What Can You Expect During Physical Therapy?

Sometimes, patients are hesitant to seek physical therapy due to fears of experiencing pain during treatment. Other patients may assume that pain is simply part of the healing process.

At Qore Physical Therapy, our team wants you to know that our physical therapy treatments are prescribed to improve your health, increase strength and mobility, and over time, decrease any pain you may be experiencing from an injury or after surgery. Rest assured, physical therapy is employed to reduce pain, not to increase it.

So, what can you expect to experience during physical therapy?

Our caring and gentle team is committed to helping you to be completely safe and as comfortable as possible. Though you may experience some discomfort as you are given the personalized treatments prescribed specifically for you, our physical therapy regimen will help to strengthen and heal your body, thereby leading to a decrease in pain and an increase in functionality.

Every patient is different, of course, but here is a list of some effective physical therapy treatment techniques:

  • Exercises that focus on stretching and increasing flexibility
  • Range-of-motion exercises to enhance movement and functionality
  • Balance- and coordination-related exercises
  • Hot and cold applications for aiding recovery and relieving pain
  • Ultrasound or electric stimulation for easing pain

What Are the Common Side Effects of Physical Therapy?

Your body is a remarkable healing machine! While it might not seem like it if you are suffering from an injury, your body is always working to heal itself. Physical therapy treatments can assist your body by enhancing and even speeding up its natural healing processes!

Think of physical therapy as “training your body to heal.” When individuals endeavor to build strength through weight-training and increase physical fitness through exercise, the body is subjected to a certain amount of stress that commonly leads to mild irritation or soreness in the muscles.

Rest assured, the mild muscle soreness you experience from exercise and physical therapy is “a good and healthy discomfort.” When your body is training or receiving treatment, the intentional and measured stress placed upon your muscles actually stimulates their ability to be strengthened and healed. In other words, if you experience a healthy soreness after physical therapy, then this is a positive sign that your treatment is working!

Here are some common and healthy side effects that you may experience during your physical therapy treatments:

  • Muscle soreness
  • Mild joint soreness
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Mild dehydration
  • Fatigue
  • Bruising (via Astym® treatment)
  • Mild swelling

What Are Some Home Remedy Treatments for Physical Therapy Side Effects?

Of course, our caring physical therapists can assist you with evaluating any discomfort or pain you may experience following your treatments. More than likely, you will merely experience the most common side effects, such as muscle soreness and stiffness. If you are experiencing these mild effects, then here is a list of remedies that you can use at home:

  • Drink plenty of water and fluids with electrolytes
  • Rest
  • Do stretches
  • Intermittently apply ice and heat packs
  • Elevate the affected area
  • Apply compression
  • Take over-the-counter pain or anti-inflammatory medications (unless otherwise directed by your primary care physician)

And of course, if your symptoms persist, please call our office at 801-701-6699.

How To Know When To Seek Medical Attention

Remember, physical therapy is prescribed to improve your health and well-being, not to increase pain. After you receive physical therapy treatments, your discomfort level should not pass beyond typical soreness to outright pain.

For this reason, it is important that you communicate with our physical therapists. Occasionally, patients will not let their therapists know how they are feeling during or after treatment. Be sure to share your feedback with our physical therapists so your treatment can be appropriately adapted for your comfort. At Qore Physical Therapy, our team is gentle, caring and compassionate.

After your treatment, if you do experience discomfort beyond typical soreness — or it you experience a more limited range of motion — be sure to contact our office at 801-701-6699.

Of course, pain is a subjective experience. Everyone interprets and reacts to pain differently. So, here is a list of reasons that might give you concern if you experience any of the following after your physical therapy treatment:

  • Existing pain that increases (instead of decreases) over time
  • You begin to lose some of your range of motion
  • Your physical therapy is treating the symptoms of your problem, instead of the cause
  • New pain that occurs for more than 30 minutes after therapy (and is rated greater than 4 on a scale of 1 to 10)
  • Surgical incision opening
  • Redness, heat or discharge from surgical incision
  • New or worsening dizziness
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of breath
  • Severe swelling

If these conditions exist, please seek emergency medical attention.