We know that physical therapy sessions aren’t always easy. If they were, we wouldn’t be doing you any good. As therapists, we get teased for this. Rather than “physical therapy,” patients sometimes refer to it as “pain and torture.”
Physical Therapy does require work
As a patient, it’s important to remember than some pain is beneficial in physical therapy rehabilitation. If someone’s mindset is that of “pain and torture,” their results are probably going to take longer and feel more painful. If your perception is that physical therapy is going to be excruciating, then it probably will be.
During physical therapy sessions, your therapist will always check in and ask about your pain to make sure it stays within a mild or moderate level. This means it should be uncomfortable, but tolerable, especially if you’re recovering from surgery (like a total knee replacement, for example). There is always a reason why we give you the exercises we do – and it’s not for pain and torture!
Moving that new knee is crucial early on in rehabilitation to prevent long term scarring and stiffness. We want to maximize your body’s healing processes, which take place within several weeks after an injury or surgery. This does mean it may hurt more to do the exercises, but it also means that your long-term outcomes will be better.
Our understanding of pain has also evolved. We know that pain is an output from the brain, and no two brains are alike. Pain can have many influencing factors, such as life experiences, psychological histories, or even our home and work environments. Chronic low back pain requires a different approach than acute knee pain after playing soccer. Addressing the whole person, rather than one body part, is why we take so much time to get to know you.
Healing from an injury or surgery takes time and effort
Our physical therapists are here for your healing, not to torture injured tissues into submission. Healing takes time and a team effort; we’re here to guide you through the process and yes, it can be painful – but it’s for your own good! Promise!
Check back on our article about good pain vs. bad pain to learn more!