Physical therapy is an essential component of treatment for many conditions, injuries, and post-surgical rehabilitation. One of the goals of physical therapy is to feel better, but very occasionally the exact opposite can happen and patients’ symptoms may continue, or can even lead to the patient feeling worse. In this article, we will discuss what to do if you participate in physical therapy and do not experience a reduction in your pain.
Assuming you are in the Gainesville area, our first recommendation is to make sure you are receiving treatment at a reputable physical therapy clinic in Gainesville. There are four things to look for in a physical therapy clinic:
- Individualized treatment. Every human body and ailment is different, so the treatment plan must be designed specifically for you. Many clinics assign patients to physical therapist assistants (PTAs) after initial evaluation with a doctor of physical therapy (DPT). The PTAs do not have the knowledge required to tailor the treatment as the patients progress. Periodic review by the PT is never as good as being treated by a DPT continuously.
- Types of treatment. Look for a clinic that offers a variety of treatment modalities. Treatment options may include acupuncture or specialized programs for athletes. Acupuncture is very effective in reducing pain and inflammation, especially in the acute phase.
- Type of environment. An open environment where you feel comfortable communicating with your physical therapist will help you succeed. If you PT only spends a few minutes with you at each session because she is double-booked, triple-booked, or even quadruple-booked, the communication tends to follow a scripted routine and your special needs are more likely to be missed. Another consideration is that the risk of being exposed to Covid increases when there are more people in a room. The risk is minimized when only you and your PT are in a room.
Hours of operation. If the hours of clinic operation do not work for your schedule, you will likely miss sessions.
What to Do When You are Experiencing Pain
You may have found a clinic that meets your expectations, yet you still have pain after participating in a program. Here are a few things to consider:
Set Goals With Your Therapist
Before you begin your treatment plan, you should set realistic goals with your physical therapist. Many patients hope physical therapy will be comfortable and straightforward, so then want to quit if it becomes difficult and challenging. To make progress, you may experience discomfort, just as with a new workout program.
Keep in mind that physical therapy is designed to improve your body’s range of motion and functioning level. The process can be painful, especially if you are recovering from an injury or a surgical procedure. However, with time the pain will decrease as your body adapts to the program.
Talk to Your Therapist
Do not be afraid to tell your therapist you are having pain after you have started therapy. Be specific about where the problem is located and when it occurs. What makes it better? What makes it worse?
Share your findings with your physical therapist. They will be able to adjust your program and exercises to help reduce your symptoms. They may use acupuncture to reduce your pain level.
Are There Things I Can Do at Home?
There are a few suggestions physical therapists recommend to try at home if you are experiencing pain after physical therapy.
Increase Water Intake
Water promotes muscle recovery and prevents dehydration, which has other adverse health effects. Be sure to drink water during and after you do exercises.
The body often experiences pain when at rest, so light movement can improve soreness. Complete your physical therapy exercises in between periods of rest, so you accomplish them daily.
Stretching promotes muscle recovery, which is why fitness experts encourage stretching before and after workouts. It would help if you also were stretching after physical therapy exercises to help ease pain and discomfort.
Ice the Area
If a muscle is sore, then it may be inflamed. If there is inflammation, you can ice the area for 20 minutes a few times per day. Icing will improve both swelling and pain.
If You are in Need of Physical Therapy Services, Consider Guan Physical Therapy
Guan Physical Therapy offers physiotherapy and acupuncture in Gainesville, FL. Our goal is to help you heal so you can be mobile and active. Our services help you heal without the need for pain medications, injections, or further surgery.
If you are interested in an appointment or have questions, contact us.
- office: (352) 353-0288
- fax: (352) 559-8808
- 13577 NW 2nd Lane, Suite 10, Jonesville, FL 32669
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.