Understanding Some Physical Therapy Don'ts That You Should Avoid

Physical therapy is an essential part of the healing process after a surgical procedure or injury. And, while you will work with an experienced professional, you may need to complete some physical therapy exercises and tasks on your own. There are a lot of dos and don'ts when it comes to physical therapy. Keep reading to learn about a few of the don'ts.

Don't Ignore Pain

Physical therapy is often uncomfortable and involves stretching and strengthening muscles. However, the therapy should not be too painful. Pain is an indication that you are not ready for the current step of therapy or that you have injured yourself while completing the therapy. If you feel pain, you absolutely should tell your physical therapist about this.

You want to describe your pain and whether it burns, stings, shoots, or aches. Tell the professional how long the pain lasts and what activities bring it on. For example, does a specific exercise cause more pain than another? And, using a pain scale that is provided by the therapist, you'll need to describe the level of pain. You want to also indicate the things that make the pain better or worse. Does an ice pack help to decrease your discomfort or does a heating pad? Is a single dose of ibuprofen enough to relieve your discomfort, and does rest make it feel better?

If you feel pain during your exercises, you may be asked to demonstrate the exercise in the physical therapy office. It is not uncommon to complete an exercise incorrectly, which will result in pain and soreness. And, if the therapist thinks that you may have injured yourself, you may be advised to speak with your physician and receive imaging tests to further evaluate the situation.

Don't Skip Appointments

Physical therapy is fairly regimented therapy that will advance over the course of weeks and months. The goal of the therapy is to return your body to its previous pre-injury or surgery condition while also concentrating on building mobility and strength. To help with this, your therapist will schedule workout, stretching, and treatment days that are intermixed with periods of rest. This allows for healing that does not overstress the body.

Due to the regimented nature of physical therapy, you do not want to skip or reschedule your appointments. If you have difficulties making appointments due to work, school, or childcare commitments, the therapist will work with you through home, weekend, night, or virtual appointments as necessary. So, be honest with the therapist so the best schedule can be worked out. 

To learn more, contact a physical therapy clinic.

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