Rehabilitation and Therapy
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Physical rehabilitation can be not only physically challenging but also mentally. You may feel a range of emotions in recovery, which is normal.
Christopher Chiudioni, a physical therapist, shares that the best way to push past the mental struggle is to be open and honest with your rehabilitation therapist.
When thinking about physical rehabilitation, you may not realize that it takes a lot of mental strength as well as physical strength to fully recover.
“People underestimate the mental grind of going to physical [rehabilitation],” says Christopher.
Christopher shares that almost all of his patients struggle mentally at some point in their recovery. It’s common to worry about missing out on everyday activities, such as sports or work, during recovery. On top of that, it can be difficult to push yourself week after week.
It’s OK to struggle with your mental health while in rehabilitation. But working through those emotions is important for recovering as best as you can.
“Your mental outlook of how you go into something is important,” Christopher says. “You have to address that when you go into rehab. You can’t just focus on the physical side of it.”
Opening up and getting better
Christopher, like other rehabilitation therapists, sees his patients a lot throughout their recovery—usually an hour or two a week for several months. He gets to know them and can tell when they’re struggling mentally, even if they don’t admit it.
Most patients, he shares, become anxious or upset halfway through physical rehabilitation. Initial gains and accomplishments happen quickly and are highly motivating. But as time goes on, the gains become smaller, and patients become discouraged.
“At some point, there’s a mental block,” Christopher says. “But you have to push through it. You can’t stop.”
Although upsetting, you’ll want to remember that losing motivation is normal. If this happens, open up to your rehabilitation therapist to allow them to help you push through the mental block and get back on the road to recovery.
“Our job is to refocus them and push them to get to the end result,” Christopher says.
No matter what you’re going through, physically and mentally, being honest with yourself and your rehabilitation therapist will help you reach your goals faster. The most important thing, Christopher says, is to remember what all your hard work is for.
“You have to find a reason to do it, not an excuse not to do it.”
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