What if Physical Therapy Doesn't Work?

Physical therapy can be an effective way of treating injuries or chronic conditions but sometimes it doesn't work out as planned. Learn why this might happen so steps can be taken towards finding an alternative solution.

What if Physical Therapy Doesn't Work?

If your treatment doesn't help, then you've wasted those visits. In addition, if treatment doesn't help, people are more likely to undergo unnecessary tests, injections, and surgeries. These can be expensive and risky. You may have waited not to experience any pain or discomfort.Physical therapists do their best to make the therapy experience as comfortable as possible, but patients may experience some discomfort as an injury is evaluated and treated, at least initially.

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 seem less like a trip to the spa and more like a deep-tissue massage. 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 we rely on reports from our patients about symptoms and pain to ensure that the treatment plan is as pain-free as possible. Our goal is that, in general, our patients feel better every time they leave our clinic and can appreciate that the interventions applied have resulted in measurable functional gain.

Take a moment to consider how you think physical therapy works. If you're not making progress within sessions or between sessions, you and your therapist should discuss other options.Sometimes physical therapy doesn't work to move people forward, and your therapist must be competent and confident enough to tell you that. You should know if your therapist is concerned or if treatment is not 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 important to move forward.If in the past you “failed in the PT”, but you never argued that things were not progressing as expected until the last day of the PT, once again, the lack of communication is to blame. The second reason I see that physical therapy doesn't work for people is because their physical therapist used too many passive modalities. This includes everything from electrical stimulation, ultrasound, dry needling, the Graston technique, traction, laser therapy, and even manual therapy. We call these treatments “passive” because they do them to you.There is a time and place for these things, but in general terms, they should only be used to treat very specific aches and disabilities that prevent you from moving in a way that will bring about true healing.

For example, let's say you have a tight knot at the top of the trap that's causing you neck pain. There are some fabulous modalities, such as dry needling and massage, that will quickly eliminate the pain, but a few days later, the pain will return again. This is because the tight knot is the symptom, so it is essential to find out and address the underlying cause of this recurring tight knot.If all your therapist does is treat the symptom with passive modalities that make you feel good, your therapy will not work and you will continue to suffer.

Physical therapists

spend seven years learning how bones, nerves, muscles and the brain work together to make the body move and function.

Some patients find it helpful to continue these exercises even after they no longer consult a physical therapist for in-person sessions. Physical therapy probably won't work, and it certainly won't give you the lasting results you're looking for.While some rest is likely to be part of your treatment plan, consistent physical activity under the guidance of a trained professional is critical to optimally repairing muscles and tissues. If you present to the same patient different physical therapists will take multiple different approaches to help you achieve your full potential.One barrier to getting people to go to physical therapy is that they've had physical therapy before and feel like it didn't work or help. While physical therapy cannot “fix everything” I am firmly convinced that physical therapy failure is often due to a lack of communication between therapist and patient.In this situation Rachel her doctor and her physical therapist were hoping to avoid surgery by taking a less aggressive approach first.

In addition each therapist develops in clinical practice in unique ways just as an athlete develops global skills within a sport but can become particularly strong in a position. Thanks to direct access you no longer need a doctor's referral before booking making it easier than ever to consult a physical therapist.But perhaps worst of all is the fact that physical therapy hasn't worked for you either: you thought it would help you overcome the pain but it just made you feel hopeless.In this example Rachel and her physical therapist agree that they are not seeing the kind of improvement they expected for her. In most cases Texas residents can now be evaluated and treated by a physical therapist without first having to go to their doctor for a referral.However after attending physical therapy sessions with your therapist for several weeks and completing the recommended exercises in your spare time you are still not making progress.When Physical Therapy Doesn't Work: What You Need To KnowPhysical therapy can be an effective way of treating injuries or chronic conditions but sometimes it doesn't work out as planned. It's important for both patients and therapists alike to understand why this might happen so they can take steps towards finding an alternative solution.The first reason why physical therapy might not work for someone is due to lack of communication between patient and therapist.

If there isn't an open dialogue about how treatment is progressing then it's difficult for either party to know if things are going according to plan or if something needs adjusting.The second reason why physical therapy might not work for someone is because their physical therapist has used too many passive modalities such as electrical stimulation or manual therapy instead of focusing on active exercises which are necessary for true healing.Finally another reason why physical therapy might not work for someone is because they have already tried it before without success so they don't believe it will help them this time either.It's important for both patients and therapists alike to understand why physical therapy might not work so they can take steps towards finding an alternative solution such as continuing with exercises at home or consulting another specialist.No matter what though it's important for both parties involved in physical therapy sessions - patient and therapist -to communicate openly about how treatment is progressing so everyone can get on board with finding an effective solution.