You may have heard someone you know refer to
physical therapy as physical torture or pain and torture.
Unfortunately, there is a common misconception that physical therapy will
hurt. This misconception might discourage patients from attending therapy,
which can lead to a longer recovery time, prolonged pain and further limitations
Physical therapists typically do not follow the well-known saying of “no
pain, no gain.” So why does physical therapy get such a bad rap
for being painful?
When a person is in pain, it is the physical therapist’s job to determine
the cause of pain and a treatment plan in order to help relieve pain.
orthopedic surgery or an injury, doctors will often recommend physical therapy in order to
help you restore function to what you injured—such as a shoulder,
wrist, hip, knee, or ankle, to name a few. These initial days and weeks
of healing from the surgery/injury are often painful for the patient whether
you attend therapy or not.
Upon starting physical therapy, your therapist will likely perform range
of motion exercises in order to improve the mobility of the affected body
part. This can be uncomfortable initially but should become less painful
overtime. If the motion is not achieved early, the gains will be much
harder to achieve and more painful as more time passes by.
As you progress in your program, there will come at time when you will
begin strengthening exercises in order to return to a functional level.
During this phase of your treatment, there is often a new form of discomfort
that accompanies the awaited increase in your function. Delayed onset
muscle soreness (DOMS) is a term used for the muscle soreness that typically
affects muscles after they have performed unaccustomed or strenuous activity.
Keep in mind, you may experience some of the pain or discomfort as described
above, however your therapist will protect your surgery/injury by trying
to limit the amount of discomfort you experience as you progress through
your program, while still challenging you in order to increase your overall function.
If you are interested in seeing how physical therapy can help you restore
movement after an injury or a surgery, contact CCH
Rehabilitation Services. Our compassionate and experienced staff helps each patient, in a team-oriented
atmosphere, reach their goals. Call 307.688.8000 to make an appointment, or visit
www.cchwyo.org/rehab to learn more.
Brittany Johnson, DPT, is a physical therapist who sees patients at CCH Rehabilitation
Services at 508 Stocktrail Avenue in Gillette, Wyoming.