Mindfulness physical therapy, pain management, rehabilitation

Mindfulness and Physical Therapy Practice

In an article entitled Mindfulness: How It Can Help Patients, PTs and Students, published in the recent edition of the APTA’s PT in Motion, several colleagues and I discuss mindfulness and describe its relevance to physical therapy practice.1 The article is an excellent introduction to the practical applications of mindfulness to patient care. Physical therapists from a variety of practice settings share their experiences that include improving balance in a patient with a mild stroke, reducing fatigue and improving sleep in patients with MS, reducing sympathetic nervous system overdrive in patients with pain and cancer, and helping PT students reduce their stress.

Mindfulness is mainstream and the evidence for its effectives across a range of patient populations is growing. Especially for those of us who treat patients with symptoms exacerbated by stress, mindfulness training is a valuable treatment strategy. We need additional research to generate evidence for the applications of mindfulness to PT. I look forward to reading the results of research, also discussed in this article, that includes mindfulness training in a PT treatment model for the prevention of chronic back pain. Special thanks to PT in Motion editor, Don Tepper, for highlighting this topic.

1Wojciechowski M. Mindfulness: How It Can Help Patients, PTs and Students. PT in Motion. 2017;9(1):24-32.