A treatment aimed at restoring lost or limited mobility, physical therapy typically expands your ability to move and helps your body recover and rebuild its healing ability. While the exercises used by a physical therapist can sometimes cause pain in the short term, ongoing therapy usually results in pain reduction, as your body’s soft tissues build strength and improve in tone. This encourages good blood flow through problem areas, a key component in the healing process.
The key goal of physical therapy is usually to return you to your daily activities, tasks, and jobs with reduced pain and increased efficiency. When things such as climbing stairs and getting out of bed are difficult, enjoying life may be difficult as well.
When Dr. Katzman refers you to a physical therapist on his staff, they may examine your current mobility and ask you about the pain you have and how it affects your life. The next step is developing a treatment plan.
Typically, the first stages of that plan address pain and inflammation. There are many techniques to choose from, some more appropriate to your particular issues than others. There may be manual therapy, where your therapist manually moves your body to increase range of motion, stretching muscles gently to restore normal movement.
Your therapist may also use hot and cold therapies to loosen and reduce swelling. Ultrasound, electrical stimulation, and water therapy are also common techniques. Exercise, though, is common to most treatment plans. You’ll also be assigned an exercise place to continue at home between treatments. This can include further stretching, weight lifting, core exercises, and walking.
How much pain you experience during and after a physical therapy session is often dependent on both your condition and the treatment method your therapist uses. For example, stretching exercises may cause some pain at the edges of your mobility, and there may be stiffness and aches after treatment, consistent with the “good” pain that follows a workout.
On the other hand, ultrasound has little sensation at all, perhaps minor tickling, yet it can produce remarkable results for deep tissue inflammation. If you have discomfort after treatment that bothers you, discuss it with your physical therapist.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!