Class is in session: Masonic Homes Kentucky’s recovery expert lectures on passing rehabilitation therapy with flying colors.
While school is letting out for the summer, rehab is year-round. Natalie Tinsley is the senior vice president of therapy services at Masonic; she’s schooling us on the best ways to recover through rehab without being held back. Study up on her tips:
1. Don’t skip.
Half the battle is showing up. Guests must commit to the therapy sessions because if you skip, you’re only cheating yourself.
Natalie says: “If you miss only one session, you’re in jeopardy of losing everything you gained from the last session.”
2. Do your homework.
If you are in out-patient therapy, follow the recommendations of your therapist. Not completing your home exercise as prescribed can result in slower progress and/or a lesser outcome.
Natalie says: “At home is where a lot of the recovery happens.”
3. Know your limits.
Sometimes you start to feel better, get up and push too hard before you should – undoing some of your hardfought progress.
Natalie says: “We see it all the time, someone thinks they’re able to do something again, like walk to the bathroom on their own, they try it and then maybe they fall and we’re back at square one.”
4. Set goals as well.
Some common goals for guests are to move home, to return to prior level of functioning or to walk up the 12 steps to the second floor without discomfort. Your therapist will also set goals relating to strength in pounds and range of motion in inches.
Natalie says: “It’s very important that we know what your personal goals are; communicate those to your therapist.”
5. Ask questions.
Don’t be afraid to raise your hand. Some common questions are: is it okay for me to do a particular activity, should I be having this discomfort, when can I drive and am I doing this correctly?
Natalie says: “Even after you leave and you think something isn’t right or if you forget how to do a certain movement, call back and we’ll help. The more you talk about how your body feels, the
more your therapist can help you.”
6. Study up on your history.
It’s crucial to know where you started and to be cognizant of any other past injuries that may affect your performance. Prior surgeries from decades before, medications and previous abilities are
important to disclose to your therapist. Also, let them know if you have received previous therapy somewhere else.
Natalie says: “Be a good body historian and communicate that to your therapist. Something may seem irrelevant, but certain medications can throw off your balance sometimes, for example.”