Depending on your lifestyle, you might be extremely active or work at fast pace job. But accidents happen and you find yourself apart of one, regardless of how careful your are. Now you can’t lift your arm, go on your daily runs or play your favorite sport anymore. Physical therapy is a great option to help get you back to your normal as quickly as possible. However, is getting back to normal as fast as possible safe? Can you overdo physical therapy? This is a big question many people tend to have when they get injured.
Some people will say over doing it is not possible. The classic saying, “No pain, no gain” tells that is not possible. But here at Bridge Physical Therapy, we don’t think that’s the case. The role of a physical therapist is to help manage pain and not create more of it. This is why going all out is not always the best course of action. Your pain should never get worse in order for you to feel better. This can lead to long term chronic injury and pain.
Going to physical therapy is different to each individual and varies from each person. So let’s explore how our team at Bridge Physical Therapy determines the right type of physical therapy for each of our patients. As there is no such thing as the one best plan for everyone.
The definition of physical therapy
Physical therapy, also known as PT, is a type of medical treatment that utilizes a variety of techniques to target immobilization or impairment of physical activity, movement, and flexibility. It has become increasingly popular with many studies showing the benefits of PT versus letting it heal on its own. As you read on, you will see there are many different components to PT. So finding the best treatment plan for your individual needs is possible, allowing quick and effective recovery.
Diagnosing your physical therapy needs
Before any sort of physical therapy routine can begin, there should be a complete and proper evaluation that is performed by your physical therapist to determine what course of action to take. No two patients are alike. Even patients with the same diagnosis will not have identical needs. This is because each individuals is unique and everyone’s body are completely different.
Taking the time to get to know a patient is a critical a first step to physical therapy. A thorough evaluation is necessary in order to formulate a correct treatment plan that allows a patient to get the most out of physical therapy without overdoing it. Putting too much strain on the injury will cause more harm than good and will undo any improvements that was made. In the case of can you overdo physical therapy? If you so more outside than what is required of you then yes you can overdo it. And this can potentially cause more harm to your injury.
Types of assessments and evaluations
At Bridge Physical Therapy, we conduct numerous kinds of assessments to help determine which therapeutic methods would be the most beneficial for a patient.
There are different reasons on why a patient is pursuing physical therapy. Which is why we may perform one or more of the following assessments:
- Biomechanical Analysis
- Ergonomic Assessment
- Ergonomic Workplace Evaluation
- Falls Risk Assessment
- Functional Strength Assessment
- Gait Analysis
- Physical Therapy Evaluation
- Postural and Movement Assessment
- Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA)
After the initial evaluation
Once an evaluation is complete, the real work begins. From treadmills and stationary bikes, electrical stimulation and ultrasounds to massages, and manual manipulation, physical therapists have numerous resources to help their patients.
Our team at Bridge Physical Therapy takes on a customized approach to physical therapy. We formulate a personalized treatment plan designed to support the specific physical capabilities of each one of our patients.
We are often asked, “Can you overdo physical therapy?”. The answer is yes, but adhering to an individualized treatment plan under the supervision of a trained healthcare professional makes all the difference.
Why follow a treatment plan
Our treatment plans are meant to empower and educate our patients.
A patient may need physical therapy services due to a surgery, sports injury, automobile accident, workplace incident, age-related issue, or something else entirely. But no matter the reason, the end goal is to (1) address their functional limitations and (2) take steps to maximize their abilities.
As part of the healing process, we strive to help our patients:
- Gain strength
- Improve mobility
- Prevent falls
- Increase flexibility
- Reduce inflammation
- Stabilize joints
- Restore range of motion
- Manage long term medical conditions
- Recover from an injury, surgery, or stroke
- Avoid further injuries or surgeries
Plus, let’s not forget – decrease (or even eliminate) pain and discomfort!
Responsibilities of the physical therapist
How do therapists go about tackling such a list?
Here at Bridge Physical Therapy we have a diverse team with a wide range of backgrounds, educational experiences, and skill sets.
Because of this, we are able to offer an assortment of therapy options, including:
- Dry Needling
- Graston Technique Methods
- Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization
- Kinesio Taping
- Manual Therapy
- Neuromuscular Re-education
- Soft Tissue Massage
- Spinal Manipulation
- Work Hardening
What to expect after a physical therapy session
True pain should not be the result of any of these physical therapy techniques, not to say you won’t experience some soreness or slight discomfort. It is important to understand that physical therapy is work – work that pushes your body to reach new heights. But these new heights should not cause more pain than when you first started physical therapy.
Let’s say you had surgery on your knee. Unsurprisingly, the affected area is in pain for quite a while following the surgery. Your surgeon eventually clears you to begin physical therapy and you start working toward regaining mobility of the affected area. This is a scenario we see time and time again, but the rest of the story plays out differently from patient to patient. This can be because of one’s age, previous medical history and one’s own biology. One might run into some hiccups during the healing process, while another might graduate from physical therapy in record time.
Yet, there is a commonality between these two situations. Both patients will come to know that physical therapy is hard work. Building strength is demanding as your body is trying to heal and requires more energy out of you. Although it may be tiring, it is all worth it once you are able to get back to normal or as normal as you can get.
The key to physical therapy success
Even though physical therapy can be challenging, the key to avoid overdoing it is communication and education. A patient and physical therapist must have a working partnership where the treatment plan can be adjusted if the pain is becoming a problem. A patient needs to feel comfortable voicing their concerns, and a therapist must be willing to listen. Even though you might think your physical therapist knows best, they only know as much as you tell them. This means that in order to get the best out of your physical therapy session, you have to let your therapist know what is going on with your body. This way they can create the best plan for you and adjust anything along the way.
At Bridge Physical Therapy, the concerns of our patients are also our own concerns and we take them seriously. Furthermore, we are committed to patient education. Understanding how the body works and heals is an integral part to preventing future injuries. And we are here to help you understand how to do so outside of the office. Prevention is always the best plan when it comes to avoiding injury so we strive to give you the necessary knowledge to do so.
Beware of overdoing it
The ideal ending to physical therapy is a return to normalcy, right? That notion can create a race-to-the-finish-line sort of temptation. But unfortunately, healing the body is more of a slow-and-steady-wins-the-race kind of path. It is vital to pace yourself. As rest goes hand-in-hand with recovery.
This is especially true for patients seeking therapy after a surgery or injury. When you push too hard, you risk damaging the affected area as it does the exact opposite of your goal. This could lead to what no one wants – complications and chronic pain.
Bridge Physical Therapy is here for you
Physical therapy is meant to improve the lives of our patients, not impede or interrupt it.
Most patients come to us with aches and pains, but our goal is to correct those ailments through safe and effective therapeutic methods. We want our patients to finish physical therapy feeling better than ever.
With the expertise and trained eye of a physical therapist at Bridge Physical Therapy, you can receive high-quality care that pushes you to do your best without overdoing it. For additional information about how you can get the most out of physical therapy, check out this article.
Give us a call today to begin your healing journey. We are accepting new patients and look forward to seeing you soon.