Is Physical Therapy Painful?
Though many are wary of physical therapy, this fear should not be justified; your therapist’s approach should never cause you any discomfort or pain.
A trustworthy therapist will listen attentively to your problems and collaborate with you in order to reduce discomfort. Furthermore, they’ll craft an individualized treatment plan that takes into account factors like daily habits, diet, and lifestyle for maximum efficacy.
Your therapist can also help you distinguish between good pain and bad pain, which can be difficult to differentiate. Good pain is a pleasant sensation of discomfort that dissipates after some time due to the buildup of lactic acid in your muscles; these actions such as rest, icing, and light stretches will help eliminate it.
However, severe pain should be addressed right away. If the discomfort lasts more than two weeks or doesn’t improve with simple measures, then it may be a sign that medical attention is necessary.
Each person experiences pain differently, but some general guidelines to follow include:
The initial part of a physical therapist’s evaluation involves an in-depth discussion about your injury or condition. This conversation helps them determine the source of your discomfort, so they can create a tailored treatment plan to address it.
Furthermore, this conversation helps your physical therapist assess how well you move. For instance, if there are issues with poor posture, they will focus on strengthening the back and other parts of the body that may be holding you back.
Next, the therapist will assess your movement and body position during various activities. This gives them insight into which areas are affected by pain or injury, so they can create an exercise program to increase mobility in those trouble spots.
Finally, the therapist will instruct you on how to correctly perform exercises. Their aim is to increase your strength and flexibility without increasing the risk of future injuries.
A qualified therapist will tailor your treatment to fit within the context of your lifestyle, such as eating well, sleeping soundly and moving throughout the day. Doing this makes therapy more comfortable for both of you and increases the likelihood that the goals set by the therapist are achieved.
Your therapist will also instruct you on how to prevent or minimize the symptoms of your pain, such as swelling and inflammation. These can be due to improper posture, muscle weakness, and a lack of exercise.
The therapist may give you exercises to do at home that can help relieve symptoms. These could include gentle stretches, exercises to strengthen your back or shoulders, and other activities designed to manage pain.
Your therapist will be gentle and thoughtful during treatment, but it’s normal to experience some degree of discomfort while exercising. This is perfectly normal and should decrease over time as you become more familiar with your new routine.