Will I experience pain during my physiotherapy appointment?

It is common to fear pain when you have been referred to a physiotherapist. Many of us hear stories or watch videos on social media of patients lying on a bed to be twisted and turned until they click! It is important to note that many of these manipulation videos are massively enhanced using pinpoint microphones to pick up clicks and crunches. In reality, the movement and sound are not as pronounced! If you have been referred to a physiotherapy clinic to support your pain management, the last thing you will want is to make that pain any worse. 

Communication with your physiotherapist is vital for a successful course of treatment that leaves you feeling happier, healthier and in control of your pain. Your therapist will have undergone an intense level of training to understand and support your pain and injuries and recognise when something is causing you discomfort, both before you start your treatment and during each appointment. Every patient that comes into a clinic is different, with varying pain thresholds, and this is why communication with your physio is critical. 

As many of us will know, if we exercise using muscles that are not used to being used in such a way, we are likely to feel a little discomfort during the exercise and afterwards. This is no different to working with a physio. During your appointments, your muscles and joints will be stretched and manipulated to identify the source of the pain and promote healing, which may cause some discomfort. However, you should not feel any pain, particularly pain you cannot tolerate. If you experience this during your appointment, ensure your physiotherapist is aware. 

What to do if you experience pain after your appointment

The role of a physiotherapist is to support you to recover from your injury or pain to promote a healthy life. During your appointment, you will be exercising and stretching the area of pain and surrounding areas to improve it. As we all know, pressure and stretching on a site that’s already in pain can leave us feeling a little sore afterwards, but in general, you should not feel any worse pain than usual. 

It’s essential that you communicate with your physiotherapist throughout your treatment plan, including to let them know of any new symptoms, increased discomfort and soreness or swelling of the affected area. Some patients do not communicate with their physiotherapist due to embarrassment or thinking that their pain level is average. This can cause concerns further down the line and result in extended treatment being necessary to resolve the issue. 

As your physiotherapist will likely give you exercises to complete at home, it’s essential that these are followed. Not only will this aid your recovery and promote faster healing, but it will support you in removing any discomfort or stiffness you may feel after a physiotherapy appointment. Your physio may also suggest icing your muscles after therapy which could decrease some of the symptoms you may experience. 

Physical benefits from your physiotherapy treatment

Physiotherapy treatment is a popular choice for doctors and specialists to support when you have long-term pain or need support to rehabilitate after an accident or injury. A course of physiotherapy treatment is often more effective than taking long term pain medication and can leave you feeling stronger, supporting you to move and feel better. You will often need a course of physiotherapy appointments, as it can take some time to get your body back to optimum strength and movement. This is something your physiotherapist will discuss with you during your initial consultation. 

During your treatment, your physiotherapist will work on your pain points and the source of your pain. They may look for weak or stiff areas that could either be causing the pain or adding stress to the places that hurt. Alongside your physiotherapy appointments, you may also be given a set of exercises to do at home, which you will be expected to complete in between your physio appointments. During your physiotherapy course, you will complete a mixture of exercises, including: 

  • Low-impact aerobic training
  • Strengthening exercises
  • Pain relief exercises

Using various techniques, your therapist will work in a bespoke way to support you and your rehabilitation. Heat and ice packs, massage, manipulation and electrical nerve stimulation may also factor in your physiotherapy appointment.

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Advantage Physiotherapy is your local physio team 

Here at Advantage Physiotherapy, we have been supporting local patients with pain management and rehabilitation since 2009. During this time, we have become a trusted physiotherapy partner of many GPs and local clinics and are often the clinic of choice for referrals in the local area. If you are struggling with long term pain, have recently had an injury or are feeling any discomfort, why not get in contact with us to see how we can help?

If you are concerned about feeling any pain or discomfort during your upcoming physio session, speak to one of our team members, who will be able to give you more information about what to expect and, most importantly, put your mind at rest! We look forward to seeing you soon.