After you are injured, your doctor may recommend physical therapy. Physical therapy can be a great way to help you heal after an injury and in some cases may bring you back to the functional level you were at prior to your injury. However, in other cases, physical therapy may not work as intended and you may be told that you’re unlikely to improve beyond your current level of functionality even with more physical therapy. What are the reasons that physical therapy fails and what can you do when it does?
The Patient Did Not Do Home Exercises as Prescribed
Physical therapy is often largely dependent on the patient doing home exercises frequently as prescribed by their physical therapist. When a patient is not committed to doing their home exercises, they will unlikely gain back the functionality they should in a reasonable time frame. If you are prescribed physical therapy, it’s important that you make an effort to follow the guidelines set forth by the therapist and do your best to complete the exercises as indicated.
The Physical Therapist Did Not Recommend the Proper Exercises
Physical therapists often have different ways of treating different types of injuries. No two therapists will work with a patient in exactly the same way. If a physical therapist does not recommend the appropriate exercises that target the injured area in the correct way, the patient is unlikely to get better even if they are committed to doing their exercises regularly at home. Additionally, the patient may also experience increased pain and may do further damage to the injured area if they are not doing the correct exercises — all of which can lead to the worsening of a patient’s condition.
If you feel that your condition is worsening after physical therapy or you’re not getting better, you may want to seek the opinion of a second physical therapist. Another therapist may take a different approach or prescribe different exercises that will help you more.
The Physician Misdiagnosed You
In some cases, a physician will misdiagnose an injury. Since the initial diagnosis is what determines the type of treatment recommended, this can create a problem for the patient from the start. A physical therapist can’t prescribe the correct exercises if the diagnosis they have is the wrong one. Even a dedicated patient who does their physical therapy every day as recommended won’t get better because they weren’t given the exercises that will help them get better to begin with.
If you suspect that your physician may have misdiagnosed you, don’t hesitate to seek a second opinion from another qualified physician.
Your Injury Is Permanent
Unfortunately, not all injuries can be resolved with physical therapy or even more invasive treatments like surgery. If physical therapy isn’t helping you, your injury may be a permanent one. This is more likely the case if you’ve already sought treatment from a second physical therapist and a second opinion from another doctor and you’re still not seeing improvement.
When to Contact an Emergency Medical Expert
Improper care by a physical therapist and misdiagnosis by a physician are forms of medical malpractice. These medical professionals owe a duty of care to you and if they violate that duty of care, you may be able to hold them responsible. In cases of permanent injury, you may be able to hold the person or entity responsible for your injury. If, for example, you were injured at work or in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, you may be able to file a civil lawsuit against the at-fault party.
When you file a suit for compensation due to failed physical therapy, misdiagnosis, or permanent injury by a careless individual or medical professional, the burden of proof rests on you. You must be able to show that negligence occurred. This is how an emergency medical expert can help. An expert medical witness can review your medical records and present the information in an easy-to-understand way so a judge and jury can understand what happened to you and where it went wrong. This plays a significant role in a successful lawsuit.
Have questions about how to proceed after failed physical therapy? Contact Dr. Edward Mallory today to see if an expert medical witness can help your case. Call now at (813) 997-1241.