WORDS have power. They can change perspective. They can create culture. They can mold mindset.
In the world of movement rehabilitation, we are constantly trying to create a better mindset or outlook for our patients. Their success depends on it. If a patient believes that they will heal and that they will get better and they will get back to sport, then simply put...they WILL. Mindset is everything.
Our most difficult patients are the ones that come into their first appointment thinking that they are "broken." They might feel like they are "a lost cause." They might have been told by one of their doctors that they will never be able to lift, play, run again. They might think that certain exercises are "bad " for them. This mindset can completely destroy a person. If the dialogue in their head is not addressed and changed to a more hopeful, positive outlook, then no matter how good their PT is... that patient may NEVER get better.
Every patient that walks through our doors is encouraged, uplifted and restored- not just physically- but mentally first. We start with our WORDS. We work hard to undo this mindset. For some patients this takes a lot of time. For others buy in and trust happens quickly when they see how much we are invested in their healing. Whatever the case is we go after our patient's mindset with our WORDS and replace negative thinking with positive thoughts.
Here are some of the most common WORDS we hear from patients, that we wish would just stop!!!
"Oh, that's just my bad knee...my doctor said it's Bone on Bone."
"My doctor said my disc slipped and I should never lift anything heavy again."
"My hip/SI is out and it goes out every time I do.....BLAH"
"Squatting is bad for your knees"
"As I get older I shouldn't lift anything heavy, its just not safe."
As practitioners we HAVE to choose our WORDS wisely. People will leave our clinics remembering what we say. Many of us fail our patients every day telling them things that are just not true. Some of these things are based on our own fears, lack of experience and negativity we are experiencing in our own lives. It is not right and it is not fair to our patients.
So lets clear some things up...
1. You are not BROKEN
2. You are not WEAK
3. You will heal
4. You CAN lift heavy things
5. You can be sad/mad/upset
6. And lastly...no pain no gain is not a thing anymore!
Moral of our story. Listen to people carefully. Don't trust everything you hear - unless it is positive :) ! Negative statements can sit with you and harm you much longer than you think. (Remember that girl in 5th grade that called you fat- that still hurts). Find a provider that you trust and if they encourage negative thought patterns such as "don't do this, stop that or never do this..." RUN!!!!! It may be time to find a practitioner that will support your process and help you achieve your goals- LIKE US! We got you.
Yours in strength,
Dr. Brown and Dr. P