High Expectations for Physical Therapy Results

May 24, 2022

At Adeo Physical Therapy, our goal is to get our patients back to doing the things they enjoy. We’re thrilled when our patients tell us they are back to golfing, back to gardening, back to work, back to looking after their grandchildren, back to living their lives. Recovery is a team effort between physical therapist and patient. Our therapists pull out all the stops to make sure you progress. In return, we expect a lot from our patients. Your recovery is a team effort, not an individual sport.

Your Expectations Influence Your Results

There’s some research to prove that positive thinking and expectations make a difference in rehab settings. A review of 23 articles looking at outcomes for shoulder pain found a few interesting things. First, patients who expected to recover and believed that they had some control of the outcome, ended up doing better than those who didn’t. Second, optimistic patients were found to have less pain and disability after completing rehab. Third, patients who believed they’d have pain and disability after surgery tended to have – you guessed it – pain and disability after their surgery. Research says that you tend to get what you expect.

Expect to Get Better. You Probably Will.

A negative attitude will likely mean that you’ll take your first failure or setback as confirmation that what you’re trying won’t work or isn’t possible and you’ll give up. Why waste time and effort on something that’s doomed to failure anyway? Research has shown that positive expectations increase the chances of a good outcome. It’s the old self-fulfilling prophecy; your attitude determines your approach to situations. If you believe you’ll be successful, you’ll likely put in more effort. You’ll be more willing to try new things, take some risks and keep trying after failures or setbacks.

So Do Your Therapist’s

Your attitude is important, but what about your therapist’s? As was mentioned earlier in this article, your recovery is a team effort, not an individual sport. Your PT will have high expectations. The harder you work, the harder your PT will push you to succeed. In the end, it’s all about what you want to accomplish, and your therapist will be by your side for your recovery as coach, cheerleader, and teammate.

To have the best chance for a good outcome, you, and your therapist both need to expect one. Contact us today to get started on your recovery.

Brought to you by the American Physical Therapy Association.
References ● De Baets L, Matheve T, Meeus M, Struyf F, Timmermans A. The influence of cognitions, emotions and behavioral factors on treatment outcomes in musculoskeletal shoulder pain: a systematic review. Clin Rehabil. 2019 Jun;33(6):980-991. doi: 10.1177/0269215519831056. Epub 2019 Feb 22.
PMID: 30791696. ● Rosenthal, R, and L. Jacobsen. Pygmalion in the classroom: teacher expectation and pupils’ intellectual development. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1968.