How Painful Is Physiotherapy?

How Painful Is Physiotherapy?

When it comes to injury, stiffness, inflammation, and athletic performance, pain often goes hand in hand. But does it have to?

Physiotherapy is an excellent form of care that can reduce discomfort and improve functionality in a lot of people, but many worry that it will hurt, not only because of their current pain but also to see results. Physiotherapy is a non-invasive and holistic therapy that uses a wide variety of evidence-based techniques such as manual therapy, acupuncture, shockwave therapy, and exercise. When you are sore, the idea of these treatments might make you squirm and wonder, ‘How painful is physiotherapy meant to be?’

Physiotherapy can be a significantly beneficial step towards a better quality of life. At Powerhouse Physiotherapy, we are dedicated to helping you find relief. In this post, we will discuss whether physiotherapy sessions can be painful.

Who Is Physiotherapy For?

Physiotherapists are highly trained professionals who can help improve a wide variety of issues and support you toward your goals. By using their knowledge and skills, our team can assist people of varying ages and health and fitness statuses. 

There are countless reasons why people come to see us. This can include factors such as:

  • Acute or chronic pain.
  • Chronic medical conditions, such as arthritis, migraines, and obesity.
  • Sporting injuries.
  • Degenerative issues due to age.
  • Poor posture.
  • Post-surgery recovery.

Our physiotherapy team can help with many aspects such as:

  • Relieving pain.
  • Reducing inflammation and stiffness.
  • Improving range of motion.
  • Increasing strength and flexibility. 
  • Providing guidance and education regarding various issues and lifestyle choices.
  • Developing a personalised exercise or rehabilitation program.

Should Physiotherapy Cause Pain?

You may experience temporary discomfort during the treatment process. However, physiotherapy should not cause pain. While it may seem counterproductive, there are several reasons why physiotherapy might result in symptoms such as mild aching, stiffness, or tenderness. 

It is important to understand these reasons and talk to your physiotherapist about what you are feeling to ensure safe treatment. Some of these can include:

Initial assessment and diagnosis

When your physiotherapist examines and assesses your condition, they may need to move or manipulate the affected area, which can be uncomfortable, especially if you’re experiencing acute pain or inflammation. We will explain exactly what we are doing, take it slowly, and adjust depending on what your body is telling you.

Mobilisation of tissues and joints

After injuries, illness, or surgery, soft tissues or joints may become tight, weak, or inflamed. Physiotherapy often involves hands-on techniques to move and manipulate any affected areas. These techniques aim to restore mobility, increase blood flow, and promote healing. While your physio strives to minimise discomfort, some procedures may cause temporary pain or soreness. 

Stretching and strengthening exercises

Physiotherapy frequently involves stretching and strengthening exercises that are tailored to your needs and goals. These may lead to muscle soreness as your body adjusts to the new movements and demands placed on the muscles and joints.

Breaking down scar tissue

If scar tissue has formed due to an injury or surgery, your physiotherapy treatment may involve techniques to gently break it down. This process can be uncomfortable but can be significantly beneficial for restoring normal function and reducing pain in the long run.

Rehabilitation after injury or surgery

Physiotherapy following an injury or surgery often involves exercises and movements to restore strength, flexibility, and range of motion. These activities may cause discomfort as your body adapts and heals.

Adjusting movement patterns

Certain conditions or injuries may lead to compensatory movement patterns that can place stress on certain areas of your body. Your treatment may involve working towards correcting these patterns. As you retrain muscles and joints and your body adjusts, you may experience temporary discomfort.

Physiotherapy Can Help Improve Pain And Mobility

Pain during physiotherapy should not be severe or long-lasting. It is crucial to communicate with your physiotherapist regarding any discomfort so that they can adjust your treatment plan accordingly. We strive to balance the benefits of physiotherapy with your comfort and will make modifications when required to promote healing and relief.

If you are experiencing pain or reduced functionality, do not let the prospect of discomfort keep you from seeking treatment from an experienced and qualified professional. Physiotherapy can make a significant difference to a variety of issues you may be dealing with, so please get in touch with us to organise a full assessment and the development of a personalised treatment plan.