Physical therapy can help you recover after an injury or surgery, but because you’re attempting to strengthen structures at a time when they are weaker than normal, it can be a delicate balance trying to push the area to improve without overdoing it and causing additional damage. You have to be smart and deliberate about how you approach your physical therapy sessions so as not to cause additional injury to the recovering structure, but what are some of the best ways to do that? In today’s blog, we share five tips for having a safe and injury-free physical therapy session.
Staying Injury-Free During PT
Here’s a look at a number of ways that you can reduce your risk of a setback during your physical therapy sessions.
- Work With A Professional – If your goal is to make the strongest recovery possible while also minimizing your risk of injury or a setback, then you’ll want to work with a professional physical therapy team like the one you’ll find at OrthoRehab Specialists. Your physical therapist will establish a baseline and then constantly reevaluate your strengths and deficits throughout your program to tailor the physical therapy routine to your specific needs at the moment. If you’re following a PT routine you found online or you’re not performing the actions correctly because you’re trying to do everything on your own, you may be at a heightened risk for aggravation. Let a professional help guide you safely through your PT routine.
- Ask Questions – When working with a physical therapist, be sure to ask any questions you have about your routine or why you’re performing each exercise. If you don’t understand how to perform the exercise or why it is important to perform it in a certain way, we’ll be more than happy to explain our motives. If you end up performing exercises incorrectly because you didn’t ask for clarification, you can be putting yourself at risk for injury.
- Take Things Slow – Regardless of whether you’re performing your exercises in a clinic or going through a home-based routine, you need to remember to take things slow. Taking on too much activity too quickly is a recipe for injury. We understand that you are probably itching to get back to athletic activities or earning a paycheck at work, but you can’t rush recovery. Gradually increase the intensity of your physical therapy routine, and never step outside of the recommendations put forth by your PT without clearance.
- Soreness Vs. Pain – Start to learn how to differentiate between soreness and pain. Physical therapy should be a little uncomfortable as you work to strengthen injured or recovering muscles and soft tissues, but it should never be painful. If an exercise ever hurts or acute pain develops, shut it down. That said, if you want to stop an exercise simply because it is difficult or hard, you need to push through this. Improvements are made when you make yourself a little uncomfortable with exercise and movement, so learn to differentiate between normal discomfort and pain.
- Be Consistent – In order to continue making progress, you need to remain consistent with your PT exercises, but consistency will also help to reduce your risk of injury. Your body is starting to take on more stress as you work through your rehab, but if you skip exercises or don’t do your normal routine for a week, jumping back into your exercises at the same intensity can increase your risk of injury. Remain consistent in your approach to physical therapy.
If you connect with a physical therapist and follow their guidance and the above recommendations, we’re confident that you’ll be able to reduce your risk of suffering a setback during your PT routine. For more information, or for help overcoming a specific injury, reach out to the team at OrthoRehab Specialists today at (612) 339-2041.