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Should I Keep Going To Physical Therapy Even If It Hurts?

It is common to feel nervous or hesitant about physical therapy especially if you are going in for the first time. If you have been through a few therapy sessions with your physician and begin to feel some pain, you may find yourself in a dilemma on whether to continue or quit the sessions.

According to professional health experts, physical therapy should not be painful and a patient needs to address this issue with their physical therapist should it occur during the procedure. This article discusses the primary causes of pain during physical therapy and if you should keep going even if it hurts.

The Difference between Good Pain and Bad Pain

Asian young woman checking knee of elderly woman at home

A good pain occurs when performing endurance exercises, as you tend to feel muscle soreness. The burn that you feel during therapeutic exercises is caused by lactic acid buildup in your muscles. It is the kind of pain that is expected to disappear a few seconds after the exercise. Bad pain is a feeling of discomfort that happens because of some activity. This could mean that the muscle and tissues are damaged due to overuse, irritation, too much motion, or use of improper technique. Certified physical therapists are well trained to provide an accurate diagnosis and treatment of conditions or disorders that affect movement and function. This helps in restoring the body to its optimal performance than before the therapy session. If you seem to be experiencing pain during physical therapy, it is important to discuss it with your therapist to identify if it is good pain or bad pain.

Main Causes Of Pain During Physical Therapy

  • Overworked Muscles

An overworked muscle is one of the most common causes of increased pain during physical therapy. A patient may visit the clinic with no complaints of pain and work out under the supervision of their therapist. They might leave the clinic feeling fine but feel worse than before once they get home. This usually means that you did too much too soon and should notify your therapist about your pain. Applying ice to the irritated area and having some rest can help alleviate the pain.

  • Inflamed Joints

One of the primary goals of physical therapy is to improve your stability. Since your joints need to be flexible, they will be stretched to the limit. When you are just getting started in physical therapy, there are some exercises that may exert pressure on the joints could cause more pain. Your physical therapist can help you find the best position that provides comfort to your joints and apply ice to reduce inflammation.

  • Irritated Nerves

Physical therapy will challenge your postural stability and positions which could irritate your nerves. After the first few sessions, your therapist will have identified the positions that work best for you and provide the most relief for your pain symptoms. Your nerves may become irritated and cause pain when trying out different stretching exercises. If you are experiencing a lumbar nerve irritation, a good position would be to lie on your back and have a few pillows propped under your knees.

Should I Continue My Therapy Sessions If I Am In Pain?

The goal of physical therapy is to alleviate pain and not to put you in more pain. Since you are working out parts of your body muscles and joints that were not in full motion before, you are likely to experience soreness that should subside after a few sessions. Over time, you will be doing deep workouts and stretches that push the limits of your comfort but your next sessions should never be painful.

According to health experts, every patient responds differently to physical therapy. Your physical therapist needs to take a different approach to help ease your pain if the procedure turns out to be unpleasant or too painful. Before quitting your therapy sessions, it is important to share your basic expectations and responses with your therapist to help speed up your recovery. However, the recovery process plan can only work if you want it to. This means that you should talk to your therapist during every step of your rehab so that they can adjust their techniques if you start experiencing pain.

Physical therapy is often prescribed as an alternative medicine to help restore function and relieve pain. Experiencing soreness after the first few sessions is common because your muscles are being stretched to their limits in a while. If you experience pain during physical therapy, it is important to discuss with your therapist to adjust the approach or recommend a suitable treatment plan for you.

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