When it comes to recovering from injury, there are a lot of do’s and don’ts along the way in terms of how to optimise your recovery. You want to give the injured area sufficient time to heal and begin to repair, but introduce exercise at the right time to help maintain strength and mobility in the affected area. You want to follow proven, gold-standard principles, while adapting to changes in evidence – such as moving away from the traditional RICE method (rest, ice, compression and elevation) and towards PEACE and LOVE (protect, elevate, avoid, compress and educate, followed by load, optimism, vascularisation and exercise). You want to seek treatment early, and not discount the importance of the care you take in the early hours and days.
Simply put, there’s a lot of information available to guide you towards a successful rehabilitation from pain and injury. But of all of the advice, there’s one element of crucial importance that, in our opinion, is extremely underrated and often missed: the importance of staying engaged with your experienced, knowledgeable clinician throughout your journey to recovery – even in those last stages.
Here are six reasons why your clinician can be your greatest asset and help you not only recover from your exercise-related injury, but also help keep you healthy and pain-free for the years to come.
They Know How To Help Keep You On Track
It’s easy to differentiate the role of the clinician and the role of the patient as simply the clinician assessing, diagnosing and treating, then reviewing the treatment periodically, and the patient implementing the treatment plan.
The reality is that the way in which your experienced clinician works with you can play a much bigger role in helping you stay on track with your rehab. A review of 20 studies looking at the factors affecting patient engagement in exercise rehab found that the specific ways that a clinician works with you throughout your recovery can greatly impact your engagement with them, and therefore your outcomes. Specifically, these factors include:
- Capability – having your clinician assist with both action-planning (being able to make detailed plans on how to complete target behaviour) and action-control (helping with the automaticity to control habits leading to target behaviour)
- Opportunity – having your clinician identify a lack of access to resources and services as an opportunity barrier, and suggesting alternatives to help you accomplish this
- Motivation – having the clinician reinforce beliefs about self-capabilities, and using goal setting
This means that continuing to engage with your clinician can help reinforce these values, and best support your journey to recovery.
They’ll Adjust Your Rehab Plan To Match Your Pace
While the recovery process for any musculoskeletal condition has an expected timeline, every person is different in every way – from their day job which influences the amount of time they spend on their feet, to their medical conditions that may add another layer of complexity to a recovery. Your clinician knows this, and while they’ll start you off the ‘average’ baseline, as you continue to work with them throughout your recovery, they’ll continue to make adjustments based on the results you’re experiencing. This helps ensure you’re not trying to keep up with someone else’s timeline, and are always working in line with how your body is responding.
They Will Help You Address Any Roadblocks As They Arise
Ask any experienced health professional and they’ll quickly tell you that almost everyone experiences roadblocks on their journey to recovery – whether that’s inside of their control (like having an important outing where they chose to wear heels for a night while recovering from a forefoot injury, and now must face the consequences) or outside of their control (like having pain develop on the opposite foot during the recovery period). Staying engaged with your clinician means that they can adjust your treatment plan to address any roadblocks as they arise, and help keep you on track to your recovery.
They Pick Up On The Warning Signs You Miss
When you’re working on certain areas of the body all day every day, you become very familiar with the wide spectrum of ‘normal’ for a person’s recovery, and the warning signs that something could be going wrong and warrants further investigation.
As a podiatrist, we’ll always remember those instincts that kick in when you’re working with someone that may have an Achilles injury, and then they come in for a check-up and let you know that in the last two days, their foot has become very warm, swollen and painful. While the patient may assume it’s related to their existing injury, we’d think differently: paired with a history of diabetes, our internal alarm bells ring immediately for a risk of a serious condition called charcot foot, sending them for further testing urgently.
They Know What They Don’t Know
Another benefit of staying engaged with your clinician throughout the journey is benefiting from their wisdom and experience throughout – as well as what happens when a part of what you’re experiencing falls outside of their area of expertise. Here at Sole Motion, our individual clinicians are highly experienced in their areas of interest – and when anything you’re facing exceeds this knowledge base, they will refer to or bring in other health professionals to your team to help you get the best result. It is this inclusive, holistic and team-orientated approach that helps us get superior results for our clients, and we love the excellent teamwork behind it.
They Can Offer Key Insights For Your Future
It’s easy to think of rehabilitation as being focused on both the here and now, and as far forward as getting you back to living life without pain when your rehab is ‘complete’. But ask any of our clinicians here, and you’ll see that we want so much more for you – we want you to stay happy and healthy for all of the years to come – and we say that very seriously. That’s why your rehab also involves optimising your full strength and function to help prevent your injury from recurring or continuing to trouble you. It’s also why we take the time to teach you all of the best-care principles to set you up for success for the future.
Finding The Right Clinician: Where To Start?
With all of this said, the greatest benefits of staying engaged with your clinician throughout your recovery starts with finding the right clinician for you. Here at Sole Motion, we help make that easy by only working with those that not only align with us in terms of their skills and a comprehensive understanding of your body, but also in their passion and dedication to working with those under their care. Whether that’s someone in our team or a health professional we refer you to, we greatly value that you trust us with your health and try to go above and beyond to give you the very best care provided by exceptional clinicians.
Book your appointment online or call us on 1300 393 338