Physical therapy should not hurt and will be safe, but because you'll be using parts of the body that are injured or have chronic pain, it can be challenging. It's normal to feel a little sore in your muscles, but if you feel sharp pain during physical therapy or have severe pain after a session, contact your physical therapist. Without pain is there no gain? We have all heard the motto “without pain there is no gain” and, recently, we have seen the rise in popularity of extreme physical activities. In addition to stretching or strengthening techniques, the therapist is also trained in pain management techniques including heat, ice, and electrical methods to help minimize lasting pain or increased swelling after a therapy session.
Another important aspect of pain prevention is communication with your therapist. Often, the first question I ask a patient at their follow-up visits is “How did you feel after your last session?” Take this opportunity to tell me how you really felt. Honesty is definitely the best policy here. Was there a time when you noticed more discomfort? Is your home exercise program too difficult to perform as expected? The therapy can be modified according to your individual needs.
Since your therapist can't be with you all the time, we rely on our relationships with our patients to identify problems that could cause pain. So, should physical therapy be a painful experience? Not necessarily. Is it uncomfortable sometimes? Definitely. However, through appropriate communication, individually designed home therapy programs, and methods of preventing pain during therapy sessions, therapists can dramatically reduce the likelihood of causing you pain during the recovery process.
Physical therapy should never go from discomfort and pain to real pain. The moment you start to experience real pain is the point at which you should stop your physical therapy regimen and consult with your therapist. You may need to modify your regimen to achieve your goals without creating pain or causing more harm. Some physical therapists have additional certifications that identify them as people with advanced training in this type of therapy.
When you first start physical therapy at Manhattan PT and sometimes after subsequent therapy sessions, you'll experience some muscle pain. Your physical therapist may also ask you to complete a questionnaire to determine how pain may be affecting your daily life. The unique nature of your pain can give your physical therapist an idea of why you're experiencing it. If the move is not achieved in time, gains will be much harder to achieve and more painful as more time goes by.
Manual therapy is often used in conjunction with other activities to increase movement and has been shown to reduce pain. Once your condition has been diagnosed, your physical therapist will work with you to develop a treatment plan to help you treat your pain. Keeping silent about physical therapy pain can lead to worsening discomfort and even additional injuries. This definition indicates that pain may result from an actual injury to a tissue (i.e., a bone, a muscle, a tendon) or from the perceived threat of injury to a tissue.
Because emotions, such as fear, are often associated with pain, your physical therapist can slowly reintroduce movement and activity into your life. However, the reality is that physical therapy is a tool used to improve health and well-being, not to detract from it. A systematic review and meta-analysis of the effectiveness of graded activity and exposure for chronic nonspecific low back pain has been conducted. Amplified musculoskeletal pain syndrome is a chronic condition in which a person feels more severe pain than expected.
Your physical therapist will be able to determine if using modalities such as ice, heat, or electrical stimulation applied to specific areas will benefit your unique condition.