Injury and disease can influence the way we use our bodies. From a lingering limp after an ankle sprain, to avoiding a handshake following an arm injury, to missing out on water skiing from fear of reinjuring a knee …getting back to the important, fun, and necessary parts of our lives is often benefited from evaluation and treatment by a therapist in the Physical/ Occupational Therapy Department at Orange City Area Health System. A physical therapist or occupational therapist will give you guidance and confidence to get moving within the boundaries that are safe, which will optimize your ability to meet your goals. Stacy Wernimont-Diehl, OTR/L, recalls a patient,“Ann,” who was recovering from a fracture near her wrist. Ann expressed great appreciation in the specific techniques and exercises she was taught. These, in addition to the treatment Stacy provided in the clinic, helped her to meet her goal of “getting rid of swelling.” Ann also recalled sharing with her husband the new knowledge she had gained on the importance of preventing scar adhesions to her tendons. Ann and Stacy collaborated throughout rehabilitation to develop goals as Stacy shared knowledge about timelines and milestones for getting back to more activity. This is but one strong story of being empowered to reach goals. Getting a new knee is an undertaking that is benefited by preparation and teamwork. Working with a physical therapist before and after surgery is critical to returning to activities that you enjoy. Rosemary Schilmoeller, who recently had a knee replacement said, “Everyone I’ve worked with here is very good and have been very helpful to help me reach my goals of dancing at my granddaughter’s wedding this summer and getting back to walking wherever I want.” Sue Blankers, DPT, Rosemary’s physical therapist, explains: “We’ve taken into consideration Rosemary’s previous hip replacement in how we’ve developed a rehabilitation plan which helped her set expectations for activity, and helped her set and meet her goals.” The therapists consider patients’ expectations for returning to activities when guiding people through the rehab process. Often therapists get to influence people’s assumptions about the rehab process to help achieve an optimal outcome. Assumptions about pain are a significant area where a therapist’s instruction can help patients understand their pain more accurately, assisting in goal attainment. An expectation of progress is always assumed, and the therapists promote confidence that progress is being made by celebrating milestones reached, reviewing the patient’s progress and history of improvement, and explaining the different sensations a patient experiences throughout the rehab process. Physical and Occupational Therapy: Empowering people through knowledge.