4 Reasons to Leave Your Significant Other at Home During Physical Therapy

Should You Bring Your Spouse to PT? Maybe Not

Photo of a woman working in physical therapy
Working one-on-one with your PT may be best. MIke Kemp/Getty Images

If you have been injured or ill and are having difficulty with your normal functional mobility, you may benefit from a course of physical therapy to help you regain your normal range of motion and strength.  Your PT can work closely with you to make sure you safely return to your maximal level of mobility.

If you are having difficulty getting around, you may need someone, like a friend, partner, or spouse, to bring you to physical therapy.

But should your spouse come into the clinic with you while you are participating in PT? Are there reasons why you should leave your significant other in the waiting room or at home when you attend therapy?

Here are a few reasons why it may be a good idea to go into the physical therapy clinic on your own without your significant other in tow:

  • Your significant other may nag you. If your spouse of partner tends to be the nagging type, it may be a good idea to leave him or her at home. While at physical therapy, you want to be able to concentrate on the things you need to do to get better.  A nagging partner may impede your ability to do this, and it may serve to take away some of your motivation.
  • Your significant other may be a distraction. When you are at physical therapy, you need to stay focused on your exercises and the instructions that your PT gives you. If your spouse is there, he or she may cause you to shift your attention away from the task at hand, thus delaying your return to normal pain-free functional mobility.
  • Your spouse may interrupt and speak for you. If your partner typically speaks for you, leave him or her at home. Part of the physical therapy experience is developing a therapeutic relationship with your PT. This occurs dung the history taking component of the initial evaluation. Your physical therapist needs to know how your illness or injury is affecting your day-to-day life. If your spouse or partner chimes in with all of your answers, your PT may never really get to know you and how your mobility is affected by your condition.  
  • Extra people in the PT clinic may be a privacy violation. Some physical therapy clinics may ask that friends and family members wait outside of the clinical area during your physical therapy treatments. Extra people in treatment area may be a violation of privacy rules or laws. When many different people who are not receiving treatment are in the PT clinic, it may seem like the room is filled with spectators. This may make other patients who are working in the clinic feel uncomfortable. Best practice: always ask your physical therapist if it is allowed for someone to accompany you during your physical therapy sessions.

Remember that your relationship with your physical therapist should be a therapeutic alliance--you and your PT should be working together to help you get moving again.  Adding another person to the mix may upset this relationship.

When you are injured or ill and require physical therapy services, you may want to have someone you trust and care for by your side. But if your spouse or significant other is the type who nags or disrupts, it may be best to leave him or her at home.

That way, you can participate fully in your PT sessions and focus 100% of your attention and energy on getting better.

Related: 5 Reasons to Bring Your Significant Other to PT

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