Why pain recurs even after physiotherapy

woman runner hold her sports injured knee
(Last Updated On: November 7, 2016)

Physiotherapy is an integrated approach to assess, diagnose and treat anyone who is affected by a disease, injury or disability, through physical means. Physiotherapy can aid you to reduce your medication, lessen the risk of injury and side effects, avoid surgery and also manage your pain effectively. Despite vigilant diagnosis and an effective therapy, some people might still experience pain after physiotherapy. The continuation of symptoms or persistent pain after physiotherapy can affect your day-to-day life.

The reasons behind the recurrence of pain even after physiotherapy are following:

  • The most common reason for pain after physiotherapy is overworked or overstretched muscle. The main reason is reworking of injured/ stabilized muscle after the physiotherapy session. During the reworking, the recovered muscle produces more lactic acid and lead to pain or irritation.
  • Soreness or pain after physiotherapy session may be due to local inflammation, which produces the toxins or waste products that body wants to eliminate.
  • During therapeutic process, you have to stretch the body parts which you have not stretched for a while, or activate muscles that you have not been using for a long time, or you have to direct your body in new processes, which makes us to alter our usual ways of doing things. All of these changes in some way change your body resistance. Hence, when our bodies experience these changes too rapidly, it can create soreness and pain in new places.
  • Inflamed joints are also one of the main reasons for pain after physiotherapy. So, limit the movements of the joints. It is also important to select a right position of comfort for the joint. The most appropriate position of the joint is slightly bent position.
  • Lack of rehabilitation also may lead to recurrence of pain even after physiotherapy.
  • Physiotherapy will also challenge your postural stability and sitting positions. Irritated lumbar nerves or pressurized nerve also causes pain after the physiotherapy session. So, find a suitable position to stay or sit from the therapist to reduce the pressure over the nerves.
  • Increasing the intensity of exercise and starting a new sport or exercise also causes pain after the physiotherapy session.

Hence, if you still experience some pain or soreness after your physiotherapy session, here are a couple of things that you can do:

  • Put an ice pack. Soreness is usually a sign of inflammation of the tissues. Ice is a natural way of healing process, which deflame the inflamed area. Take the ice or frozen peas in a plastic bag and keep the cover in affected area not more than 25 minutes, this will help you to relieve pain.
  • Drink plenty of fluids or liquids. Drinking 4-5 glasses of water daily after the session will aids the body to remove waste products released into the blood stream.
  • Quiet breathing for about 10-15 minutes daily in the best place is the most effective way of relieving soreness after physiotherapy session.
  • Review and execute the handouts or techniques given by the physiotherapists yourself at home.
  • Take mental note or remember where you experience pain after the session. Compare the pain and severity of the pain with the previous session and report the physiotherapist about the symptoms. This feedback gives the therapist valuable information and guide you appropriately in the future sessions.
  • Massage also helps to soothe muscle aches and relax tight muscles.
  • A warm water bath also helps to relax the tighten muscle and boost the blood circulation.

For more information, chat with a doctor for free via Portea’s Mobile App. You can also avail physiotherapy at home for further assessment.

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Dr. Hirna Bhatt holds a Master degree in Physiotherapy from Sheffield Hallam University U.K and a Master degree in Acupuncture from Nagpur University. She is specialized in musculoskeletal conditions and have over 3 years of experience in treating patients. Besides working as a therapist, she has keen interest in painting and craft work. She quotes, “Do what makes you happy, success comes in that happiness.”


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