What to Do When Physical Therapy Doesn't Help

If your physical therapy isn't providing relief from pain or discomfort, it's important to understand why it may not be working for you. Learn what steps can be taken when physical therapy doesn't help.

What to Do When Physical Therapy Doesn't Help

If your treatment isn't providing the relief you need, it can be a frustrating and expensive experience. Not only have you wasted time and money on visits that don't help, but you may also be more likely to undergo unnecessary tests, injections, and surgeries. These can be costly and risky, so it's important to understand why physical therapy may not be working for you.Physical therapists strive to make the therapy experience as comfortable as possible, but some discomfort is to be expected when an injury is evaluated and treated. Injured tissues need controlled movements and specific exercises to heal, and they often need to be touched to help regain the strength they once had.

Manual therapy applied to correct faulty movement patterns and reorganize tissue may feel more like a deep-tissue massage than a trip to the spa. Resistance to exercise may cause a degree of temporary pain after treatment.Every effort will be made to adapt the exercises and adaptations to relieve pain, and therapists rely on reports from their patients about symptoms and pain to ensure that the treatment plan is as pain-free as possible. The goal is that patients should feel better every time they leave the clinic and can appreciate that the interventions applied have resulted in measurable functional gain. If progress isn't being made within sessions or between sessions, it's important for both patient and therapist to discuss other options.

Sometimes physical therapy doesn't work, and your therapist must be competent and confident enough to tell you that.You should know if your therapist is concerned or if treatment isn't progressing as expected. Likewise, your therapist should know if you're not seeing the results you're expecting. A good alliance between patient and therapist is essential for making progress. If in the past you've "failed" physical therapy but never argued that things weren't progressing as expected until the last day of treatment, then lack of communication is likely to blame.This is something that therapists see over and over again.

Patients try hard but give up too soon. When that happens, they often don't get optimal results and, what's worse, they run the risk of asking themselves why physical therapy didn't work for them. Patients usually leave a physical therapy appointment with a series of exercises to do at home to complement what is done at the clinic.The doctor may recommend outpatient arthroscopic surgery to repair broken knee cartilage and additional physical therapy after surgery. But perhaps worst of all is when physical therapy doesn't work: you thought it would help you overcome the pain, but it just made you feel hopeless.

After taking additional images and tests, they discover that the meniscus is still damaged, despite physical therapy.Every therapist has a unique educational background, especially if they have chosen to seek additional education or certification in specialized treatment methods. We also recommend using apps to track your progress and send information to your therapist for accountability. In general, the role of a physical therapist is to develop or restore your function so that you can do what you need to do and want to do without pain. While some rest is likely to be part of your treatment plan, consistent physical activity under the guidance of a trained professional is critical for optimally repairing muscles and tissues.Your physical therapist has developed an eight-week program to help you treat pain, regain strength, and regain lost mobility.

In addition, a therapist who treats a patient with more chronic symptoms will also address compensatory problems that are likely to have developed if the original injury was never fully resolved.As reimbursements from insurance companies decrease, traditional physical therapy clinics have been forced to increase their patient volume. This feature offered by many clinics connects you with high-quality physical therapy in the comfort of your home. I challenge you to find a physical therapist who will take the time to listen to you, perform a full evaluation, and provide you with a comprehensive treatment plan to improve your movement.When you start seeing a physical therapist, they design a specific treatment plan and program for you and your injury.