with the child, parents and a physical therapist, will develop effective strategies for coping with anxiety. However, it should never be the case that the pain experienced by the patient is underestimated. There are times, of course, that it is the fear of pain that causes the body to tense up and really start to hurt. Sometimes it is the parents who are concerned that their child will experience pain during physical therapy and pass their fears onto the child. Thus, they may unknowingly discourage their child from exercising and following the recommendations. The more so in such moments it is worth focusing on honest dialogue and explaining all your fears. Even if there is no medical cause for the pain, it should be looked at and the patient cared for. Perhaps he needs more support and care. He would like to notice his tension, his fear and work together to work out a way of working that will be beneficial for both the physiotherapist and, above all, the patient.
The relationship between the patient and the physiotherapist should be based on mutual trust. This work requires long, sometimes intense physical contact. Experiences gained during exercise can stay with you for many years – both positive and negative.
At the Paley European Institute, we want patients to leave our walls healthier than when they came to us for the first time. Caring for physical health and improving the body, we must remember to also take care of the well-being and peace of our patients. We know how important it is for a little person and his / her caregivers to see the progress that the child is making and to notice the path they have gone through together. After intensive work, everyone should celebrate their successes.
Gard, G., & Gyllensten, A. L. (2000). The Importance of Emotions in Physiotherapeutic Practice, Physical Therapy Reviews
Kirby, S., Donovan-Hall, M., & Yardley, L. (2014). Measuring barriers to adherence: Validation of the problematic experiences of therapy scale, Disability and Rehabilitation
Lequerica, A. H., Donnell, C. S., & Tate, D. G. (2009). Patient engagement in rehabilitation therapy: Physical and occupational therapist impressions, Disability and Rehabilitation
Miller, J. S., Litva, A., & Gabbay, M. (2009). Motivating patients with shoulder and back pain to self-care: Can a videotape of exercise support physiotherapy? Physiotherapy