Common sense

By Sheila Yonemoto, P.T.

Sheila Yonemoto, P.T., has been a physical therapist for over 30 years, specializing in Integrative Manual Therapy using a holistic approach. She can be reached at Yonemoto Physical Therapy, 55 S. Raymond Ave, Suite 100, Alhambra 91801. Call 626-576-0591 for a FREE consultation, or visit www.yonemoto.com for more information.

Common sense regarding activity level means using good judgment about how much you are able to do without causing injury. I remind patients to only do what they can do safely. This is especially true of very active individuals who find themselves less active because of an injury and wish to quickly get back to normal routine. They feel they should be doing more, despite the fact that the body is injured and cannot live up to the old standards yet.

To develop more common sense, take an honest look at what really IS versus what you WISH it were. Put things in the correct perspective to make logical decisions. Don't think “I ought to be able to,” but rather, “This is how I am currently.” Also remember your condition can change if you embark on a course to improve it. But it does take some planning and training.

Here are a few examples of how common sense is violated in "normal" people. Teachers with back pain end up grading papers for long hours in order to meet a deadline, sitting on the floor and bending over for four hours at a time. A group of 40-year-olds get together for the annual picnic and play tennis, basketball, and football all in one day, just like in college.

Listen to your body. It gives you signals when it has had enough of an activity. If you have reason to suspect your emotions may get the better of you, do some pre-planning. Estimate what you think your limits are and then plan to do only 60 – 70% to provide a margin for error.

It is not uncommon to have flare-ups, but patients usually recover in a short time. The feeling you will never recover following one of these episodes is usually more harmful than the actual physical setback. Keep moving ahead rather than taking two steps forward and one back. There will be times you will be spared any hardships from taking those chances. But, as the professional, I feel it is my duty to keep you moving toward the target without causing unnecessary delays or unwanted changes in the course.



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Jan 2022


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