Have you recently started physical therapy? Whether you were prescribed physical therapy for pain relief, to recover from an injury or surgery, or for another reason, it takes time to make a difference. If you’re not sure how to tell if physical therapy is working, there may be some subtle, yet noticeable, signs of improvement.
You may not feel or see any drastic changes right away, but don’t give up. Physical therapy for pain relief takes time, but it is always a worthwhile investment of time and energy. If you suffer from pain, you can either mask the pain with medication, or treat the pain at the source with physical therapy and eliminate it from your life.
Signs Physical Therapy is Making a Difference
Most of the time you will not see drastic improvement right at the beginning, but there are little changes you will start to notice as you progress with physical therapy. Here are some signs that physical therapy is working.
- You notice how you move. Sometimes the first sign of an improvement is simply an increase in your own awareness of how you move. You may move your body differently or in the way your physical therapist has recommended, rather than the way you used to move.
- Your swelling has gone down. If you have swelling due to an injury or surgery, you may notice that your swelling has lessened over time in physical therapy. The movement and exercises that are part of your physical therapy can help to reduce inflammation and allow fluid to drain out so that your swelling goes down.
- Your pain is less frequent. Has your pain been occurring less often? Do you have times of the day when you used to feel pain that are now pain free? This is a very good sign. As you get stronger you will notice that you can get through your day without feeling pain as frequently.
- Your pain is less intense. Perhaps you still feel pain at the same times of the day, but is the pain less intense? As you work through physical therapy you may notice that your pain is less sharp or is at a lesser degree than it was before. If your pain was at a 10 before, and now you can say it feels more like an 8, that’s significant progress even though it still hurts.
- You can do more reps of your exercises. Have you been able to increase the number of reps for some of your exercises? If you’re working on your exercises at home or with your physical therapist, you may find that over time you can do more repetitions of some or all of your typical exercises. You may even be able to take your exercises to a more difficult level.
- The exercises feel easier or hurt less. Have your exercises begun to feel easier for you? Perhaps you can do them without trying so hard or without feeling the same pain you felt before as you did them. You’ll notice with time that your usual exercises become easier and less painful as you get stronger.
- You have a greater range of motion. Can you move your injured body part farther than you could before? Maybe you can bend your knee farther or rotate your shoulder all the way around when you couldn’t before. Increased range of motion is a definite improvement that results from consistent physical therapy.
- You feel less fear or anxiety. It is common after an injury or surgery to be afraid to move because of the pain. You’re afraid of doing physical therapy exercises or other routine daily activities because it may hurt. But as physical therapy progresses you may notice that your fear and anxiety regarding movement is less or goes away altogether. You gain renewed confidence in yourself and your abilities.
Make Faster Progress at Manhattan Physical Therapy
If you’re looking for faster, more effective results from physical therapy treatment, visit Manhattan Physical Therapy. Using the latest strategies and techniques, such as Red Cord Suspension Therapy, we help patients achieve better results in a shorter period of time. You won’t have to wonder how to tell if physical therapy is working; at Manhattan Physical Therapy you’ll know it is.
Call (212) 213-3480 or contact us today to schedule a consultation. We look forward to helping you make a full, fast recovery.