Listening Is Not Limited To The Ears
A person will tell you what they need and how to provide it. This has proved true repeatedly over the years and I am confident that it will continue to be proven. People will tell you, if not verbally, then with body language which speaks volumes. It is then up to the physical therapist to be willing to listen. The job of a physical therapist is also part investigator. Clues provided can be visual from posture (seated or standing), walking pattern, movement patterns, and visual inspection of the body. These could also be auditory like the sound of the voice, sound of the cadence (foot contact whether firm or soft, foot drag, foot scuffing, etc), and crepitus. They may also be tactile (by touch) pertaining to soft tissue, feel of the resting muscle, and position of additional tissues, etc. Then it is up to the therapist to hypothesize or come up with testable guesses as to why these problems exist. I think this is one of the most exciting parts of this field. Post listening, comes the communication between therapist and patient (with/without words). In the weeks to follow, speaking volumes without words further explores this communication.