When trying to find a topic for today’s blog, we turned to Google to see what questions people were asking about physical therapy. To our surprise, one of the most commonly asked questions centered around whether or not physical therapy was a painful process. In today’s blog, we explain why physical therapy shouldn’t be painful, but why it’s also not a walk in the park if you truly want to experience the best results.
Is Physical Therapy Painful?
We were a little surprised to find out that one of the reasons some people opt not to follow through with physical therapy is because they are afraid that the process will be painful. For starters, physical therapy should never be painful. If you are experiencing pain during an exercise or at any point during your home-based exercises, stop and let your physical therapist know what’s going on. Don’t try to push through the pain or stay quiet because you are afraid of what your physical therapist might think. Pain is not normal, and you need to alert your PT of any pain that has developed.
With that said, physical therapy is designed to carefully test your limits and expand your physical function, so it’s not going to be comfortable at all times. In fact, if movements are comfortable or too easy, it’s a sign that it’s not testing your body enough. Your exercises should be difficult and uncomfortable, but they shouldn’t be painful.
During the course of your physical therapy program, it’s important that you learn the distinction between soreness and pain. Soreness should be expected, especially if you’re challenging your body like you should be with your exercises. Muscle groups will be a little uncomfortable or stiff the day after a successful PT session, but as you move and your body gets used to activity, that soreness should fade a bit.
On the flip side, if you wake up the next day and something is significantly painful or it’s affecting the way you stand or walk, consider talking to your physical therapist. Similarly, if you feel something pop or a sharp pain develops during one of your exercises, call it quits for the day and inform your PT. If you keep trying to push through this pain, you could make the situation a whole lot worse, and that can set your recovery timeline back weeks or months.
Preventing Physical Therapy Pain
One way to ensure that your physical therapy routine tests your body correctly without becoming painful is by trusting your care to a skilled physical therapist like the ones you’ll find at OrthoRehab Specialists. If you try to find exercises online or you go through a PT routine without physical therapist oversight, it’s possible that your exercises could be putting you at risk for injury. And what’s worse, you may not be aware that you’re risking injury until it’s too late.
To greatly reduce your risk of your PT routine becoming painful, sync up with a professional physical therapist who can develop a care routine based on your specific needs. We’ve done it for countless clients in the past, and we’d love to do it for you as well. For more information, or to set up your first session, reach out to OrthoRehab Specialists today at (612) 339-2041.