Education is a central part of Paradigm’s approach to physical therapy. Education about the postural, biomechanical, neuromuscular, and neurodynamic aspects of physical therapy can allow patients to have a better understanding of why we are asking them to do specific activities or exercises. It can also empower them to recognize why some of their symptoms might change quickly and why some might take more time.
Education begins at the initial visit and in some cases even before therapy is begun. All too often patients are very nervous or apprehensive about physical therapy either because of previous bad experiences or simply the fear of the unknown. It is our role to allay these fears and help patients to realize that our goal with physical therapy is not simply “no pain, no gain” but is more appropriately “know pain, know gain.” Our approach involves education regarding the neurodynamic and neurochemical nature of the nervous system which allows patients to explore ways of moving that are less threatening and less likely to result in an increase in symptoms.
We also present evidence-based education regarding appropriate interplay between the biomechanical and neuromuscular systems to produce normal movement patterns and adequate postural control and stability. This education comes in the form of home exercise programs designed and tailored specifically based upon each individual’s evaluation. Typically, home exercise programs include activities designed to promote core stability and healthy, functional movement patterns.
We also provide a great deal of education regarding pain science and the physiology of the nervous system. Studies have shown that simply understanding why we have pain and how pain responses develop and change over time allows patients to recover more quickly and more fully.