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Being a Patient

Updated: May 10, 2022

Written by: Dr. Carleigh Rosenberg, PT, DPT

When most Physical Therapists are faced with the popular question “how did you get into PT,” it is usually followed by stories of torn ACL’s and the months that followed with the great PT that shaped their ideas for their future career. For me it has always been different, because until a few months ago I had never attended a PT session as a patient.

After an unfortunate incident involving stairs (I’ll save that story for another time) I found myself with a broken foot and a sprained ankle in late October of 2021. In the months that have since followed I have had the chance to change places, and I have been a patient for the first time ever! Here are a few things I’ve learned:

  1. Expectations matter! I’ve always known that setting clear expectations for patients is important, but as an active person with a newly sprained ankle, I really needed to hear that it was going to be a few months before I was running and jumping again. This helped me to set better expectations about what PT would look like and what my workouts would be like for the next few months.

  2. Pain is ok. If you’ve ever been a patient of mine, you know I’m a big fan of the pain scale. I will ask what kind of pain you’re feeling, and then likely tell you “I’m ok with a 3/10.” Having my own pain helped me realize that this can be a little scary as a patient! This has helped me to realize that discussions about pain should probably be a little more well-rounded, and that patients will often feel a little confused feeling pain after staying off of their injury for a while.

  3. Little wins are exciting. A few weeks ago, I had a small setback that required a bit of a rest from some of the higher-level exercise I was doing. I was disappointed, but knew I should trust my PT and trust my own instincts. After some rest and lighter exercise, I was able to introduce jumping for the first time last week! My PT and I were very excited, and now I have a better view of why little wins can be so big.

I’m still working towards my goals as a patient, but thanks to my amazing PT (Dr. Steph!!!) I have come so far since I started. I look forward to running this Spring with a newfound appreciation for what my body is capable of!

Clifton Park & Troy

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