Physical therapy is widely considered one of the best nonsurgical options for anyone struggling to recovery from an injury, particularly in the back or neck. After a major surgery, it can help slowly rebuild lost muscle mass and increase mobility. When performed correctly, it can be incredibly effective. Unfortunately, the reality is that it will take time, patience and perseverance in order to get better. Here are a few tips from the doctors at the Rehabilitation Clinic at Siriroj International Hospital to bear in mind as you cope with pain during physical therapy.
Listen to your body and don’t push yourself too hard
Some discomfort during physical therapy is perfectly normal, especially when you’re just starting off. This is not the time to be tough and indiscriminately push through the pain, however. Closely monitor how you’re feeling and keep your physical therapist updated if you feel sharp, stabbing pains or if the level of pain appears to be increasing through treatment.
Try water resistance therapy or other low-impact options
Any high-impact activity is going to put undue stress on your joints and may aggravate an injury. Talk to your doctor about aquatic exercises or other forms of physical therapy that might be gentler.
Always consult a professional first
If you have suffered a major injury or are recovering from a serious surgery, always talk to a qualified physician before starting a physical therapy regimen. Since physical therapy consists of precise movements repeated over and over again, it is essential that you perform them correctly so as not to risk incurring further damage.
Try massage therapy
Thailand has an ancient tradition of using massage techniques for healing purposes and this is an excellent time to take advantage of the fact. Be sure to visit a massage therapist approved by your doctor and to communicate your condition clearly to your therapist. If you do not speak fluent Thai, ask someone to translate for you.
Consider acupuncture in combination with physical therapy
A certain amount of pain is inevitable during physical therapy, but many patients find that acupuncture offers relief without the negative side effects of powerful painkillers.
Don’t give up and seek emotional support
The road to recovery, especially from a major back or neck injury, is often long and arduous.
Many patients become frustrated in the beginning when their progress fails to live up to their expectations. It’s important to be open and honest about how you’re coping with the strain. Reach out to friends and family members or consider seeing a counselor for support.