Physiotherapy is what you need to deal with physical pain or mobility disabilities. Physiotherapy techniques target painful areas and alleviate the discomfort. Despite the primary purpose of this therapy field, it can be associated with minimal pain levels.
But does this mean that physiotherapy can hurt? And is it normal to experience some pain during or after the sessions? If you are curious about physiotherapy and pain, keep reading to find out more!
Can Physiotherapy Hurt?
Physiotherapy can cause some minor discomfort, but this does not mean the therapy sessions are not going to be torture. Usually, the pain levels won’t exceed a bit of soreness that lasts for a couple of hours.
The nature of your condition is another factor that influences your pain level. In the case of mild injuries, your pain levels won’t be really high. When you are severely injured, the pain associated with physiotherapy is usually more intense.
Why Physio Can Hurt
Typically, your physiotherapist will explain all the associated side effects, including the expected pain. Before starting to worry about such expected discomfort, you should know it is a normal sign. In fact, it is considered a good sign, indicating the beginning of your healing.
Pain and discomfort during physiotherapy can be caused by a variety of factors. You may also find bruises after a deep tissue massage in the lower back, but physiotherapy is not painful by nature.
The feelings of pain are usually associated with the following factors:
1. Weakened Bones
When you have fractured or broken bones, you will need a long period of rest and recovery. This is needed to ensure the correct healing of these bones. However, extended rest will make the bones weaker.
So, if you try to get back on your feet, you will find it quite difficult. At this point, physiotherapy can help you with your rehabilitation. Your therapist will use their approved methods to help you stand and walk again.
However, putting the slightest stress on these long-rested and weakened bones will cause soreness. But putting this healthy stress on these weak bones will help them regain their original strength.
2. Inflamed Joints
Prolonged inflammation will slow recovery and needs to be addressed. Without any treatment, your muscles and joints will remain painful for a long time. This causes limb and joint tightness, necessitating physiotherapeutic intervention.
When your physiotherapist applies deep massage techniques to loosen up these joints, you will instantly experience pain and soreness. However, as you proceed with your therapy, you will experience less discomfort.
3. Scar Tissue Buildup
During the healing process of an injury, your body produces scar tissue covering the injured spot. However, this tissue can build up randomly in a way that may restrict proper joint movement. In this case, physiotherapy can assist scar tissue in performing its healing function.
This therapy allows this to happen without impeding joint mobility. During the attempts of your physiotherapist to correct the positioning of the tissue, you will feel a bit of pain.
Facts about Physiotherapy Soreness
In general, physiotherapy sessions may cause soreness that varies in severity depending on a number of factors.
For instance, the pain you might get in the first session won’t be as severe as the last one. Also, the way your pain receptor works is not the same as another patient’s, and each patient handles pain differently.
So before you book a physiotherapy session, you should keep these facts in mind:
1. Soreness from Physiotherapy is a Good Sign
When you experience a bit of soreness or discomfort during your therapy session, you should be happy about it. It often means that the therapist is using techniques that are actually working.
It also means that your body is responding well to the treatment strategy. Feeling a bit sore indicates that your muscles are gaining some of their strength back. Gradually, the soreness will ease as your muscles, joints, or bones get back to their normal performance.
2. It Is Not Meant To Last
As a natural part of your healing process, you will feel moderately sore. The good news is that this sort of soreness or pain should not stick with you for long. It is a temporary pain due to putting some stress on your muscles, which were not used for a long time.
When you get to rest after the session, you will feel better. As your muscles get used to the new stress, you won’t feel the same levels of discomfort. Eventually, everything will get back to normal when the therapy accomplishes its goal.
3. Pain Often Stops Immediately
When we talk about pain during physiotherapy, we often do not mean real and intolerable pain. It is usually a temporary sensation of discomfort that should get easier as you proceed with your therapy sessions. It’s also possible that the pain stops immediately after your physio session.
4. The Intensity of Pain Varies
There is no standard measure to determine the level of pain or discomfort associated with physiotherapy. It is simply because pain varies from one person to another. What you might find extremely painful, another patient might find just tingling, and vice versa.
If you are about to start your physiotherapy journey, you should let go of all the previous judgments. Your journey will be personal and different from anyone else’s. Also, talking to your therapist helps set your expectations.
Physiotherapy is all about alleviating pain and helping patients with physical injuries or mobility problems get their lives back. This type of treatment works by putting stress on muscles or joints that aren’t working as they should.
As a result, sometimes you need to deal with the temporary pain of physiotherapy to prevent chronic pain from ruining your life. While physio may sometimes be painful, it’ll always be worth it in the long run.