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When Should You Stop Physical Therapy?

Seeing a physical therapist is one of the most crucial decisions you can make when experiencing chronic pain or injury. Physical therapy is important because it can eliminate pain and injury, giving you the opportunity to move and feel better. To achieve the best possible results while doing physical therapy, you have to visit your physical therapist as per their recommendation. However, some things may happen along the way causing you to stop attending your physical therapy sessions. This article gives insights on when you should consider stopping physical therapy.

When You Achieve Your Results

The most obvious reason regarding when to stop physical therapy is after you achieve your results. Usually, your physical therapist will recommend a certain timeframe of when you should attend your PT sessions. Normally, it takes about six weeks for a soft tissue to heal. Therefore, in case of injury, your therapist can recommend that you attend physical therapy sessions until the end of the six weeks. If it happens that you achieve the results you wanted before the end of the six weeks, then you can stop. However, it is important to speak to your therapist before making this decision so they can evaluate your condition and see that you are not risking your full recovery by stopping therapy.  

When It Is Too Painful

Physical therapy should not hurt and it is usually safe. However, since it may involve the manipulation of some body parts that are most likely injured or experiencing chronic pain, then it can end up being very painful, and even hard to do. Although there is a reason for that in that your therapist wants to relieve the pain and help you recover, at times the pain can be caused by your therapist being underqualified and thus manipulating areas that are not supposed to be manipulated. If you happen to suspect that your physical therapist is not qualified enough to help you, then it might be time to stop physical therapy at their place and look for another therapist.

When Physical Therapy Worsens Your Condition

On rare occasions, physical therapy can make your condition worse. It can cause you to experience tighter muscles, more pain, and restricted movement. Although physical therapy is meant to address such issues, it can worsen the symptoms. This is especially true if the manipulation is not done correctly. Your condition could become due to issues such as:

  • Diminished Range of Motion

Physical therapy is meant to increase an individual’s range of motion. However, if after attending several therapy sessions and feel like your range of motion is diminishing, it might be time to stop therapy and consider other options. Range of motion is usually reduced after an attempt by the therapist to stretch certain parts of the body without confirming whether the body parts move freely.

  • Early Introduction of Complex Exercises and Movements

Exercise and training is a major part of physical therapy. Some physical therapists even go ahead to give you exercises that you can do from home. Although exercise is meant to be of help to you, it can make your condition worse. This happens after complex exercises and movements are recommended. If your muscles are not strong or you do the exercises incorrectly, then you can end up hurting yourself. In case this happens, it can make you suffer for much longer. In such a situation, you have to engage in talks with your therapist and let them know how the exercises are going for you before things get worse.

  • Inflammation Source Not Addressed

A qualified and highly experienced physical therapist starts by addressing the root cause of the problem you are facing. In case you are experiencing pain and inflammation, your therapist should first handle the cause before focusing any other thing. If your therapist does not first handle the root cause, there is no way that you will be able to achieve ultimate relief until the initial problem is addressed.

Although there is no specific instance regarding when to stop physical therapy, you should definitely consider stopping when you achieve your results or when the therapy is not helping with your condition. If you have attended therapy for the recommended period and you are seeing no change to your injuries or pain, then you might want to reach out to a doctor for that specific condition that you are facing. You should also engage with your therapist and see reasons why the therapy is not helping.