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"Up with the good, down with the bad."  Have you spoken this oft-used phrase in physical therapist practice? If so, you're certainly not alone. 

I used this phrase many times early in my career without thinking twice about my word choice.  I've also regularly heard patients refer to their specific body part in terms that infer a negative connotation, such as "bad," "painful," or "weak." I wonder if patients are internalizing these words into belief systems, or if their spoken words are an expression of thoughts about their condition. 

And then I wonder how these thoughts will affect their course of treatment and their functional outcomes. That's when I began to think about the impact our words — sometimes words we don't even realize we're using — can have on patients.

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