October is National Physical Therapy Month

Physical therapy is an excellent treatment option for managing pain. When you see a physical therapist for the first time the therapist will help you develop a treatment plan. The therapist will spend time asking you questions about your medical history, but this is not a one-sided interview. As the patient it is important for you to ask questions too so you understand the recovery process. The following questions were developed by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) to help you better understand your pain management options.

Pain Questions

  • Why do I have pain?
  • How long will it take me to heal from this injury (or surgery?)

Self Management Questions

  • What should I do?
  • Are there any activities that I should avoid?
  • How can I speed up the healing process?
  • Can I get back to doing what I did before my pain started?
  • Is there anything else I can do to feel better?

Medication Questions

If your doctor prescribes medications, these questions are good to ask.

  • Why are you giving me this medication? What will it do? How long do I need to take it?
  • What will happen if I take this medication? If I don’t take this medication?
  • Is this medication an opioid? Is there another medication I can take instead?
  • Are there other options, such as physical therapy treatment, that I can try instead of (or in addition to) this medication?

Asking questions will help you and your therapist to work together as a team to achieve your pain management goals.